Saturday, March 7, 2009

Things are just fine. I think?

WHY SAY SOMETHING POSITIVE
WHEN SURROUNDED BY NEGATIVES




Within the last six weeks since President Obama gave his inaugural speech, we as a nation have been inundated with one piece of economic bad news after another. Regardless of what we here, virtually everything that we do hear is laced with a highly negative and remarkably blunt analysis of all the troubles we as a nation are facing. As all of this actual negative analysis is based upon actual pragmatic fact, there is virtually no reason in the world that we as Americans should expect to hear or in fact deserve to hear something positive. Yet as the president is only stating the severity of both the scope and complexity of our problems and those problems began to emerge close to a half a century ago, there are people across the spectrum of our nation’s socio-economic make up that are now beginning to say that our president is being too negative. These people are saying that the president should be weaving something positive and hopeful into his speeches.

These people are saying that if the president did say something positive and hopeful, we as citizens of America would respond by doing something positive and hopeful as well. While such an argument has within itself a positive and hopeful dream attached to it, given the fact that we have not in any manner whatsoever managed to do the work that makes the positive and hopeful aspects of dreams come true, belies the fact that we must actually begin to do so.

President Obama has never even for a moment suggested that the challenges our nation is facing are anything less than monumental. He has stated over and over again that work is the recipe for change. He has stated over and over again that the scope of change we are capable of achieving and must confront will not only require work, but a substantial amount of it. As the boss has repeatedly suggested that such work will require the sustained effort of everyone working together to attain the actual potential of our collective brilliance, I find it quite odd that within the time frame of only six weeks, people who seem to be capable of giving themselves the license to do so, are saying to the president that although we have ignored fifty years worth of opportunities to come together as a nation, six weeks in office should be more than enough time to have effectively transformed the history of political laziness that has brought us to the problems we face today.

It is absolutely amazing to me that for a man to have inspired a nation to retrench itself and in doing so establish a sense of national self discipline that has been entirely lacking in this country for far too long, so many of his countrymen have within just six weeks concluded that because President Obama stated that such change could happen, it already has. Thinking in quite a convoluted manner, the partygoers of our nations past fifteen years are already beginning to state to themselves that we as a nation have endured enough hardship and its time to move forward with the magical ideas espoused by a magical president and in doing so use positive words filled with hope rather than pragmatic words filled with fact to characterize the fact that the work we are all supposed to be doing and have yet to start is actually work that will undoubtedly serve to redefine our collective national maturity for decades to come.

While our nation’s leaders should be presenting a certain collective sense of optimism as to the severity of what it is we are actually facing and we as a nation should collectively be responding to that optimism with even more optimism, the fact of the matter is that many of those within the role of political leadership in our nation most likely shouldn’t be in such a role. The reason why they shouldn’t is simple, without the actual ability to contribute to the solution neither pessimism nor optimism has any real bearing on the work that needs to be done. Having said this, perhaps the reason why many in America are tired of hearing dire economic forecasts is the sense we collectively have of the credentials policy makers claim as their own distinct and separate privilege. More to the point, as that sense of privilege is cloaked in their association with other “experts” who claim to have the same privilege, the license required of professionals charged with reshaping our nations 21st century industrial model has in so many different fields of expertise, quite simply not even been invented yet. None the less, as America waits for insightful leadership to arise from arrogance and that arrogance is shrouded in the absurdly blind protectionism of nitwit political egos, America waits in vain.

The question becomes why. Why is it that with the combined brilliance and combined ego of experts are so many so of our leaders so remarkably stupid?

An answer to this question can be found and should be found within the foundation of what we in America have created and have come to cherish as the holy grail of our nation’s socio-economic progress. America’s universities both public and private, America’s community colleges, America’s high schools both public and private and America’s public and private grammar school education systems have long ago disassociated themselves from the act of applying education to the actual needs of the communities they are supposed to serve. As getting an education has for decades been associated with leaving the surroundings of one’s cultural upbringing, as education has been viewed as a license to achieve for one self at the expense of the community and neighborhood one belongs to, departure from neighborhoods for a job as a space shuttle astronaut has taken precedent.

Yet within the context of virtually every advanced degree in industrial science, within the context of every one child who left home to pursue that degree there is the larger context of the ten who did not. While the ten who did not achieve a doctorate at Harvard may very well be viewed by the one that did as somehow redundant and inconsequential to the larger purpose of advancing our industrial sciences, we as a nation today experiencing collective redundancy might very well be inspired to few this anomaly as a tremendously powerful if not terrifying warning sign.

Again, I must reiterate that in as much as President Obama has managed through his remarkable use of our contemporary English language create a national if not international dialogue that is clearly serving to bridge our collective educational gap the gap remains. Unfortunately for our president and our nation, of all of those who he has recruited to move us collectively beyond our American educational redundancy, every one of them have advanced degrees in education. While not a single member of his cabinet, while not a single appointed czar is an ordinary American brick layer, while not a single expert on his staff actually knows how to frame a house or install an additional electrical outlet in their kitchen, they are all quite capable of convincing themselves that those who do possess such skills must ultimately wait for a Rhodes scholar to hire them before America will be able to produce a sustainable 21st century public electric utility grid or an actual working model of a national public transit system.

As the ten who did not go to Harvard and who admire immensely the brilliant industrial skills of the kid in the neighborhood who did, we quite sadly as a nation are nothing but a group of under delegated, under achievers. When does the gifted child come home? When does he or she upon his arrival home come to see that the other ten as just as gifted? When does the one who has the capacity to delegate common sense progress become viewed not for his or her advanced doctorate but for his or cumulative degrees in life long learning. Can an environmental scientist learn to take orders from a garbage man?

The myth of American education has unfortunately become the rule from which counter productivity reigns and within this counter productivity, polished essays with either negative or positive slants on the hopes for America’s future potential are virtually meaningless. The work our nation is embarking upon today does not in any manner whatsoever suggest that false pride has a place of significance at the community table. As such false pride has become the false recipe of our failed national meal, organic gardeners, many of whom are garbage truck drivers are waiting just as patiently as agricultural scientists who are also organic gardeners for someone to actually produce an industrial blueprint that allows us as a nation to simply get on with the fine art of 21st century socio-industrial cooking we are collectively capable of celebrating.


The Blue Collar Industrialist


M. Patrick Dahlke

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