More Reasons to Feel Ill at Ease
Every morning before work, I sit down with coffee, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Never before do I remember the national pages reflecting such upheaval and chaos.
It’s unsettling, and I wonder if “we the people” are capable of recognizing the root of these problems, and if our character is still strong enough to turn us around.
Before, chaos used to thrive on other shores, in other nations and faraway places. I would think how lucky we were to live in this great nation, where the fruits of our own labor had created such a wonderful place to live. We paid our taxes, some of which we hoped would help those less fortunate, and our government kept us safe, but otherwise, it stayed mostly out of the way. We lived in what Ronald Reagan called “a shining city upon a hill.”
That shining city is beginning to look more like Detroit. Anyone wanting to see the result of years of liberal spending and union power, take a ride up Interstate 75 through that once-great city. Looks like a bombed-out war zone.
But that’s not supposed to be! Government keeps promising us with each new election that they have the solutions. They can make it better. They just need more sacrifice, and your hard-earned tax dollars.
Well, guess what? Since the Great Depression and through the “Great Society,” these federal promises of Eden have sunk this country so far into debt that Standard & Poor’s rating service just lowered its outlook on the United States’ ability to deal with that debt from “Stable” to “Negative.” Perhaps you saw this little item whip by you and disappear in the 24-hour news cycle.
A friend stopped by a little while ago and asked what I was writing about for Sunday. I said I wasn’t sure, but it would have something to do with feeling a sense of unease. That for the first time, I wonder whether Americans might be failing our founding ideals.
Do we remember that our founders’ idea of government was that it wasn’t capable of making our lives better? They were descendants of people who’d been crippled at the hand of tyranny, and they sailed from those monarchies of crippling taxation to try something new in a new world.
I said Obama can make a speech to a bunch of college kids who haven’t started a career, raised a family or paid any taxes, and he says he’ll cut unnamed spending and raise the taxes on the rich to reduce the deficit and all will be well. And they believe him and cheer.
I feel our national identity slipping away while government continues to lie and grow unchecked. I asked her if that made any sense.
She said she understood exactly, and had been thinking about the Vietnam era and whether that period of national discord was comparable. She had decided that it was not, and said that for the first time in her life, she felt fear.
She said it’s not just the economy, either. It’s everything. That she keeps thinking about the proverb that if you give a man a fish, he’ll never learn to fish for himself.
She said she suspects our government doesn’t want people to learn to fish for themselves. It recognizes that there are a growing number of takers out there. People who would rather be given the fish than work for it. It’s about power.
On U.S. News & World Report’s website under the headline “Good News for Democrats, Republicans Just Do Not Understand,” there was this comment from a reader on the S&P downgrade story:
“Grassroots Democrats view an economic crash as an economic and political equalizer for the common citizen — a peaceful and irresistible revolutionary force in reshaping American society — a good and desirable event. Obama is on track to deliver the economic equality for which Democrats elected him. The majority of poor do NOT feel that an economic crash will hurt them any more than the widening economic gap already has.”
You can read comments just like this one, right here in the letters section, or on The Pilot’s website. Reasons to feel uneasy? I think so.
Geoff Cutler is owner of Cutler Tree LLC in Southern Pines and is a regular contributor to The Pilot and PineStraw magazine. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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