Guest column: Time to roll up our sleeves and get to work (opinion)
February 14, 2019
What people say they want and what people want are often very different things.
For example. In Tahoe people say they want to limit VHRs and tourism, but what they really want is the ability to own homes in quiet neighborhoods, not have to deal with traffic, make a comfortable living, and have some fun … live the American dream.
In this scenario it's easier to point fingers the symptom (VHRs) than it is to find a solution to the core problems (vacancy rates, economic diversity, education, infrastructure, etc.).
The Trump administration has chosen the exact same path. They say we need a wall to address illegal immigration, but that is just addressing a symptom.
Americans used to be able to say that we ran the planet. We used to be able to say that kids in China or Russia had it worse than us. We knew our place and it was at the top of the food chain.
Most Americans have lived their entire lives in a world where we felt entitled to live the American dream. In recent years that has become far less likely.
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Globalization, inflation, wages, a sense of sovereignty, perceived quality of life; these are the real issues Americans are concerned about.
A wall is a constant, undeniable symbol of our strength as a nation. A symbol of sovereignty that will only fall if America falls.
When we (and I mean me) fall back on data and logic to show that the wall is unnecessary and unlikely to succeed at stemming the flow of illegal immigration we are missing the point: the wall isn't intended to fix a problem, it's intended to act as a symbol.
To be clear, I don't support the wall, I think it's a waste of time, money, and I believe it sends the wrong message to the American people and the world…
With that said, I also understand that many Americans are afraid of change, afraid of globalization, afraid of new faces and colors and religions that they don't fully understand, afraid of outside competition, afraid of no longer being king of the hill.
The reality is that we already have hundreds of miles of wall. I don't really care if we have hundreds of miles more.
What I do care about is having a country that chooses to step up and better itself rather than hiding behind a wall. America was once the most powerful, hard working, creative, and innovative country in the world.
Enough with resisting change, enough with hiding behind a wall — it's time we all roll up our sleeves and show the world what we are capable of.
Shawn Kernes is the co-founder and CEO of LARKR, which aims to make mental health care immediate, accessible and affordable for all.