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home : opinions : editorials August 28, 2014


2/5/2014 9:31:00 AM
Editorial
We can choose to help each other

One could argue that this past week's State of the Union shows that America is on a more streamlined path forward. Less big, more do.

President Obama spoke to the nation, and spoke more about taking action - from himself and especially from ourselves - than about sweeping changes or broad visions, which Washington, D.C.'s political climate all but dooms.

The speech also flat-out proved that we are closer to agreeing than we'd all care to believe. That we're ready to celebrate our common cores, no matter what the endless line of pundits say about encouraging a culture of disagreeable discontent.

• Domestic energy production

• Access to higher education

• Wasteful tax codes

• Health and wellness for all Americans

• Pollution controls

• Equality for all

Who among us doesn't support those principles? The president also re-focused the importance of us doing what we can to help ourselves and each other rather than blaming our elected officials either for doing or not doing anything, whichever angle fits the rancor of the day.

"Tonight I ask every American who knows someone without health insurance to help them get covered by March 31st," he said. "Help them get covered."

Are you up for that challenge today, or for simply rehashing old arguments?

Perhaps the most memorable moment of the night was when the president celebrated the sacrifice and honor of Army Ranger Cory Remsburg, a humble hero from Gilbert. "Men and women like Cory," the president spoke, "remind us that America has never come easy."

Which brings us back to Washington, of course, where things aren't just difficult, they stall to a dead stop.

The president suggested ways of working around a dysfunctional Congress. And why not? The president has had unpopular missteps during his terms, there's no question. Congress, on the other hand, hit an all-time low disapproval rating from Americans of 9 percent in November. Congressional approval has rarely been 20 percent or higher in the past three years.

Congress has played an active role in failing to move our country forward, with nearly as many filibusters under this president (82) as under all previous presidents combined (86).

As a collective group - no matter which party we align ourselves with - we're better than that. We can achieve more than that.

There's no time like the present to try.


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