Not long ago, in the "Readers Respond" column, one of your readers said that President Barack Obama's "failure to prevail" in the recent debt ceiling fiasco "speaks to his failure in leadership." It clearly does not. The debt ceiling "crisis" is not new at all. The only things prevailing are ignorance, greed and ego in a materialistic society.
No single person can stem the tide of our self-indulging species, which seems determined to devour the planet and all of its resources, including the extinction of any other species that gets in the way.
What it "speaks to" is the cost of decades of buying on credit for covetous, materialistic Americans — which would include you and me — programmed by a mantra after World War II that urged all of us to "Keep up with the Joneses." In the resultant consumptive frenzy-by-credit created by Madison Avenue and countless profiteers, constant coveting and greed have been encouraged, at all cost, but without paying for anything.
The hidden goal of seeing happy programmed buyers using plastic "money" really was to put a smile on the face of the truly wealthy, including the bankers, ad agencies, media promotion experts and CEOs who drool at our insatiable consumerism they help to create.
It can't be every president. It can't be every Democrat or every Republican, or any one politician, CEO, banker, one wheeler-dealer, or one Bernie Madoff or one Wall Street bailout.
Could it be a sort of "Consumers-Become-the-Consumed"? We grow up being brainwashed — taught to promote indulgence as a national patriotic duty, rather than a necessity for survival — programmed to spread overindulgence? For now, the demons that are stalking our country and our planet seem to be mainly greed, materialism, aggression, avarice, consumerism (as a god to be worshiped). What's it gonna be, folks?
Seven billion humans on the planet now, as if we do not know what causes population growth. Over half of the trees that were on the earth 50 years ago are gone, as well as many species of animals gone or close to extinction. Shall we just blame Barack Obama for these things, or should we include our own unchecked greed, willful ignorance, and aggressive "must have" ego as a species? Why don't we just run out to the mall now and wait for the next president to dump on for his (or her) "failure to prevail"?
Edgar C. LudwigCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun