Thursday, September 9, 2010

What happened to quality in America?

After returning from a relaxing weekend in South Carolina, where I left my iPhone in the guest house and the iPad zipped up in my laptop bag, I think I finally found the outside perspective I was looking for these past few months. During the time I was there, every conversation with my Godparents, my Father, and the many, many people we chatted with, boiled down to one thing: quality.

Monday evening I turned on the boob tube for the first time in four days, and there was nothing of any quality I wanted to watch. As I flipped the channels, I realized there’s not much more than a bunch of pollution we Americans choose to spend our time absorbing. Even the news lacks quality. Why do I think this? First off, reporters choose topics they feel are relevant that the public needs to know about. They gather stories from sources and conduct research, then compile all that information into a story of what they feel is comprised of the most relevant information. Then, this article gets sent to and editor, who revises it further. The final product has gone through at least two cycles of edits before reaching the public. And depending on who is writing and doing the editing, what’s being reported just might not be factual. Take Fox News as a shining example. Also, will Hilary’s hair really matter in a year? Maybe in a historic costume book, but overall no. So why is the media talking about her hair so much? It drives me nuts!

My Godmother actually made Glenn Beck’s rally make sense to me, because the message she got from his escapade was one of having hope and faith. She talked about how America is in a time now where we do not trust politicians, but at the end of the day, no one can take away our hope and our faith. While on the trip home from relaxing Briar’s Creek (, I couldn’t help but remember that Obama ran on change and hope. Obama’s message of hope and change may have won him the White House, but what I feel we lack in our President, and several other politicians, is faith. The quality of their campaigns must match the quality of their effectiveness as elected leaders. We, as a people, are tired of being the subjects of political marketing campaigns and subliminal brainwashing. What happened to the values America was founded on? Can you remember then? Do they represent us today?

What happened to the quality of life of the people of the United States? In Europe, they test food products several times before distributing it to their people. Here, we wait until ten or fifteen people die or end up in the hospital before the FDA steps in. If we don’t care about the quality of products we’re selling in grocery stores across the nation, what does that say about how elected leaders feel about those they represent? No wonder girls at the age of six are starting their periods because they have too many lipids in their diets.

Most importantly, what happened to caring about the quality of life for my children and my grandchildren? It seems we develop campaign strategies to get politicians elected today or tomorrow, but no one polls about where we want to see things in ten or twenty years. Where are the politicians with the long-term plans for our nation? When I purchased my car back in April, I selected the safest vehicle they make. Why not something sporty? Within the next ten years I probably will have children, and I will most likely still be driving that car. Planning ahead, a long way ahead, and working backwards to set goals to get us where we want to be is the only way we’re ever going to get anywhere.

It seems we’re too caught up in frivolous campaign efforts that sling so much mud back and forth we all look like we just came from an underground coal mine. We’re sick of the negative campaigning. We’re ready for positive, quality candidates with solid long-term plans for improving the quality of our nation. WWhy are the DNC and the RNC raising millions of dollars for campaign efforts just to keep a few people in their seats? Think how many other efforts that money could go to, like sending kids to college who can’t pay for it, or putting some of it towards paying off our tremendous debt, or for testing food products before we eat them. While I understand it’s important to keep elected officials in office, (if elections weren’t important I wouldn’t have a job), what’s even more important is the work they do for those they represent. Now, more than ever, when we’ve lost faith in the quality of American government, we need to push for more open government, (also called Gov 2.0), and take back America not for ourselves, but for future generations. Being selfish never got anyone anywhere.


  1. Excellent.
    May I suggest that you please distill to 450 words and submit as an op/ed?
    Love Gov 2.0 and the passion ...

  2. Well said. I fear that you've hit on something with the "quality" idea. It's difficult to do "the hard things" like go to the moon. (Remember that JFK said, "we go to the moon and do the other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.") From healthcare to energy and the environment, we get mired in the details and lose the big picture. And because it's anathema to raise (or even maintain) taxes for any reason, government doesn't have money to do the hard things--or even basic tasks like maintaining infrastructure. I agree with Howard--it would be great to see an oped like this!

  3. Thank you all so much! Your comments made my day, and I will make a more concise version of this post and submit for an op-ed!