COLONEL DONALD J. MYERS USMC (Ret)
Each week I listen to talk radio, read papers and magazines, and watch various TV shows while determining what I will write in my article for the latest issue. There are some weeks when it is really easy to write an article and other times when it is much more difficult. It is not that there is little to discuss, but where to place the emphasis. Education is always an issue since our educational system is so dismal in achieving positive results. We spend more on education than any other country in the world and yet our students are near the bottom in comparison to other countries in test results. Look at the percentage of our high school graduates who must take remedial courses in English, math, and science before taking regular college courses. Colleges could care less because they then receive more money and in too many cases students spend more than four years to complete their college degree.
Our economy is another subject that is a key issue to debate. Congress continues to spend like there is no tomorrow and our debt sours like an eagle on wings. How is it that as regular citizens, we must be aware of our own spending or else we face dire consequences and yet our government continues to put us our children and grandchildren in hock. We need only look at many of the countries in Europe that are in dire financial straits to learn what is in store for us unless we change our spending behavior.
As individuals, we look for people that we trust when we are making significant decisions involving finances, homes, automobiles, schools for our children, jobs, and elected officials. I hesitated when I added elected officials because I think that far too many do not consider trust when they go into the election booth. Rather than trust, they consider what their elected official will give them for their vote. We now have almost half of our working citizens who pay no federal income taxes and the largest percentage in history receiving food stamps.
It is still early before the next election and as a result many Americans are still not paying attention to what is happening in our country. I understand that most people are too involved in working, raising their children, and trying to make ends meet. They read a newspaper and probably watch a regular newscast. Many individuals spend countless hours chauffeuring their children to sport team practices or games. Look at the number of people who are recorded as undecided just days before an election. The current republican primaries have been going on for months and yet when people in the state that is ready to vote continue to report a high percentage of undecided voters.
The founding fathers knew that an informed electorate was the best guard against totalitarianism. They gambled their fortunes, honor, and lives in order for this nation to be free and some paid the ultimate price while others lost their fortunes. It is time for more Americans to be heard. We are facing one of the most significant challenges in our history and unless we demand that our voices be heard, we will cease to be the greatest nation in history. Our freedoms are being eroded a little bit at a time.