Wrong Direction? No Problem!

Published 7:27 pm Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A standard line for most politicians running for office is “our best days are ahead.” I’m not too sure that Americans believe that. How about you?

According to Real Clear Politics, a website that follows just about every poll under the sun, a vast majority of Americans—about two-thirds—feel that the country is headed in the wrong direction. That should be no problem, however.

For more than three decades, we have had a system to help us with our traveling directions. It’s called a Global Positioning System and was developed by the United States government’s Department of Defense. Since the early 1990’s, it has been available for use by our Emergency 911 agencies.

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Finally, many people, including Donna Sue and I, have them. We use them on various trips and they have proven to be very accurate. Since we have begun to use it, I have gotten lost on my way to the grocery store only one time.

Here’s how it works. If you want to go to Timbuktu, or even to Aunt Jenny’s, who just moved to a new place in Hotlanta, all you need is her street address. The GPS knows your home address and, once you type in Aunt Jenny’s street address, the GPS will calculate every turn that you need to make between your house and hers.

The machine can be held in the palm of your hand or placed on the dash of your car. It will tell you how fast you are going and the exact time of your arrival, if you stay on course. It’s even got a little person on the inside that will talk to you and tell you, beforehand, every minute turn you are to take. Even it you miss a turn, it will immediately take into consideration your stupid error and re-calculate a new route.

I think it is amazing that our government is the creator of this technology, yet refuses to use it to the best of its ability. If the United States government would use its own GPS, it need never go in the wrong direction again. That is, of course, if it knows where it is going, which is altogether another problem.

For instance, if we wanted to be a fiscally responsible country, we could set our destination on our official, governmental GPS as Balanced Budgetville. Type in Balanced Budgetville, put a GPS in the Oval Office, the Department of the Treasury, on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s podiums and turn the dad-gummed (Bobby Bowden’s favorite cuss word) thing on.

I don’t think there would be many left turns onto Stimulus Street. The GPS would calculate the shortest distance between home and the preferred destination and it would be a straight and narrow journey down Live Within Your Means Lane.

Balanced Budgetville has simple directions once you have figured out that it is a destination. The GPS did not have to work too hard to devise that route, but the drivers of the vehicle have to be disciplined enough to stay on the road and to understand that the journey, though straight and narrow, will be long and difficult.

There are many places our country needs to go and a GPS could prove invaluable. Where would you like to see us go?

How about typing in Immigration Reform as a destination? It is a journey sorely needed as we have a possible 13 million illegal immigrants in our country. Many states, most notably Arizona, have tried to press this road trip upon the Washington politicians, but they can’t seem to agree on the first leg of the trip. GPS says turn onto Secure the Border Boulevard and proceed.

Healthcare Reform was a recent contentious excursion. It might have been a more satisfying trip if our GPS could have mapped out a harmonious journey and everyone could have caravanned to the destination. As it turned out, it seemed that one side of the aisle drew up their own map and said, “Either my way or the highway.”

Out in California, they’re trying to arrive at a destination to define marriage. A majority of voters wanted to take the Tried and True Turnpike. Another group wanted to go down Anything Goes Alley. That’s my opinion, of course, but it didn’t matter about the voting, Judge Vaughn Walker decided to change the directions.

“Sorry, you have missed your turn. System recalibrating,” the computerized, female voice warned Judge Walker. I guess California is as good a place as any to lose direction. They’ve got plenty of highways out there.

I think the GPS could be a very good answer for our problems in Washington. We’ve got plenty of problems and plenty of ideas as to which way we should go. We’ve got more ideas than we do money. That’s why I say we need some help.

The GPS might keep us from wasting those precious and diminishing resources. All we need are two things: a solid starting address and a definite direction. Well, come to think about it, maybe we’re not ready for a GPS yet!