In our complicated, burgeoning world, Americans want what they want NOW. Their patience for a positive outcome, be it that time is a requisite to fix our problems, has no bearing on their need for immediate gratification. Can you imagine our citizens’ chagrin that, although President Obama has held office for only a year-and-a-half, they are furious with him for not delivering the change that he promised? Excuse me: how long did it take the New Deal to pass? How much longer did it take to assess the impact of FDR’s legacy? How many decades (centuries?) after the Civil War did it take for our country to enact and implement equal rights? Americans want what they want and they want it yesterday.
I have tried to expand on this issue in some of my postings, but when I found this Op-Ed piece in the Washington Post today, I knew I could not say it any better:
I remember after 9/11 and right before we commenced the war with Iraq, Colin Powell was speaking before the U.N. He showed photos of supposed mobile units carrying weapons of mass destruction. Of course, we now know that that evidence was fictitious. Nevertheless, one point Powell stressed was that should we enter into a war with the terrorists (and the big lie was that Iraq was responsible for the terrorist attacks of 9/11), America was going to have to have great patience with that process. He warned that it would be a long, tedious war. He openly admitted that America typically has no patience, no long-term outlook, when things get tough. Well, Powell was wrong about the premise for entering into war with Iraq, but absolutely correct in his summary of the character of America. The war in Afghanistan has turned into the longest war in our nation’s history and yes, our patience is long gone.
So too, for all the other problems that ail us. Health care reform, financial restructuring, job creation, immigration overhaul and environmental matters are all now placed at President Obama’s feet with a huge sign reading “FAILURE”. My, my, my! How incompetent is this man Obama that he couldn’t save our nation and world in a mere 1 1/2 years?
Get real, America. And while you are at it, get some long-term outlook and patience. You’ll have to wait for your Maypo: