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Guest column | Mary Partington

America, time for some tough love



Two days after Mother's Day and it is time to survey the mess. Who made this mess?

I am now fully conscious of the ghastly mess facing this country, and I want answers right now. Whenever a mother faces chaos, she wants to find out who is to blame in order to hand out the proper punishment. In this case, only a "go to your home state and stay there" will work.

Was it you, George Walker Bush? Have you spent so much time in the White House or the governor's mansion that you have no concept of everyday life?

Talk to me, Harry Mason Reid and Ms. Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi. Are you all talking the talk and just using this mess to make the president and the other party look bad? Are you waiting for the election so your party can be the winner? We voted for change in 2006, and look what we got.

Don't give me any excuses, all you mortgage brokers, Wall Street wizards, OPEC magnates and oil company executives.

I am not letting the media off the hook, either. I have had enough of the blather about the primary. What is primary in my mind is how to fix the economy, the housing mess and gasoline prices. There is a five-letter word that is applicable here: greed.

We should be having a national debate on how to solve the problems. Print and broadcast media should be putting together a series of articles and programs dealing with the causes and possible solutions. This information should include facts, not platitudes, and show all sides of the issue.

I am tired of hearing simplistic political assurances such as a gas tax holiday. Come on, John Sidney McCain, Barack Hussein Obama Jr. and Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton; the American voter can stand the truth. It takes hard-hitting guts to say we as a country have been living the good life for too long, and now it is time to pay the piper.

There is not a person or entity that does not bear some responsibility for this mess. As long as owners could afford the monthly payment on a gas-guzzling SUV, they drove them. I remember my mother telling me I could not use the rationalization "everybody is doing it" when I wanted to be one of the crowd.

American automakers made most of their profits with huge trucks and SUVs without consideration for fuel efficiency. Instead of boosting gas mileage, the automakers increased horsepower for more speed. Tell me, is there a legitimate reason to drive a Hummer in Florida? What mountains are there to climb?

In checking with on the 10 best cars that give you the most for your money, only two are American-made, and both by Chevrolet. In looking at other cars on trusted Web sites, you can determine the cost to fill up and the range for a tank of gas for certain models. You have to do your homework.

Mothers have control over many of the buying decisions in a household. Mothers are the ones behind the wheel in the car pools and the ones pushing the carts in the stores. Our daughter is a schoolteacher married to a firefighter. Couples such as they are the backbone of this country, and they are feeling the pain.

I often think of the MADD organization — Mothers Against Drunk Driving — and all the great work it has done. One mother who lost a child took her grief and put it to good use. Maybe we need another organization of mothers to help find remedies to our current problems.

It could be called MOPS, Mothers Opposing Political Stupidity. Maybe we could use it to clean up this mess.

Mary Partington lives in New Port Richey. Guest columnists write their own views on subjects they choose, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.

America, time for some tough love 05/11/08 [Last modified: Monday, May 12, 2008 3:09pm]
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