The push to create a Truth Commission to discover the underlying causes of several Bush Administration decisions is another painful episode in our lives of disquieting distractions.
Yes, I want “The Big Lie” that led to our invasion of Iraq to be found out and its progenitors punished, but I don’t want this to be the on-going headline for the next few years.
Reveal these mistakes. Take just action. Then move on.
As a people, we have a finite amount of energy to invest in what’s important in our lives. Too much focus on the past will steal valuable energy from our efforts to solve the biggest problem of our lifetime and the one that could significantly diminish the full promise of many lifetimes to come; that is, the need to heal our seriously ailing economy.
In my world there exists two types of energy – positive and negative – and one will consume the other if given the chance. “Confidence” is positive energy and essential to our immediate and long range economic and cultural survival. We need confidence in our economic recovery plan, confidence in our political system and its leaders, confidence in the dollar and, most of all, we need confidence in ourselves. That’s a tall order and will require compromise, conciliation and a large measure of personal faith from everyone.
We need the media to moderate its coverage of bad acts and focus more on the enormous promise of new energy and ecologically sensitive technologies, and use its pulpit to foster new ideas that will shape a new world filled with opportunity and plenty for all. We also need leaders of both political parties to sign a “Truce of Civility” promising the American people that the days of criminalizing and dehumanizing each other are over.
Remember, just as our economy collapsed under a perfect storm of horrific and costly events – The blunders of the Bush Administration and, admittedly, those that preceded him, the toxic effects of highly publicized partisan rancor, the terminal effects of CRA, the Mortgage mess, Wall Street greed, financial crooks with unregulated reach – Our entire society as we know it, the once Great Society, will succumb and certainly fail if a separate storm emerges from a contagious and irreparable loss of confidence.
The impact of economic weakness pales when compared to the fatal consequences of a society plagued with cynicism, anger, distrust, retribution, reticence and defeatism.
It’s hard to find your way in a hostile world without light.
It’s impossible if your search is without hopeful purpose.
If you choose to validate President Obama’s pre-election claim that in times of trouble people tend to turn to their guns and religion for solace, so be it.
I know we’re in trouble, deep trouble, and I’d rather be a New Age Confidence Man and invest my energies pushing forward, helping to get this economy and our country going again.
It won’t be easy and it won’t come quickly.
And it won’t come at all unless we’re confident of the outcome.