Definitely Not Decaf with Ira Pickett

With the Republican National Convention set to start Tuesday in Tampa, and just over 2 months left until the November 6, 2012 election, there is a tremendous amount of political conversation across America as to which candidates will be best suited to lead the nation in the coming years.  

Before stepping into the polling booth, all eligible voters really need to take a serious “check-up from the neck-up” in the mirror before further complaining about the current situation our nation faces with regards to financial, social, and international issues.

The problems our nation faces today are not the sole responsibility of the elected officials that we have chosen to represent us, yet instead are a reflection of the choices that WE have individually have made over time that have seemingly added up to near disaster for our nation.  Far too often, we sensationalize the ramifications of major political and social issues and decisions, but give no thought to the smaller, mundane decisions, and how that when added together they actually overshadow the major ones.

In fact, if we do nothing to change and impact the smaller daily decisions we make individually, this great nation that has previously set the pace of development for the rest of the world will ultimately slip into insignificance and America will have no-one to blame but itself.

Consider this:

~ The average American spends 13 hours a week on the internet and another 13 hours a week watching TV. 

~ More than 35% of adults and 17% of children are obese.

~ Since 1980, personal debt has grown at approximately the same rate as the out-of-control total national debt.

~ Since 2008, the number of Americans enrolled and receiving food aid (SNAP) grew from 26 million to nearly 46 million people.

~ American’s spend roughly 50% of their food expenditures at restaurants.

~ Approximately 45 million American adults are regular smokers (nearly 20% of the adult U.S. population).

 ~ Approximately 12.8 million Americans are unemployed.

~ Nearly 50% of all Americans receive some type of assistance or entitlement check from the U.S. Government, and a similar amount pay ZERO taxes into the system each year.

Americans are strapped for cash, yet eat out daily; they live sedentary lifestyles in front of electronic screens, yet complain about the rising cost of health care.  Somewhere along the line, a culture of entitlement has been created whereas normally able-bodied adults no longer feel compelled to provide for their families, take care of themselves and contribute to the good of the greater whole  while making sacrifices to accomplish both.  

Somehow, the inspirational words of John F. Kennedy “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” do not seem to resonate in our current culture.  In fact, many believe it is the role and responsibility of the government to provide for the people in a way is destroying personal freedom and erasing incentive to excel at a very basic level.  Not only is this ideology destructive, but it is contrary to everything that has made America prosper for three centuries.

These issues are the core of our national problem, they permeate every aspect of our current crisis and lay a tragic foundation for what we can expect in the future if there is not fundamental change at every level of our society. 

Worse yet, we’ve proven as a nation that we are unwilling to get off the couch and do anything about that which seems to attract so much political debate – that is, LEADERSHIP, by even getting out and voting on a consistent basis.   While current congressional and White House approval ratings are at near all-time lows, it seems many Americans prefer to do nothing more than complain about it, rather than impact the necessary change by getting involved in their community and voting.  In fact, for the “Voter Eligible Population”, approximately only 41% of eligible U.S. voters actually showed up and voted in the 2010 General Election, while slightly over 60% did in 2008. 

America needs great leadership to move forward away from the impending doom that she is headed for, no doubt.  Selecting a President, congress, state and local leaders that have a vision for American greatness is unquestionably a challenge that cannot be overlooked during the next 60 days, and should demand every eligible voters participation.

Keep in mind, however, President Obama is not our only problem, and Mitt Romney is not the only solution.  America has a much larger task at hand after electing a new President and public officials. A major part of that great leadership that America needs actually starts with each individual citizen understanding his and her importance and role in the future of our nation. 

America is not a nation built on a foundation of elected officials.  Instead, her strength and stability is and will always be derived from her citizens passion for exceptionalism, promise for a better future and courage in the face of never-ending world adversity.

Get involved.  America needs YOU.