Opinion polls tell us that we are angry–at the president, at Congress, at Wall Street, at the insurance industry, at the media and at each other.

 We, my fellow Americans, bear responsibility for America’s problems and national decline. Let our anger lead us to awareness and self examination instead of blame, which is a defense against seeing our responsibility for our problems.

Free Speech Zone

The Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. This is an open forum for articles that otherwise might not find a place for publication, including news articles, opinion columns, announcements and even a few press releases.

 I support President Obama. Like many, I’ve been disappointed in him at times. Smart, hard working, and decent, Obama’s a grown-up too. His recent performances before Republicans (House Republican Retreat and the Health Care Summit) were stunning in his intellectual dominance.

 As much as he wants to bring people together, he presides in an adversarial system. I want him to fight harder. I don’t want him to waste time trying to win over recalcitrant Republicans who only want to destroy his Presidency. They will not change.

 I am angry at Democrats in Congress, especially the Senate. Conflict is inevitable with change and they don’t have the temperaments for confrontation. They are decent, have good intentions, and are right on the issues. 

 But you cannot lead change if your fear conflict and won’t stand up for what you believe in. Democrats need their “moment of authenticity” on health care where they do the right thing (pass the legislation) regardless of what happens to them politically. The times in which we live call for sacrifice for the common good.

 I am angry at Republicans in Congress too. Actually I feel contempt more than anger. I don’t think trying to make our nation’s President fail so they can regain political power serves America well. Republicans can and should have opposing ideas that reflect a deep philosophy of governing. Arguments over the role of government and the role of the marketplace are important arguments to have. But to oppose just to oppose is sinister. They must engage in good faith. Engagement leads to energy, creativity, and new ideas. Disengagement leads to stagnation and decline as a nation.

 I can only shake my head at the 30% of the American people who think Sarah Palin can be president, who spend their days being brainwashed against their self interest by Fox News and Conservative talk radio, and who mindlessly spout the garbage fed to them by these villains and charlatans.

 Don’t these people realize that the people they watch, listen to, and whose views they mindlessly accept don’t care about them? Don’t they understand that those they worship are using them, taking their money, and have no intention of meeting their needs? They need to do a better job of picking their prophets.

 Most of all, my fellow Americans, I am frustrated with those Americans who went to sleep a long time ago and just woke up. The Americans who care, are responsible, and are filled with common sense when they are engaged.

 Where have you been?  It’s about time you got angry.

 We must understand that no hero or heroine is going to rescue us. Quick-fixes are not real. It took time to get into today’s messes–it will take time to get out of them. And it will require sacrifice from each of us. Sacrifice a little to save our planet, fix our financial mess, gain health-care for all, educate our children, and balance the budget. Ask how you can help. Figure out what you want and do what you can do to change what you don’t like. Get involved and engaged. Take responsibility.

 My fellow Americans, direct your anger in a thoughtful way. Get engaged, informed, see through the surface lies, spin, and manipulations. Contribute a few dollars to thoughtful candidates for office. Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper. And vote.

 We need to think, think, think and be rightly angry.


Tom Heuerman

St. Louis Park, MN

(Heuerman, Ph.D. is a former Secret Service agent, newspaper executive, and management consultant)