What the hell has happened to the American spirit, anyway? No wonder we're losing to China. No wonder we look like a nation that is groping for something to believe in.
We live in an age of cynicism. Everyone has his or her hand out. Focus groups decide all. Approval ratings are almighty.
It shouldn't be that way. We should do things to help one another and not because it is expedient from a political point of view. It has been this way for so long, it's hard to remember when it wasn't.
Whenever someone tries to do something positive, we immediately look for an ulterior motive.
Look at President Obama's commendable speech after the Tucson tragedy a few weeks ago. The POTUS bravely called for an end to all of the partisan nonsense that passes for politics as usual in the United States.
He called for both sides to wave a white flag at the same time, in the interest of the country's welfare. Whether you love or loathe the president, you had to admire his sentiment. It was about time, too.
People had been killed — and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords had been seriously wounded — by a lunatic gunman who some say was pushed over the brink by the national noise. I'm not sure I buy that armchair-psychology argument. It seemed just a little too pat. But it's worthwhile as a catalyst to convince the red and blue states to dial down the static just a bit.
When Obama tried, it sounded like a really good idea.
Unless he had an ulterior motive, of course.
Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com. Click here to read his latest column.
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