Wednesday, July 11, 2012

That vision thing

Recently I had the pleasure of riding a train from California across the country and gained perspective as I looked out over a lot of our beautiful terrain. And sharing some of that perspective I ask you to consider the recent debate about high speed rail lines in the context of vision. Some have been against it, so I think it worth reminding that the United States now does not have a manned space vehicle. You may think that's ok, but our astronauts need to hitch a ride with Russian astronauts on their nation's rockets, or maybe soon with Chinese on theirs.

People who fight against big projects can feel really justified talking about costs that make sense to them, but the direction of humanity itself, and the big picture of leading the future may escape them. And they might shrug at the idea of the mighty United States of America needing other nations to help our astronauts get into space.

I do not.

For those wondering what a loss of American leadership looks like, you can see it with every news story when our astronauts need the help of some other nation to get into space.

That loss happened under Republicans and Democrats who are currently back to arguing, about what?

Do you really care?

The two primary parties of this nation have lost their way, do not know what they are doing, but the consequences are real as American leadership in the world slips away.

Sure they may tell you repeatedly that we're the greatest nation on earth, but since when did we have to brag? Need someone to tell us we're great?

Politicians can SAY anything. But you can feel our nation drift.

High speed rail is just one thing. But how many things will there be that you lose? California moved forward. Other states did not.

It's time to remember America. Remember a nation that got things done without excuses, and without bold claims against evidence like asking other nations to let us hitch a ride.

The best of us understand that our future is waiting to be made through adversity, trial, and overcoming difficulty.

Being human does not get easier.

Accomplishment is not a given.

You never assume you're done. You're always just looking for the next big thing, the next challenge to push, further.

Or you're hitching a ride.

Though I am just one citizen like you I like that vision thing. Let's move ourselves.

Quit waiting on politicians. Let's start another party, and get back to guiding our own destiny as a nation.

Sure, our astronauts may need other people's rockets but we still have plenty of things as a nation and no need to lose any more.

Thought I'd add a picture this time from my trip across country. Think it's fitting. We are at a junction in our nation's history. What will YOU do?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A political reality

The US Congress got things done last week including a very important bill that addressed national infrastructure, and I'm glad to be able to say nice things about them.

Our government needs to work.

Oddly enough, a massive storm that has created a problem with getting electricity for quite a few people in this nation including in the area of Washington D.C. helps to see the criticality of a working government.

My own position is simple enough about the answer for the purpose of government.

The role of government is to protect and enable its citizens.

Currently crews are racing and working very hard to enable citizens in areas hit hard by a storm to have electricity. I praise their efforts and wish them the best.

Politics is more than talking points, or well-dressed people in suits haranguing each other in far off places, like Washington D.C. as ultimately it is about--who will be there to protect you when things really go really, very wrong?

Who will help when something shatters some part of your life?

People forget when things go well. Our path to HUGE debts was started when the government ran surpluses and people worried we might pay off the national debt! Economists debated if that might be a terrible thing.

We moved down a path, and lead the world down a path, and it is a political reality.

Thinking ahead is not a crime. Politics does not have to move well only when people hurt or find their lives are being destroyed. But that unfortunately does give perspective.

Our nation is changing. That change is being driven by forces outside of people's control.

That is often how it happens. THAT is political reality.

Americans across this nation will celebrate our nation's birthday tomorrow, and along with all the other patriotic themes, thoughts and concerns, I suggest you appreciate seemingly simple things in your life.

Things that seem simple until they are gone, like electricity.

Our government must work for US. We demand that first and foremost as American citizens if we ask for that most critical to its function.

Politics is not about speeches, empty promises or endless debate. It is not about partisan or bi-partisan.

Politics is not a dirty word. It is not something you avoid without cost. It is not that something far away in a distant land called Washington D.C. which you consider only when you must.

Political reality is that politics is your government defending you, enabling you to have the brilliant life possible that we call being an American.

Never forget. It's time to remember America.

Our country, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all is a dream that should never die.

And it depends on a citizenship. A duty of each person.

You will not fail this nation. I believe in YOU, who are the United States of America.

James Harris