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A little light music: Send in the clowns (please!) page 2
Karen Owen's op-ed column on the insanity of politics in America.

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Date published: 10/28/2012

By Karen Owen


I continue to ask myself: Whatever happened to our can-do spirit? The "America is the best" way of thinking? The "we'll come through this together" notion? The "my candidate may not win, but as an American, I'll support the president" feeling?

It's been a tough century thus far, I'll admit. But we're too impatient: We expect immediate results, a way back to our free-spending, life-is-good ways. We find ourselves dismayed--and rightfully so--by jobs that are, at best, impermanent. Our security blanket--that employment of some sort is available for those who seek it--is gone. There's a sense of unease. We're told: Work hard. Save for retirement, but don't retire just yet. Send your kids to college. Own a home.

To which many of us could well respond: We'd like to! We really would! But some things are out of our hands, just as they were in previous bad times.


Is our reaction to this an indication that America's best times are behind her?

Thinking back to England after World War II, does the U.S. now find itself in this position? After all, England was instrumental in winning the war, but lost, too. The empire was, for the most part, gone. The English people suffered through years of rationing, long beyond V-E Day, and many of them have found themselves on the dole ever since.

Now, I'm not going to get into the socialism debate, or talk about whether we need to get out of Afghanistan or discuss which candidate I feel would do the best job in the difficult times that remain ahead. Regardless of whom we elect, we must contend not only with a perilous deficit but a national poverty rate of about 15 percent.

Our infrastructure is crumbling; our schools face huge challenges; America's manufacturing sector--with its good-paying jobs--has left the building. High school and college graduates cannot find employment.

Our politicians talk about "plans" for economic recovery but offer few specifics.


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