WHERE IS AMERICA? by Barry Denton

Courtesy of Bridle & Bit Magazine

Having grown up in the working class in America I remember being around tough people. The men and women I knew did not sit around and whine about what they did not have. They simply put their mind to it, worked harder, and went out and got it. Everyone I ever met I was sure they were tougher than I was. As a result I decided that I had to get tough myself. When you are surrounded by tough folks some of it is bound to rub off. In today’s world it seems that toughness, self reliance, and fortitude are not desirable traits. It looks to me like America is turning into a bunch of hapless sissies. I think much of this comes from our government run school system, a high rate of broken marriages, a glut of lawyers, and the news media carrying a torch for socialist politicians. 

Barry Benton courtesy of Bridle & Bit Magazine

Boys and girls used to have many role models to look up to. Aside from their parents, community leaders, teachers, clergy, sports figures, actors, etc. could be counted on most of the time to set a good example. Putting your family and country first used to be the priority. While that may still be important to some people much of our youth has no clue about that. Through no fault of their own, they are just not being taught about what is important. Morals, ethics, and self discipline are tenets that are becoming extinct. Yes, I realize that times change, but it should be for the better. While we have made tremendous technological strides in the last fifty years we have slid backwards socially. I am wondering how far backwards we have to slide before we wake up. Stop and think about it. Our founding fathers relied heavily upon the Bible and prayer to support the formation of this nation. They also pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to the cause. How many of those elected to office would pledge anything personal for the betterment of America? How many would give their fortunes if America was in a time of crisis? How many did? We have all endured the economic downturn since 2008. What has been the reaction of those elected to office during the economic slide? It has been to raise taxes and demand more from the taxpayers when they have less. Do you ever see a politician offer to return part of their salary at the same time they are letting employees go? I know many people in private business that refuse to take a paycheck just to keep their help paid. If you are a true leader you sacrifice before you let your subordinates sacrifice. I have not seen any “leaders” in either political party in a long time. If someone emerges as a leader the parties try to ostracize them. Believe it or not America, Washington DC does set the tone for the rest of the country.

Photo courtesy of Bridle & Bit Magazine

I have never seen a larger fallacy than political correctness. I thought this country was founded on “freedom of speech”? Political correctness has been used successfully in all the communist countries to control the thought and speech of its citizens. It is nothing more than an infringement of the first amendment of the United States Constitution. How many of your elected officials speak to this issue? I have not heard one challenge it. If someone has, then I missed it. Something else that I have concluded is that politicians only get elected so they can be re-elected. For the most part they will sell out the public good if that will get them back in office. It looks like elected officials have made their jobs so cushy that they will do anything to keep them. This is not leadership folks. In my estimation it is truly a disgrace.

Another issue I find interesting is the lack of leadership from the clergy. Other than the race baiters, you hear almost nothing from anyone else in that business. Because of changing public opinion many churches have been throwing out standards they have clung to for years and adopted more diverse policies. I cannot imagine that would bode well with the party faithful. Yes, I realize things have to change, but I do not think sacrificing your principles is something that is in the best interest of your parishioners. 

They say that you should not complain unless you have solutions. That is not a problem. I think there are many easy solutions to our current social problems. The first would be to get the government out of the way of private enterprise. The next thing would be to get the government out of public education. I am shocked at the stupidity of many college graduates. It looks to me like they have learned to be robots and to never challenge the system. Then they get elected to office and you see what happens when no one challenges that system. The recent Ebola crisis is a great example of no leadership and politicians going with the system and not changing it to fit the crisis. If this had been a horse disease transportation from those areas would have ceased immediately and the victims would have been quarantined. 

Rugged individualism used to be a tenet of American life. What happened to that? The rights of the individual should be foremost in everyone’s mind. America was founded on the concept of freedom for the individual. If these tenets are not taught in our schools anymore then get your kids out of public schools. It is time for Americans to toughen up and quit being a bunch of sheep. Start holding your elected officials accountable for their actions. It is not the working man or woman that is diminishing America. I’m afraid it comes from the top and trickles down. 

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