Archived: Editorial: Shared Sacrifice? Maybe Obama Can Teach Us a Thing or Two


Now that our new president has taken office and spelled out his expectations for his fellow Americans, the hard work begins on getting the country’s political, industrial and community sectors to cooperate.

President Barack Obama’s message asking Americans to sacrifice for the common good may have sounded like a foreign language to many in our country, and the notion of public service and pulling one’s self up is an idea that many may not really understand. For several generations now, our country’s youth has been taught that shared sacrifice is driving the family car until they can get their own. They have been told they are good and loved, no matter what, or how little they do to earn respect or praise.

For those in our financial sector, the common good has come to mean what is good for me, is what’s important.

For those elected to serve in Congress and local governments, the common good means that common citizens have an obligation to support the politicians’ interests — and those who contribute to their needs and political aspirations will be rewarded. It means electing them again, since they know what’s best, no matter what the people think.

But, let’s not linger on President Obama’s expectations for Americans in the general. Perhaps he can make a trip to California where those things he so strongly criticized, petty grievances, false promises, recriminations and worn out dogmas continue to strangle our state legislature. Perhaps he can convince our state leaders to put childish things aside and to confer and compromise so they do not continue to sap the strength of California’s taxpayers through inadequate, costly, and cynical tantrums leading no where, unless you think deeper in the hole is the place to go.

Maybe he can convince them to make the hard choices he spoke about during his speech. Let’s hope so, for all our sakes.

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