Judging the mood of the country through social media posts is a bit like relying on those instant Internet polls. Neither is very accurate and could be slanted depending on who you associate with on social media and who is answering the Internet “surveys.”
I get into exchanges with my network of Facebook “friends” about the state of things in the United States. I at times feel a bit lonely, as so many of those who read my Facebook posts — usually fed from this blog — have swilled the conservative Kool-Aid that makes them think the country has gone straight to hell under the leadership of the “socialist, Muslim-sympathizing, empty-suit fraud,” aka, the president of the United States, Barack Obama.
Others with whom I’m acquainted through this medium tilt the other way and they, too, weigh in with their own thoughts on the state of affairs in America.
I keep getting the feeling, though, that they — and I — are getting out-shouted. My friends on the other side have taken command of the public megaphone and are winning the argument.
One individual today said the nation has gone to pot. She’s given up on things, or so it appears.
This sorrowful attitude makes me wonder about just what has been accomplished since Barack Obama became president. Let me count them, as best I can remember:
* The annual federal budget deficit has been cut by more than half.
* Job growth is accelerating, although not at a rate fast enough to suit many people.
* Domestic energy production is at an all-time high; yes, many have credited private industry, not government, for that fact.
* Home foreclosures have slowed dramatically; meanwhile, new home construction has accelerated. Has anyone taken a look at all the houses being framed in Amarillo lately?
* Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden.
* We’re deporting illegal immigrants at record rates. Our southern border remains too accessible to illegal entrants, but we’re catching them and sending them back to their country of origin.
OK, have we had a run of perfection? Of course not. Then again, no presidential administration in my lifetime has been run perfectly.
International hot spots are burning hotter than ever in Iraq and Syria. Ukraine and Russia are going nose to nose. Israel is defending itself against Hamas terrorists who keep launching missiles into Israeli neighborhoods. Terror groups are kidnapping women and girls in Nigeria, beheading captives in the Middle East and persecuting Christians and other religious minorities throughout the Third World.
Amid all those international crises, critics keep yammering about the United States doing too little. What are the options? Send in ground troops to settle these disputes? Clamp economic embargoes? Do we ship more armaments to our friends, and if so, at what cost? What about those who say we should cut off “all foreign aid” and concentrate solely on the needs of Americans here at home?
It’s fair to ask: Has this country over the past two decades taken on too large an international role in a time when our adversaries have become more diverse, more elusive and pose greater and more varied existential threats than our former, easily identifiable enemy, the Soviet Union?
I am not a Pollyanna. I understand full well the challenges that await us. I also appreciate the challenges we’ve met over the years.
Has the United States of America gone to pot, as so many of my social media acquaintances have suggested? We’re just as strong as ever.