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America’s sound and fury

October 6th, 2011

If you’ve been following the news lately, you may have noticed the wide variety of stories circling around the media outlets.

But for me, there seems to be a common thread which rounds them up and sews them together – confusion.

Republicans were dismayed Tuesday morning by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s decision not to run for the presidency when they have three (at the minimum) other candidates that seem to take week-long terms as the party’s banner carrier.

Protesters have swarmed the financial district of New York City for the past three weeks, claiming grievances and declaring demands against the government and corporations while they have no leader or formal organization – or what seems like a definitive, rational plan.  The numbers of moderate Republicans and Democrats in Congress is shrinking with every elected Congress, leaving the political middle ground a barren wasteland.

Even the commander-in-chief himself seems panicked in the last year of his term, proposing large-packaged legislation that must be passed entirely as is, or not at all, in an effort to prove to voters in 2012 that they can remain confident in his ability to pass legislation. Obama has even grayed considerably since assuming office. The “hope” sentiment of his campaign is more than just gone, people seem to have forgotten the iconic slogan.

According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, 75 percent of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, while 19 percent believe we’re on the right one, opposed to last year at this time when 35 percent had a positive outlook – which are still not great numbers.

A phrase from literature that has been the center, which ironically has been the centerpiece of my education this semester, comes storming to the front of my mind: “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing,” Macbeth says as the end is nigh for him.

America needs a slap in the face. It’s not just Republicans, corporations, Obama or Democrats. With the presidential election a mere 13 months away, it’s important to stay informed on who to vote for. But it’s even more important to realize that whoever is elected to office isn’t going to change everything right away.

We shoot ourselves in the foot with this idyllic naïveté that is evident in the protesters on Wall Street, whose intentions are good, but demand very irrational reforms while lacking any knowledge of how simple economics work: money and the solution to economic and social problems don’t grow on trees.

By selecting a new favorite candidate every other week, the Republicans show how they want a knight in shining armor to come and save the country that they perceive as the sinking ship from the storm that is the Obama administration. This division and uncertainty, “this tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,” must stop and can stop. And we can’t rely on others to come along and save the day for us.

As John F. Kennedy said in his inauguration speech, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”