The Great American Problem

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution society and mankind has boomed in terms of areas such as technology, population, and knowledge.  This is relatively understood by most individuals as a basic historical concept, what is rarely considered however is the ramifications of such amazing human advances.  

With the invention of new things and concepts there comes a natural by-product and this by-product is simply new problems, be they social, economic, moral etc.  With this historical concept defined we can now move into the identification of America’s most prevalent problem, the underlying issue behind it, and how we as a nation can make progress towards its rectification.  

America has consistently been believed to be one of the greatest nations in the world, this is not arguable as our economic, political, and physical influence have led to us becoming an international superpower within the modern world.  But to understand America’s most dangerous issue we must first understand what allowed us to rise to power, to begin with.  

The American government system can be whittled down to two core concepts, one being the idea that every individual has a personal duty of scholarship, and two being the idea that anyone can rise to be a leader.

The great American problem emerges when you look at any modern political issue. When any issue comes to debate or consideration, it has become the American way to side with your political affiliation, regardless of whether their stance holds any merit.

We have American politicians who stand before their constituents and debate things they have no knowledge of and have no intention of researching, on all sides of the political.  Do we fire these people and find more qualified individuals to replace them?

No, this would be a band-aid solution and an (at the moment) improbable one at that due to the simple fact of that in the American Democracy politicians are directly chosen by the vote of the people.  Incompetent politicians are simply a symptom of a much more serious issue.  

The most severe adaptive issue America faces today is not the wrong people being elected, but rather the wrong type of people electing them.  As a culture, we have moved away from the founding idea of Scholarship that enabled farmers, writers, actors, and soldiers to rise through our political system to become some of our greatest leaders.

They had to research and learn about issues before any voters would listen to them as historically the average citizen stayed up-to-date on the issues their politicians represented them on, leaving no room for representatives that did not truly understand the issues they spoke about.

There are no and should not be any educational requirements to take political office in America, instead, we need to again move back toward the idea of Scholarship.  Progressively we have morphed the idea of education into a step by step process by which we gain knowledge in our one field (the field of our profession).  While this is a great formula for producing workers, it will never produce scholars, what is needed instead is for those of us who are aware of the dangerous area America has entered to step forward.  To make progress in this issue we will need to return to the old political system of compromise, once it was the goal of politicians to move toward better things even if that meant conceding slightly to the opposing view, now, however, the only concern is winning.  

For change to be possible politicians and more importantly voters will have to humble themselves and recognize that their side is not perfect and engage all factions in a call for change.  Before any solutions or progress can be made in correcting our cultural relationship with Scholarship we must first acknowledge as a nation how badly we have moved away from the ideal and then we must acknowledge the damage it has done within our own factions in order to then rectify them.

In conclusion, the great American problem is not our political system, nor our belief that anyone can rise to greatness and lead.  In fact, this will likely hold the key to our salvation as this cultural return to roots will not begin with the “qualified professionals” we have elected, they know and understand that their voters are not informed, and they have profited handsomely.  But rather we will have to raise each other up and move forward despite the opposition of those who would think us radicals and traitors within our own factions.

Submitted by Matt Baity

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