It is time for us to expect more from our politicians, the media, celebrities, and any other person who wields power in our society. Too many times we allow a soundbite or feel good answer to pass for a plan to address a serious issue in our society. This includes the growing problem of addiction to narcotics. A politician sits down for a so-called interview.The report begins with statistics about the ever increasing drug addiction in the United States. There are photos or videos of narcotics and usually someone being arrested or in prison. Then the politician states something along the lines that we need a “comprehensive plan” to combat the epidemic of drug abuse in the United States and that everyone needs to come together to solve this issue. The interviewer satisfied with the no-answer and there is a follow up to finish the segment.
What is going to happen next? No dollar amount is given to finance the so-called plan. Where is the money going to come from? From increased taxes or cuts somewhere else in the budget? Far too long, citizens have allowed leaders and people of influence to skate by with little to no responsibility on issues that threaten the fabric of our society.
Celebrities and politicians have learned that raising awareness of drug addiction in our country leads to positive publicity in the world of social media and the mainstream press. But that raises a vital question- what next after awareness is raised? I am not going to deny that raising and increasing awareness of certain social issues is important. However, far too often, it simply stops there.
We need to begin to hold these people accountable. Lawmakers should have to develop a comprehensive plan to combat drug addiction in our country. The media should ask hard questions whenever an answer such as “we should work together” is given. What does that even mean? How would someone even begin to try and implement a plan so vague as that?
I believe that we should begin to ask questions such as the following:
What specific steps need to be taken?
Who is responsible to both take the steps and to ensure the correct steps are taken?
How much is that plan going to cost?
How will the plan be funded?
What particular goals does that plan seek to accomplish?
And the media should follow up to help ensure that promises are being kept.