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I have a pretty optimistic viewpoint in general. Not many things get me down and you won't see me filling this blog with post after post of complaints because that's not what I'm about. But today I'm downright depressed, and I'll tell you why.
I keep up to date on the current happenings with the debt crisis because it will have a profound impact on my family's life for probably a decade or more to come. As I've watched this crisis unfold over the period of the past few months, I absolutely cannot believe the level of stupidity that exists in our government today. Almost every major politician is a complete moron. Listen to them speak. Morons. Listen to their points and counterpoints as they argue with each other. Morons.
Most people will say, "Isn't that the way it's always been"? My answer would be no. There's something more going on here. The sheer recklessness with which these people are operating is beyond comprehension. I don't proclaim to be "Mr. Politics" or anything like that, but what's happening here is something that I (and many other people) have never seen before.
To read what I'm talking about, read this editorial piece from David Gergen on CNN.com today:
David hits the nail right on the head with this statement: "It's difficult to remember a Congress that has put the nation at so much at risk in the service of ideology and to hold onto office. Partisans on both sides are grievously failing the country".
The principle of compromise for the common good that this country has always operated under is completely gone these days.
You can look at this from any viewpoint and it's a disaster. The reputation and well being of our country is faltering. The finances of millions of Americans are in ruins. People who were counting on retiring in a few years now have to scrap their plans and find a new way to get by. People (including me) saving for college for their kids have seen those savings accounts decimated which will alter the types of schools that my kids can attend in the future. Unemployment is soaring. Companies are faltering. This is an absolute disgrace.
And President Obama, a man that millions of people (including me) thought would be able to bring this country and its politics together when he was elected, has completely and utterly failed as a leader. I certainly don't expect Obama to fix the economy on his own, but I do expect him to be a leader...which he has not been.
Like him or hate him, Donald Trump said something that's very true today. He said that if President Obama was so worried about the Supercommittee succeeding, then he would have chaired the committee himself to guide it through these troubled times. I couldn't agree more! But instead, Obama was completely hands off and let the committee go down in flames.
So, yes, this depresses the shit out of me because there's no light at the end of the tunnel. All of the Republican candidates running for President are idiots. If Obama wins again, the deadlock will be even worse because Republican resentment toward him will be out of control.
So who the hell can we vote for? I have no answer to that question......and what I'm afraid of is that nobody else does either, and that we're in for some real, long, hard times.
The people opposing this project are short sighted and naive, it's as simple as that.
But what makes matters worse is the fact that the government compounds the stupidity of the project's opposition by slowing the project's progress to a crawl. This sentence caught my eye in the article: "The FAA has reviewed Cape Wind for eight years...". Seriously? Does the Federal Aviation Administration need to take eight full years to review flight patterns over this proposed wind farm site? Eight years?!
At this rate, alternative energy in the U.S. will catch on when we're all gone and the animals roam the earth freely once again. The U.S. government is one of the biggest obstacles that exists to alternative energy, and any politician who says otherwise is a liar. Did you know that the U.S. government still subsidizes the oil companies? Exxon/Mobil made $50 billion last quarter alone. Why do they need to be subsidized?! Seems like they're doing just fine to me without anyone's help...
The U.S. government needs to step in and for once make a difference in a positive way. These alternative energy projects should be given an express path to approval. They save energy and create jobs. The government should mandate that all new construction obtains some percentage of its energy supply from solar panel installations. Etc, etc, etc. The government has the power to do all of this, but they do none of it.
As long as projects like Cape Wind continue to receive this type of intense opposition, alternative energy in the U.S. will remain nothing but a joke and we'll continue to rely on oil for the bulk of our energy. The government needs to stand up for what's right and the opposition to these projects needs to clear out......for the good of the country and the environment.
It has slowly gained momentum over the past 2-3 years. In 2011, it absolutely exploded. Everywhere you look social media is impacting people on a daily basis.
Finally, the "little guy" has a voice. Anyone can speak out about anything, any time, and get local or global attention on their cause if their message is supported by others and spread using social media tools. Most importantly, social media is being used to expose and correct government, social, and corporate injustices around the world. This is perhaps one of its most compelling uses. As I said, it gives the little guy a voice.
If you watch the news (and your favorite social media sites), there are countless examples of global change going on at all levels right now that would have been impossible without social media.
Governments in Egypt and Libya have been toppled. Syria is probably soon to follow. All because the world connected through social media and saw the cause of the citizens of these countries, and it fueled the fire that was already burning. Ruthless dictators must go, and social media gives the citizens their chance to make it happen.
The Occupy Wall Street movements have brought unprecedented exposure to corporate greed, and social media spread the protests globally and they've caught on in other countries as well. It has shed light on global corporate greed in a way that's never been done before....from a grassroots level.
Let's look at things from an individualistic consumer viewpoint, and how we interact with some of the companies that we do business with and how social media has changed the playing surface...
Netflix, in one of the greatest corporate blunders in recent memory, went to change its entire business model in ways that completely angered and alienated its subscribers. Netflix clearly has no understanding of its customer base or what they want. What did people do? They hit Twitter, Facebook, blogs, news outlets, etc, with a massive social media campaign that literally pounded Netflix into submission and forced them to reverse direction on their business model. Individual people.......affecting the business model of a major corporation in only a matter of weeks. Netflix was ruthlessly punished by the very customers that pay for its services. People canceled their subscriptions by the tens of thousands to voice their opinion to Netflix. Great!
Or, how about bank debit card fees. Certain banks announced recently that they would soon be charging monthly fees to use their debit cards. Social media to the rescue! After just a few weeks of very public outcry and rage, the banks backed down and reversed decision on their new fees. Score another win for social media.
Social media tools will force people, corporations, and governments to begin to act in a more socially conscious way whether they like it or not. All of these institutions are being stung by citizen and consumer backlash through social media, and don't think for one second that they're not worried about it. They are. It will change things, and it already is.
Use social media to your advantage. If you feel wronged by a local company, politician, major corporation, etc, hit the social media tools and let people know. Spearhead a movement to force change for the common good. Right the wrong.
And on the other hand, if you have a positive experience let your friends on Facebook, Twitter, etc, know about that too. Point them to the people and companies that do responsible business. Reward the good, and punish the bad.
The whole world is watching. Let's use social media and work together to make it a better place to be. The potential for everyone to do this....now....is here.