I periodically pause to think what a lucky guy I am. I’ve had a profession I love, a family I worship, a hometown I like, and generally am easily able to maintain an optimistic attitude. Of late, however, listening to news reports and reading the three newspapers I do on a daily basis, I am becoming increasingly alarmed about the future and fabric of our nation.
The strength of America lies in the unity of its people and the privileges which are guaranteed to us by virtue of our constitution. Recently what has alarmed me is the continuing divisiveness of our politics which is creeping into our other liberties and relationships.
The multiple rantings of Donald Trump—whereby he would have us all wiretapped, water-boarded or divided by religion or national origin—do not alarm me so much as the fact that apparently so many people agree with him and fail to contradict his message of disunity in our country. The proposal to simply classify people of the Islamic faith as second-class citizens not worthy of being in America is completely off the chart.
I have many Hispanic friends among whom I know of no drug dealers or criminals. Additionally, I have friends who worship at the Islamic Mosque—and they are God-fearing, America-loving citizens whom any sane person would be delighted to have as friends and neighbors. To divide Americans based on these type categories will ultimately destroy America as we know it.
I have often said that one should never point out a problem of governance or social compact without suggesting some solution to make things better. Taking my own advice in that respect, I have a few suggestions.
First of all, politicians of every party and every stripe need to stop generalizing and painting our own government as if it were a foreign power which has landed from a different planet and invaded earth. Next there needs to begin reasonable and rational discourse between liberals, conservatives and everybody in between about how we attack serious problems facing not only Americans, but humanity. How can we live together without killing one another? How can we protect the resources of this earth without allowing human activities to destroy it? How we can provide adequate food, shelter and medical care to our fellow man? These challenges will never be met until we begin to discuss them among ourselves and truly seek solutions.
Not only do our leaders need to put their shoulders to the wheel, but we, as citizens need to become more informed about how we govern ourselves, how we live together and participate in the process—whether it is through activities through our church, our civic club, our city, county or state governments, or merely through informed citizenship.
It is amazing to me that anyone could live in the United States of America and enjoy the blessings and benefits we have and not appreciate them enough to carry his or her own load. It is my fervent hope that all my fellow citizens will awaken to how good we have it, smell the roses, and resolve to make the world a better place—beginning with our own hometown, state and nation.