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Bud's Beat

Americans have different stories, common hopes
By: Bud Pisarek, Loomis News Correspondent
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It has been said, “Cheer up things could be worse. Sure enough I cheered up and things got worse.” That pretty much sums up where we are as a society. Two wars, deficit spending, crumbling economy, a housing crisis, high unemployment, and a failing dollar. In his 1932 inaugural addres, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “The only fear we have to fear is fear itself.” It resonated then but doesn’t seem to fit the bill today. Fear of the future is on the minds of so many of the citizens today. When he was sworn in some 30 years later, President John F. Kennedy said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.” This, too, takes on a different tone today. We look anxiously to see what our country will do for us to wrestle away “fear” once again. Ronald Reagan, in his tenure as president, asked the nation to be patient; the “wall” would come down and his fiscal policies would trickle down to even the lowly. Some are still waiting. In the last decade we experienced a switch from a fiscal surplus to a record-setting deficit. It was coupled with the wars and a decline in America’s prestige abroad. We find citizens in all walks of life seeking government answers to their fears and just what lies ahead in all this uncertainty. For a chance to once again feel a part of a dream they had for themselves, their children, and their country, voters turned to a new voice, a new challenge and a new hope. In record numbers the young nation registered to vote, voted, and had the audacity to elect the first-ever African-American to lead them. Barack Obama is now the hope of the future. He stated in his campaign, and now as president, that he believes deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them togetherk unless we understand that we may have different stories, but we have common hopes. Cheer up.