Dick Palmer: 'Tis the season for joy ... but danger still lurks
Even during my youthful days, the phrase "the world is going crazy" became a part of the evening meal. Of course, as a youngster, I had no idea what my folks were talking about, but it sounded serious, so...
Even during my youthful days, the phrase "the world is going crazy" became a part of the evening meal. Of course, as a youngster, I had no idea what my folks were talking about, but it sounded serious, so
I just kept my mouth shut and my ears tuned to the crosstalk between my parents, grandparents and, oftentimes, the neighbors. What strikes me now is the fact that those conversations seemed to be ringing a bell that keeps getting louder and louder today as I now enjoy the golden years of my life.
And it is echoing the same old theme: "the world is going crazy."
Our beloved country has changed, and although many appear to accept this without challenge, I'm not so inclined. Why? I guess it is because most of us today are so busy trying to make a buck and please others that we simply have forgotten the basic principles that nurtured this country into greatness in the first place.
Look around -- we don't manufacture anything in the United States anymore. We have lost our economic self-confidence as Americans filled with pride, confidence and self-reliance. We have forgotten our heritage as a haven for those seeking opportunity, freedom and personal pride in being an American.
We, like wimps, have allowed foreign powers to downplay the very fact that Americans, by the tens of thousands, have died in combat trying to save other countries from tyranny and political slavery. Our genius to get things done has been downplayed by money moguls whose short-sighted schemes to acquire profits have actually diminished the greatness of our entire nation.
Strange as it all seems, previous enemies now have a huge stake in our financial solvency and all this has happened primarily since the end of World War II when, in our zeal to help the world, we actually gave away our self-reliance as a nation.
Today, America's electronic revolution is manufactured in distance lands -- but this is just for starts: Our clothing manufacturers are no longer prominent American businesses employing Americans. Look what has happened to our automobile industry as well.
Well, you get the point. No need to linger on this subject.
America has not as yet dropped into a deep, bottomless pit; we are only in a funk that needs to be re-adjusted. We seem to be totally consumed by all the nonsense of political correctness. It is just not a priority worth arguing about.
Can you believe a high school football player was penalized 15 yards for paying tribute to God after making a touchdown for unsportsmanlike conduct? This event actually happened in Washington state and was reported on a national television news channel.
Illegal immigration, by contrast, is a challenge our leaders and politically correct activists refuse to address. What's wrong with these people? We are having trouble supporting Americans with needs, so why should we be giving food stamps and other benefits to undocumented foreigners who sneak into America with both palms up? We allow this foolishness to continue, without challenge, as our national debt continues to spiral out of control.
By contrast, thousands of foreign-born people came to America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, were documented, learned English and raised their families with honesty and discipline. These wonderful people helped America flourish. Unfortunately, we have lost this desire for self-preservation because too many in government today depend on those not willing to support themselves as a way to retain public office.
The United States was built around a framework of citizen-based government -- for the people and by the people.
Serving on local government councils and boards, even at the state level, was considered (by most participants) as a contribution to the communities served, a hands-on connection between neighborhoods and political authority.
This has all changed. Today, elective office has turned into a profession with goals and benefits well beyond the basic scope of self-government.
Even in some state legislative races today, tens of thousands of dollars are spent on behalf of candidates dedicated to a political philosophy or a special interest.
Once elected, many make a career of it backed by those prime supporters with large bankrolls, not to mention a growing obligation to finance government by taxation and special-assessment schemes.
We definitely need term limits for state, county, municipal and school elective offices.
This would prevent special-interest control of government, eliminate lifetime pension programs and provide more flexibility in the interpretation of community needs and goals.
I know this is too much to ask for, but I can dream, can't I?
Oh, by the way, merry Christmas to you and yours and a belated happy Hanukkah (Dec. 1-9) to our many Jewish friends and community neighbors.
Dick Palmer is a former editor and publisher of the Budgeteer. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org .