That to me, is a major part of Bill Clinton's legacy. As a matter of fact, America's record on race this Century has been one of our major accomplishments. While not perfect, certainly the underlying framework, belief structure, and momentum is firmly in place to where we are truly on our way to becoming One America. I truly believe that in my children's lifetime, race will no longer be an issue that serves to divide. I make that statement based upon the huge positive strides I have seen in my lifetime.
The same cannot be said for our culture. No matter where you stand on the ideological spectrum, I'm fairly certain you agree that our popular culture is not in a very healthy condition. As a matter of fact, our popular culture does not come close to measuring up to the decency of the American people.
That to me is a huge disconnect. On an individual basis, the vast majority of Americans treat each other with respect, empathy, generosity and kindness. Look around at any of our local communities and you'll see people (from all different sides of the political landscape) working together to improve their communities.
Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to translate to our overall culture. While the American people are kind and respectful, are culture is rude and coarse. While the American people are generous and caring, our culture is increasingly vulgar and vapid. It is truly a shame and the biggest victims of the coarsened culture will be our children raised in it. That's a fact. No matter how people say it's parents responsibility to raise their children right, the fact of the matter is that culture has a huge, at times seemingly insurmountable, influence on our kids. No matter how much you try to protect your kids, it's impossible if you plan on letting them lead even remotely normal lives.
I'm not going to list all our societal ills because I'm sure you have your own list. What I am going to do is ask President Obama to form a commission, similar to what Bill Clinton did, to address and improve the culture. Even in divided Washington, this is an issue, the degradation of our culture, upon which both sides can find common ground.
This would offer President Obama an opportunity to unite people around an issue. Think about how nice that might be: a big issue upon which the rhetoric is inspiring instead of divisive. And with the advent of social media, the American people can really have a say in the process. I'm really confident that some simple steps can be taken to improve our culture. And if President Obama could be one of the driving forces to make it happen, it would be a great (and doable) accomplishment for his second term.
All Americans want our culture to be the best it can be. We have so much room to make improvements, and there is so much common ground that just having the discussion will be helpful in bringing our divided populace just a little more together.