Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Decade of Failure leads to a Decade of Hope

This decade began with a failure of the basis of our Democracy, elections being in doubt. Despite clear and documented irregularities in the 2000 Presidential election the Supreme Court stopped a recount that could have determined who was actually elected President.

On September 11, 2001 Americans were horrified as we saw that there was a failure in security. We were not protected by the oceans from attack. We found out that our government and President failed to respond to clear warnings that could have prevented this disaster.

In March of 2003 their was a failure of leadership and honesty, as the world and Americans were horrified that a President of the United States lied to its citizens to lead us into war with Iraq. We learned there were no weapons of Mass Destruction, and we had attacked a country that though impudent militarily due to no fly zones and sanctions, who had not attacked us and had nothing to do with 9/11.

In 2004 once again the world and American were horrified as we learned that our Country was torturing Prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Later we sat in disbelief as we heard our President and Vice President defend waterboarding. There was a failure to live up to the morals our nation had always held dear. We would never be looked on the same by the world again.

Election day 2004, our frustration grew as once again our ability to hold fair elections were in doubt. There was clear manipulation by the Secretary of State in Ohio to alter the voting results. Resources were shifted, voting machines were proven to be inaccurate, yet once again a winner was declared without knowing for sure who actually got the most votes.

August 29 2005, perhaps the most clear failure of the decade. We watched in horror as an American City drowned after Hurricane Katrina. We watched as there was a clear inability of our government to respond to a disaster that they saw coming for weeks. We had been lead to believe that our Homeland Security had been improved yet Katrina proved quite the opposite. The world watched in horror as the Country they depended on to help respond to help the world in such disasters couldn't help itself.

September 15, 2007 a failure of disastrous proportions became evident in our economic system. We found that all the protections placed on our financial institutions after the Great Depression had been gutted to allow such a disaster again. We saw banks failing, record foreclosures, jobs being lost at staggering rates, and we saw a President in the waning days of his term trying to wait out the clock to avoid having to deal with the reality of the mess.

November 4, 2008 The decade of hope began. So many believed including myself that this country could not move beyond race to elect an African American President. There was even fear the election system problems would again put the will of the people in doubt. Yet as we sat there in campaign headquarters, or in our homes that night and watched the images from Grant Park in Chicago. The feeling of utter pride and joy in our nation, in our democracy was gushing. I cried that night as all the frustrations about the failures of the previous 8 years felt somehow washed away. My faith was being restored in our nation and the leaders of the future. The America I loved, I believed in, was back.

We have seen in the final year of the decade that restoring hope is not easy. It is not done in one election. The damage of the failures of the previous 8 years was deep, it was going to take a lot of work, a lot of hard decisions to fix it. Americans are understandably skeptical. It will take continued successes by our President to earn their trust once again. We must do what we can to help with that success by continuing to vote for Congress People and Senators that are leaders not obstructionists. We must make our voices heard, we must shout out the successes that are made. When we are not happy with something we also must communicate the desires we have to our leaders to do more.

The 2000's were indeed a decade of failure, but I have belief in the wisdom and the leadership of President Barack Obama. Therefore I have no doubt, the 2010's will be not only a decade of hope, but a decade of success for our nation.

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