A question that comes up far too often in breakfast table discussions at our favorite local restaurant these days is: "Where is America headed?"
The general consensus around the table? "To hell."
While I agree that America as a nation is in trouble and most likely headed for even more problems, I cannot subscribe to the theory that the end is near.
We've been down before. We've faced crisis and even the threat of oblivion before but this nation is a collection of stubborn types who refuse to give up and who, somehow, find a way to survive.
At time, things look too dire, too bad and too damaged to salvage. We have an inept leader in the White House, a bumbling collection of political dinosaurs in Congress and a passive-aggressive populace who are too wrapped up in personal problems and biases to put the needs of a nation ahead of themselves.
So it is not surprising that America finds itself at another crossroads where the obvious question of "can America be saved?" is followed by an even-more-obvious "should American be saved?"
There are many who think that America today is no longer a nation worth loving or saving.
If that is true, then who is at fault? Barack Obama? John Boehner? Harry Reid? The tea party? Democrats? Republicans? The right wing? The left wing? Liberals? Conservatives? Or simply us?
If the answer is "us," then the next logical question is: "How to we fix things?"
That's a good question and the answer is neither easy to answer or implement.
As too many out there learned too late, many so-called "grassroots" organizations are actually fronts for corporate and/or political entities with hidden agendas that have nothing to so with the freedom or the restoration of an America for the people or by the people.
The tea party was the biggest fraud of all -- a phony grassroots group created by a Republican consulting firm for the Koch Brothers -- two right-wing energy billionaires who want to push their own, repressive agenda onto a gullible population.
Sadly, I was once part of that consulting firm -- the senior communications associate who helped create phony grassroots operations designed to help not "the people" but the corporate and political clients.
For example, I once created a group called "Citizens for Rural Internet Broadband Access," a so-called grassroots movement that lobbied Congress for federal money to help build a high-speed access system in rural areas.