Holding out for a hero

Maria Nann

“It’s not too late, but it’s getting pretty close.”

When Lee Iacocca made this comment, he wasn’t talking about his bucket-list or winning the lottery. His target was much larger than the dwindling energy that comes with aging or a chance at the jackpot.

Iacocca was referring to the future of our country.

Here we are, America in the year 2008, in a turning point, everyone keeps saying – a decisive moment for our great nation. An exciting presidential election is just months away, and as always, America is making headlines and making history.

And with the looming November election, media and news streams are covering little else but politics. It’s difficult to turn on a television or pick up a newspaper without seeing the smiling face of some shining political star. It’s no longer a solid platform that keeps a candidate going in the political scene, but a flash of the pearly whites and a resounding voice booming a catchy phrase into a microphone in front of thousands of supporters.

Here in America, it’s not what you say, but how you say it that makes all the difference. Glenn Beck put it best when he said, “Washington is Hollywood with ugly people.”

Politicians today seem to think that Americans want someone in office who has all the answers. They hold press conferences and display powered, polished facsimiles of themselves, shooting out answers too well-rehearsed to provide even a hint of authenticity. They pose for camera shots, making sure to flash their brightest smiles in the direction of an elderly, middle-class couple, shaking hands with someone of the opposite sex, hugging someone of another race. They are shoving political correctness down our throats and we, “the people,” are gagging. They have an answer for everything, but it’s never something people don’t want to hear. (Well, at least a simple majority of people, right?)

Instead of having one candidate who has all the politically correct answers, I would like to see a candidate who has just one real answer to one real problem.

We are at war. With no signs of winning and no plans of quitting, it continues, and those in power are doing nothing to stop the battles that daily take dozens of lives. These are the lives of young men and women who are not a part of their families. If we are not going to back down, if we are going to “stay the course,” then shouldn’t we at least have a plan to win?

We have a broken middle class facing no silver lining in the rain cloud that our fractured economic system has become. We desperately lack the ability to keep illegal immigrants out of our country, a problem proving to mount as high as our inability to keep much-needed industry within our borders. According to CCH Financial, with the current rate of inflation, if you save $100,000 dollars over the course of the next 25 years, it will only be worth a little more than $40,000.

And that’s if you can save money. Saving money requires having a job – with wages that are keeping up with the rate of inflation. And every day, more and more of America’s jobs are being shipped overseas to little children working long hours in horrible conditions in a factory in China.

Gas prices. Need I say more?

You can’t fly from one state to another without missing your flight because you have to go through a Homeland Security background check for the toothpaste you have in your cosmetics bag, but a recent Frontline documentary showed that every day hundreds of illegal immigrants pour into our country because corrupt border patrol agents are taking bribes from smugglers.

America has become unable to protect itself, and there is no sign of a leader to show us how to do so.

As Americans, we should be demanding more from our politicians. Why should a candidate’s refusal to accept funds from lobbyists be a valid point of campaign integrity?

We need to start holding our politicians accountable for their actions. The problems our country faces today are not ones to be easily solved. But, easy or not, they need to be solved, and we need to start demanding that they be.

Maria Nann is a sophomore newspaper journalism major and columnist for the Summer Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].