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Opinion >  Letters

What condition we’re in

Reading “Further Review: The Debt” in The Spokesman-Review (Feb. 11) and watching our lurid politics playing out, I’m reminded of the song “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In),” an anti-LSD song by The First Edition from 1967.

America’s condition? Crazy comes to mind. Poor civic understanding, irrational expectations and subversion of the constitutional process continue to stoke the imperial presidency. Instead of electing chief doorman of the country and administrator of laws as written, we have quadrennial schizophrenic combat for control of executive orders and the scepter of largess.

Then we have our annual deficit spending and the accompanying growth in debt. Under the heading of “pay me now or pay me later,” we cowardly choose to have our treat now, putting off the bill to another time. That would work if the future was actually paying the bill down. But not. It’s just piled up, which belies long-term economic health and resolution of underlying issues.

Finally, America should stop obsessing over being great. Great or winning is only relative to another country or team. Who? Why do we care? Instead do these things: Increase the high school graduation rate from about 88% nationwide to a consistent 98% rate within 10 years. Increase the national engineering grade for infrastructure from a current D+ to a B within 20 years.

The possibilities are endless for greatness when we focus on the target outcome and stop worrying about the transitional speed bumps. America, get over the condition of your condition.

John Koehn



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