It was just two weeks ago, while speaking at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in New York City (two weeks before a doctor would take Ebola bowling in that very same city), that President Barrack Obama said, “[T]here’s a sense possibly that the world is spinning so fast, and nobody is able to control it.”
When the Commander-in-Chief of the world’s greatest super power acknowledges our “spinning out of control” feeling, maybe there is truth to the notion that we are living in times of extreme crisis. Housing crisis. Student loan crisis. Job crisis. Health care crisis. Immigration crisis. Name your own crisis, and chances are, it has made its way through the news cycle. Try it. Think of a noun, add it to the word “crisis” and Google it. I tried it with the word “animal” and learned all about “rampant over-crowding” of our nation’s shelters. This worked with several common nouns until I got to the word “pudding.” Turns out, there is no crisis in the pudding industry, but I did get some interesting articles about Bill Cosby.
A few years back, an internet sensation was born out of images of the President with a stern look on his face, a pointed finger and some bold face wording. “Everyone Chill Out!” it said, “I Got This!” And the President did use the remainder of his DNC speech this month to outline his plan for these “out-of-control” times.
Overwhelmingly though, his sentiments seemed a far cry from the first-term confidence that made him an internet meme sensation. Public opinion on the handling of Ebola, for example, is an ever-growing blight on the White House, according to CNBC and other news outlets. Public confidence in government wanes. The Obama “I Got This” meme may be an ever-fading memory. And retaining the faith of the American public is still a bi-partisan issue.
A new Chapman University survey suggests that Americans are more scared than ever before. They are even more afraid of concepts like child abduction and personal violence despite knowledge that the occurrences of these things have dropped substantially in recent years. The anchor of this seems to be a lack of control. Powerlessness. If the President can relate to our country “spinning out-of-control,” what hope is there for the rest of us?
It is widely accepted that our founding fathers did not create a government designed to house career politicians. Political parties aren’t even mentioned in the Constitution, and most early political philosophy is rife with founding father fears over “dangerous political factions.” The infancy of American public service advanced a narrative in which successful citizens would take a leave from private enterprise and career in order to serve as politicians, and then return to their lives and farms to otherwise wander off into the sunset of an American life. These Americans, built stronger and wiser by political service, would also be secure in knowing that new problems would be left to new leaders.
Of course, like all concepts, time, greed and power has eroded this sentiment. And since lawmakers don’t tend to make laws that threaten their very existence, it is true that Jeffersonian self-governing is a long way off. Except for sites like this one.
At One Click Politics, our national crisis meme would be, “Everyone Chill Out…We Got This…TOGETHER!” The truth is that the individualized power of the American citizenry is at an all-time high. Heightened channels of communication and increased outlets for affecting change have bolstered individual impact. Advocacy and political impact have assumed daily roles in our lives. Beyond the voting booth and miles away from political rallies, the voice of the American people can be heard with an unprecedented resonance. So what are you waiting for? Pick a cause. Click through. Get to work. Remember, no one’s gonna chill out, unless everyone proves “WE got this.”
Oh, and did we mention you can try out One Click Politics’ amazing advocacy tool for free? Click here to sign up for a free account.