07/30/11 — Scarlett O'Hara'd: When you 'think about that tomorrow' or pay no attention, disaster looms

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Scarlett O'Hara'd: When you 'think about that tomorrow' or pay no attention, disaster looms

This week has been one of the best advertisements ever for why most people in this country need to stop ignoring what is going on in Washington.

It has been easy to do that until now.

We could watch our reality TV, find reasons why our already over-stuffed lives could not possibly hold an interest in politics, government or even what local, state and federal leaders were doing with our money.

"That's why we hired them, after all, and 'American Idol' was on," we might have said back in the good, old days of having the luxury of less stressful things to worry about. We could even take the time to care who took home the mirror ball trophy on "Dancing with the Stars."

But now, we have realized what happens when you sink back into a Scarlett O'Hara frame of mind and let someone else make decisions, cut deals and play around with your tax money.

You get skunked.

And now, thanks to more than a few years of government's bad decisions, Americans are finally starting to realize that they cannot continue to trust anyone whose livelihood is dependent on getting re-elected. They forget for whom they are working and how they got those great jobs with the super duper benefits.

We talk all the time about how Americans don't read anymore, don't pay attention to the news, don't know the very basic information about how their country works.

We lament a voting process that is dependent on bending the rules to practically beg those who couldn't care less about having a vote to cast an uninformed one -- all in the name of partisanship.

But what we do not always seem to remember is that when we encourage this sort of behavior -- and we do not engage in the governing of our nation -- we jeopardize the very freedom we covet so much.

So it is time for a rebirth in this country.

It is time for people to pay attention to what their local, state and national governments are doing, where their money is going and who is cutting deals to keep their jobs or to turn a tidy profit.

We need accountability again -- and we are only going to get it if we demand it.

Sure laws and regulations are boring. Sure what the City Council or Congress decides is less interesting than what's on "Gossip Girl."

But we cannot afford not to care anymore or to think about the state of our country tomorrow. Our children and grandchildren's futures depend on it.

Published in Editorials on July 30, 2011 11:38 PM