cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
December 7th marks yet another anniversary of that day in 1941 when the United States was attacked by Japan when that country hit the Pearl Harbor naval force in a series of aerial attacks that killed thousands. If you have ever had the opportunity to visit the memorial that stands today in Pearl Harbor, you probably came away with a feeling that those souls still inhabit the Arizona.
That was a long time ago in one sense and a short while ago in another.
Our country continues to have enemies, and we continue to fight those enemies. We continue to spend lives and money in those fights; yet the fights go on seemingly interminably without "victory". Tom Brokaw wrote a book about the " greatest generation" in which he retold the stories of the men and women who fought for this country on two fronts in what was certainly among the bloodiest of all wars this country has endured.
The resolve of our fighting men and women today seems on a par with that of our forefathers even while the technology of warfare has advanced many fold since that time. The change, if there has been a change, is not in the quality of our young men and women in uniform.
The question that stands out, however, is that of the resolve of our governing elite. Too often it seems, we go headlong into the fray only to see our country's resolve die away early on. It is as if we, in this time of instant gratification and short attention spans, have lost the ability to stay the course until the job has been finished. Citizens in those times past lamented the loss of lives and the tremendous effect that wars had on the economy. Coupons were issued to civilians for the purchase of essentials that armies and navies required in order to continue the fight. The citizens moved into the vacant positions of industry and the country produced "Suzy the Riveter" as the result.
The leaders of today, for one or another reason, simply do not appear to have the capability of long-term resolve. It may be that we, as a country, have lost that ability. The 24 hour news cycle may have sped the time in which resolve decays. Our lives of plenty may have sapped our resolve to persevere.
All this begs the question of just how we would react if we suffered another Pearl Harbor. Have we already answered that question by the manner in which we reacted to the Trade Centers crumbling before our eyes? Is that loss of thousands of souls any less dastardly than was the loss in Pearl Harbor? Is this testimony simply to the fact that we have become so intent on getting more of everything that we no longer have time to defend our sovereignty?
Our leaders, as much as we might like to claim otherwise, are a cross-section of us. The leaders we elect represent who we are at those points in time. The people we see as those we wish to be leading us into the future are elected by popular vote. There are issues political that span the party designations we typically employ, so this is a broader issue than simply one or another political party.
How will we rank among those generations when someone again years down the road asks the question about our generation? Will we be ranked as among those "greatest generations"? I fear the answer may disappoint, but of course only our descendent's will still be saddled with whatever our shortcomings might have been, so why bother to even ask the question?
The Curmudgeon Blog today is titled "Public Health Plan?".