Is it too late to say you're sorry America? When Ben Franklin stated when asked what kind of government was created, his reply was "a republic if you can keep it." Profound, yes, and yet all indications today point that we have lost sight of what Ben Franklin said. When government becomes to self-serving in a way that is counter-productive for the greater good of all, that government ceases to be democratic. And, like Ben Franklin has said over 250 years ago ,"if you can keep it," somehow over the course of six decades, we have lost the democracy out of our government.
The challenges we face now seem almost insurmountable. Today, we have a government run by self-serving bureaucrats, we have a nation so divided, and a society no longer composed of a middle class. Is it no wonder then that many feel that America has really lost its way? Remembering a time when a cup of coffee was just a dime and the pride we took to keep our sidewalks clear was the way things used to be. Now, look around and you will see that that cup of coffee in so many places is over $3.00 and our sidewalks, that is, if you have them anymore are like obstacle courses, littered with trash.
Remembering a time when the pledge of allegiance was said before the beginning of each school day. That, too, has become obsolete and even ostracized. Today, it is as though we have been stripped of the wholesome goodness that was pretty much the norm, say 60 years ago. Many of us baby boomers have had their working years now deprived of the pensions our fathers had. We struggle now trying to keep up with the ever-rising cost of living with the one safety net that is left. Yet, our own government is hell bent on stripping that away too. So many of us are no longer able to keep pace with the rising cost of healthcare and all the other expenditures that are necessary just to survive in what should be our golden years.
What can we say when you have elected officials who make decisions that actually affect all of us, fail to realize the consequences of those decisions, or are oblivious to the cold reality that those policies have made conditions that much worse? It is time to realize that the United States has really turned inside out. For many years, now people sensed disturbing trends inside of government. The will of the people have long since fell on deaf ears. And, perhaps when they do listen, we have become incoherent of what government is doing to the public. We just may have become desensitized or too apathetic to really see or care, as long as governmental policies don't adversely affect us. Yet, too many times, what comes out of Washington does adversely affect us.
With the world spinning out of control, it doesn't help when there is this defiant rhetoric coming from the Trump Administration. Whether it is aimed at North Korea, or our own media has made many of us realize the extent of how far we have fallen in stature in the eyes of the rest of the world, they say there is no turning back. We must move forward. But, with the forward momentum driven by the Republicans and the Trump Administration, it is as though we actually are moving in reverse.
All the scientific, technological, and medical breakthroughs that really could support, not only a longer life, but improve the quality of longer life should be available to all. Yet the average life span has actually decreased by several years, just within this past decade. The quality of life has also diminished for millions of Americans. If this trend continues, history will again repeat with devastating consequences.
A new year approaching should be a signal to a new beginning. Let's hope that the mid-term elections point toward that new beginning; a beginning to restore hope, instead of hopelessness, and a commitment that, just maybe, an influx of newly elected officials won't be corrupted by the power of their office. That office is to adhere to the will of the people. Then, as Ben Franklin said, we will have restored the democracy in our Republic.