Staring Down The Face of Crazy

By October 25th, 2013

Staring Down The Face of Crazy; Veterans in Congress, Number of Veterans and Veterans As Percentage of U.S. Population


by Mack W. Borgen

Top 1.3% of BooksAmong All Current Book Sales as of October 15, 2013″

The Hard Facts and Real Data About the State of Current America

Vol 1 – BUSINESS AND POLITICS (408 pp) (July, 2013)

Vol. 2 – SOCIETY AND CULTURE  (438 pp) (October, 2013)

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Staring Down the Face of Crazy

We are all heirs.

This country was both built and preserved by the actions of our forefathers. Patriotism is at the core of many millions of Americans, and in my writings I certainly do not make any claim of special patri0tism. Indeed, over the life of this country — now the oldest democracy in the world — patriotism has been evidenced by every family and by every generation.

My uncle, possibly like yours, died in World War II before I was born. My best childhood friend, possibly like yours, died in Vietnam, serving the then-declared, if not accurate, needs of our country. For reasons even I do not fully understand, the Purple Heart of my uncle, a man whom I never got to meet, remains protected as a family treasure. For my childhood friend, a picture of The Vietnam Wall has for years been kept in my office hanging as a small memorial to my long-ago friend.

Now, another generation has stepped forward. My friend’s son, possibly like your son or daughter, has now served honorably (and with great fortune, safety) through two tours of duty in Afghanistan. My young son, still unawares, may eventually be called upon as well to serve this country in his own way. The service of all of these men and women and their families evidence how much they cared about this country. And millions of other Americans — farmers, workers, educators and entrepreneurs, single mothers, and dedicated scientists, creative artists and store clerks, young and old, black, white and brown — share a great caring about this country. But over the last several decades, things have gotten muddled; very muddled.

The tone of our conversation, the debasing of our rhetoric, and the frustration, if not anger, of our citizens serve as crude benchmark measures of the strained state of our nation. In the abbreviated parlance of today’s speech, “it’s complicated,” but my first books, The Relevance of Reason – Business and Politics and The Relevance of Reason – Society and Culture, are offered in the belief that neither the character nor the possibilities of America, as a people or a nation, have changed. But it is time that we are staring down the face of crazy.

It is time for the patient remaking of our American conversation. These companion books (Volume  1 presenting, without agenda,  the hard facts and the real data about American business and politics and Volume 2 presenting the hard facts and real data about American society and culture) draw upon an analysis of the last fifty-five years from 1957-2012. They include frequent references to America’s history in order to remind us of both our nation’s accomplishments and its failings. These books are the first two books in my series entitled The Chance of a Lifetime, and they incorporate the perspectives of a wide array of contemporary writers, essayists, columnists, and critics holding vastly differing views. In addition, this series will collectively attempt to offer, with great humility, a number of proposals about what must be done to change the direction of our country and to improve the quality of American life.

Excerpted from Borgen, M., The Relevance of Reason – Business and Politics, pp 18-19, and The Relevance of Reason – Society and Culture, pp. 18-19.

Fact of the Day

Veterans In Congress – Number and Percentage in Congress and Society At Large

The number and percentage of veterans in the U.S. Congress has dropped significantly in the last 55 years. Veterans now comprise less than one-fifth (1/5th) of each of these Congressional bodies. The numbers and percentages are as follows:

                                                                            Total  Number  in          Number  of          Percentage                                                                       

                                                                             Legislative Body            Veterans In        Of Veterans In    

                                                                                                                   1977            2013            1977               2013 

U.S. House of Representatives                                    435                             347               84           79.8%            19.3%

U.S. Senate                                                                      100                               65                18           65.0%            18.0%

According to the US Census, there are appr. 22.7MM veterans in the United States representing about 7.3% of the population —  about 1 out of every 14 persons.

Borgen, M., The Relevance of Reason – Business and Politics, (2013) p. 284.


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