I've spent the last few hours reading two dozen Web sites from all across the land. First, I guess I had too much time on my hands. But it's fascinating what makes the headlines across this great country.
So the question is this: What is the most pressing problem facing this nation. It seems a highly appropriate time to be asking this question.
In times past, it would have been relatively easy to answer the question. Some problems are so obvious for that particular generation. But these times are different.
Is it the deficit that clearly threatens to wreck the long-term economy of this nation? Is it the broken Social Security system that will run out of money long before millions of recipients are able to collect their share?
How about a health care delivery system that is broken by all accounts - although the argument can still be made it's the best health care delivery system in the world.
We still have a racial divide that is not improving despite decades of attempts to address problems. We still have partisan political divides that are growing wider each and every day.
Is our most pressing problem the threat of global warming? You remember those stories about the ice caps melting? Florida doomed. How about the unrest that remains in the Mideast? How about the price of oil or the falling value of the dollar worldwide?
Is our most pressing problem the education system in this nation that struggles with graduation rates and sub-par test results? Surely that would top some lists.
But you have to pick just one.
Who can forget the Chinese with their buying power, their manufacturing prowess, their military. Is our most pressing issue centered on just when China will own this country?
Forget "American Idol" for the moment, ignore Tiger Woods. Let's take time to focus on that one central problem that most threatens our well being, our freedom and our republic.
I think topping the list should be the lack of confidence that shrouds every family and virtually every decision in today's world. We are no longer confident in our leaders to solve all of these issues.There's just cause for this lack of confidence.
I have no confidence whatsoever that the Obama administration has the answers to these problems. I have an equal lack of confidence that the Republican party has the answers either.
I have great confidence that the private sector can solve some of these problems. But unfortunately the private sector is too often excluded from these discussions. Most of these problems are the result of bad decisions by governments. The irony is that it will take government action to resolve the problems government created.
Rarely will we lose sleep over China or the environment or the falling dollar. But we should lose sleep when we no longer have confidence that these problems are solvable.