Monday, March 24, 2008

Decision 2008

Optimism And Action: Ingredients For Change In America
By Sara Bauknecht

In middle class America, the American dream feels like it is becoming out of reach. The country people once flocked to with the hope of beginning a prosperous life is now forcing some individuals to start anew as homes are foreclosed, vehicles are repossessed, and soldiers are sent to war. For many, the economy’s declining state seems like a bad dream showing no sign of ending until someone sparks a revolution of change in America.

With the 2008 presidential election less than nine months away, many people are hoping its candidates will be the catalysts needed to ignite change throughout the country. In response to America’s cry for change, presidential candidates are promising to implement fresh ideas and policies if elected in order to breathe life back into the country’s crippled state of affairs. Although these promises are not guarantees for action, they are glimmers of hope for those individuals feeling the financial and emotional strains of a weakening America.

While many are finding refuge in these promises for change, others remain leery they are just empty statements. When the election is over, some predict politics will continue as usual. Others fear the fervor that made these promises once seem possible will vanish and leave them lifeless like balloons slowly drained of the helium that once kept them afloat. For Americans with these mindsets, both the present and the future look bleak.

Although America is in the midst of a rocky time, the months leading up to a presidential election should be a season of hope. While the next presidential administration could fail to improve the country, it could also end up being the source of change America needs. However, change cannot happen if people do not believe it is possible.

Change can also fail unfold if there is no action to propel it. If people let their pessimistic perceptions of government prevent them from engaging in the political process, Americans will never see their country reach its fullest potential. But, through taking time to learn about the candidates and to vote, Americans can participate in healing the country’s government rather than just criticizing it.

Even though America’s future is uncertain, it is affected by its citizens’ attitudes and behaviors. If people are not willing to contribute to mending the country, it is not fair for them to criticize it or its leaders. So, instead of dwelling on the areas where change is needed in America, Americans should strive to become a part of the change through maintaining an optimistic perspective and voting next November. Through incorporating these ingredients for change into people’s daily lives, it may be possible to restore the American dream and to place it back into the reach of middle class Americans.

No comments: