The unemployment rate in this country stands at 8.5%.
When you count those working less than they would like and those who have given up the search; the real unemployment rate is 16%.
The economy is fragile; growing at a snails’ pace. Europe could drag us into a depression.
Gasoline prices are rising; approaching $6/gallon in some areas. We have no alternative solution.
46 million Americans live in poverty. (The definition of poverty is $22,314 for a family of four. Half of the families in this country earn less than $47,000/yr.)
45 million Americans live without access to affordable health care.
Our schools are outdated and in need of repair. Our education system is failing our children; leaving them to lag further behind other industrialized countries.
Our infrastructure is crumbling.
Our financial outlook is grim. The debt, which stood at $5 trillion in 2000, now sits at $16 trillion. It will soar to over $25 trillion within the next decade. And that does not include the $50 trillion in unfunded obligations for Medicare and Social Security. Somebody has to pay that bill.
Two more American soldiers were killed in Afghanistan. The ten year unfunded war still rages; fueled only by the political cowardice to bring about its end.
Iran may or may not be building a bomb. Israel threatens to drag us into yet another war.
The Syrians are slaughtering their own citizens while rest of the world stands idly by.
And yet, with all the problems we face, we find the candidates for the most powerful position in the world fighting over contraception, trans-vaginal probes and gay marriage. We are subjected to wild histrionics about faith and personal beliefs that have no bearing on one’s ability to lead our country through these difficult times.
Personally we could not care less if our President is a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew or an atheist. We don’t give a damn if he or she is gay, uses contraceptives or has mastered the rhythm method. What we care about is that our President has an understanding of the problems that we face and a vision on how to navigate us through them.
This food fight over social issues is nothing more than a distraction. It is brought about by a partisanship between our two political parties that is so divisive that it is easier for them to make political points by foolishly debating contraception than it is to actually get anything done for the country.
If this is how our current political systems is going to deal with the gravity of the points enumerated above; then count us among those longing for a viable third party candidate.
That day is coming…if the establishment doesn’t destroy the country first.