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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Our great country has some not-so-great features

As a former elected official, I don’t pretend to speak for every citizen in the country or my readers. But as we enter this holiday period, it’s fair to say that the vast majority of Americans are just plain tired of a lot of things that are dragging down our nation.

There may be a few diehards left in Washington who are spoiling for a war in Syria or Iran, but America is war-weary. After the tragedies in Afghanistan and Iraq, there aren’t many people left who are champing at the bit to start another fight. President Obama recognizes that it’s time to try something different, and has reached out to the government of Iran to see if peace is possible.

Within minutes of the announcement of a short-term agreement with Iran to freeze its development of nuclear arms, a handful of opportunistic Republicans and Democrats eagerly jumped in to oppose any deal. They want more sanctions, which would mean Iran would never come to the table to talk if its situation gets any worse. So why not try talking, even if it lasts only a few months?

Americans are tired of Washington and many of the elected officials who inhabit it. Every election year, the voters are promised that it’s time for bipartisanship, but nothing happens. We go from year to year with no federal budget, a paralyzed Congress, no legislation of any substance and wasted taxpayer dollars. It’s no wonder that a recent Gallup poll showed that 61 percent of the participants were willing to vote their representatives in Congress out of office.

Americans are equally tired of the fact that our economy has improved only slightly, and that there are fewer jobs available now than at any time since the Depression. Our college graduates have little to look forward to. Saddled with debt and with fewer career choices available, many of the young people who will inherit the earth are dispirited.

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