...to go with your WHINE?
As I've grown up, I've come to associate the act of "whining" with complaints about frivious problems or problems that were easily solved. I experienced a lot of this growing up. I spent more time whining about mowing the lawn than it actually took to complete the task, for example. I had several roommates in college that whined about not having enough time to do their schoolwork while they spent hours on the couch watching daytime television. That sort of thing.
In a macro sense, the right wing has been calling my side of the aisle "whiners" for a long time. They've made a whole lot of money out of doing so. The entire careers of the Coulters and the Limbaughs of the world have been made on this line of thought alone. I routinely get emails (like the ones that say Obama is a Muslim and that Germany didn't attack the United States in WWII) that lay out how whiny everyone is when they live in America and complain about problems here. (If you don't like it, shut up and leave, etc.)
Yes, I live in America, and I've got it pretty good when compared to residents of places like China, India, France and Sub-Saharan Africa and places like that. I know this, and I'm proud to live here.
But even here we have problems. Some are frivilous and most are not. What really is infuriating is that they are all fixable problems. Most of them would be readily solved if we had serious people taking them seriously.
What is additionally infuriating is when you call out that a serious problem exists, and people call you a "whiner" for doing so. I always thought that problem-solving was a skill to be valued, not insulted. (Maybe this is why we can't seem to solve our own problems these days?)
So what happens when former Sen. Phil Gramm gets a hold of the microphone and begins to address economic issues? He goes on to say that all the worry about the economy is a "mental recession" and that "we have sort of become a nation of whiners." I guess us Americans have just imagined ourselves into a tough situation, that when we complain about high gas prices or not being able to sell and buy homes, we're just whining like babies who don't get their way.
And it is all the media's fault? This argument from the right wing is one that is consistently losing steam. There are a lot of issues with the media, but they've been awful slow on the uptake for the current situation. The housing market, the gas prices and the restructuring of the American economy have been huge stories long before now - and the media's focus was more on the Paris Hiltons of the world.
While Sen. Gramm is right to say that we have tremendous natural advantages, the problem is making the most of those advantages. That's something we have seemed wholly unable to do in many sectors of the economy. I mean, how else can you explain all our advantages being turned into a dismal 1% growth rate? That's a real problem, and pointing it out isn't "whining," it is a legitimate concern.