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Let’s Fix America: Time To Start Asking The Right Questions


So, there’s really nothing more arrogant than suggesting that not only is America “broken” but that one has all the answers on how to “fix” it. And to be honest, as much as I would like to truly be that arrogant, I still have the crippling insecurity that comes along with anyone who wants to make their living via some form of expression. So, perhaps a promise of the “answers” is misleading and not what I intend to feature.

Without trying to sound infuriatingly philosophical, the search for good answers only begins when we start asking the right questions. For example, last week President Obama gave an important speech to the nation discussing America’s response to the threat posed by ISIL. While many of the old-school warmongers are just itching to “go to war” against these terrorists, President Obama’s plan is slightly more nuanced.

Except the President was vague in laying out his plan to the American people, so it’s imperative that the news media ask the best questions about what’s happening, rather than falling victim to the horserace.

Rather than critique what specifics we did get, some on Fox News are gloating that the President “sounded like” a conservative, simply because he spoke in strong terms about fighting Islamic extremists. The right question to ask is: Are Americans going back to war in Iraq?

Judge Jeanine Pirro – an actual former judge and elected official from New York, though it boggles the mind – took the President to task about war…only that he didn’t say it. As noted by Mediaite.com, Pirro said, “Just weeks before a midterm election, the vast majority of Americans, Mr. President, believe you don’t have a clue about foreign policy. You refuse to use the word “war.” What’s with the “counterterrorism offensive”? Who do you think you are, Jack Bauer?”

Yet, there are mixed signals coming from the Administration. Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry told CNN that the U.S. is not “at war” with ISIL, saying that was the “wrong terminology.” However, on Friday, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said that while the ISIL campaign is not comparable to the Iraq War of the past, but The Pentagon considers themselves “at war with ISIL.”

With the President not going to Congress for the authorization (more on this later in the week) to fight ISIL, it’s imperative that the national discussion stay focused on what is happening and not how those making happen come across politically. While this is  just one example, it exemplifies the larger problem. Rather than going for the politically “juicy” angle, we should be chasing the answers that help Americans make informed decisions about whether or not they are being lied to.

But how does one know that? We address it Monday.

Photo by DOD via Wikicommons

About the author

Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. Along with news and current events, he writes about parenting, art, and personal stories. His serial fiction story "The Prophet Hustle" is available at JukePop.com and a forthcoming independent ebook about the cam-modeling industry "Dirty Little Windows" will be available later this summer.