Pop Quiz: What happens to nations that are divided, distracted, and indebted?
The answer is obvious: They are doomed.
To discuss the many, many divisions that today tear at the fabric of our country is to state the blindingly obvious. It sometimes seems that we are two parallel nations jostling against one another in a battle for the same space.
The potential for—and increasingly the reality of—violence and confrontation stalks our public spaces. Watching protests spring up around the nation, listening to partisans castigate one another each day, reading articles that seem written only to incite ill will, and observing the breathtaking increases in shootings, murders, and assaults throughout America is truly horrible. To then have to listen to politicians bleat platitudes, buzzwords, and foolish theories that anger many and solve little is even worse. A sense of hopelessness about our country’s future only serves to heighten the many divisions that are daily hardened by agitators and attention seekers as a means of keeping us at one another’s throats—for fun and profit.
Are we distracted from the magnitude of the threats surrounding us today? It is appalling that we ignore—or are encouraged to ignore—the disastrous policies turning our southern border into a floodgate of illegal immigrants, but we somehow find the time to perseverate about Dr. Seuss stories and Chrissy Teigen‘s latest mean tweets. Few Americans seem cognizant of the dire military and economic threats posed by Russia and China, but we are paralyzed with fear that Aaron Rodgers might leave the Green Bay Packers. Pressing and unanswered questions about the integrity of our voting systems threaten the very foundation of our democracy, but the latest celebrity pronouncements on diets and dating push all else from the minds of many. Puppies have more attention span than the average American living in a blissful fog of trivialities disguised as portentous world events.
As for the terrifying and terrible debts that are consuming our country’s future like a cancer, I have only one comment: Any nation that would —apparently—elect a President and Congress who are determined to pass a 6 trillion dollar federal budget for our upcoming fiscal year needs to reacquaint itself with the basics of addition and subtraction. Insane seems too kind a word for the delusional budgetary thinking behind these proposals that would add trillions more to our debts and further diminish our ability to meet our already egregiously underfunded future obligations.
Memorial Day is upon us, and we should focus on the sacrifices of those who bought our freedoms with their blood. However, should we truly wish to honor them, we need to become the kind of America that is worthy of their deaths on so many battlefields both legendary and sadly forgotten.
We need to condemn those who hate our nation and wish to divide us in order to destroy us. We need to laser focus our attention on solutions that are practicable and reasonable. And, perhaps most difficult of all, we need to learn to live within our means and stop spending on that which we cannot afford. What we need, to put it simply and plainly, is to work toward a country run by penny pinching patriots who have no patience for those enamored with spending other people’s money on their pipe dreams.
If we can keep in mind that we have a responsibility to the past to ensure our nation’s future—which we must be able to remember on this solemn holiday—we can best begin to honor our nation’s active service members, living veterans, and those who fought and died long before we were even born.
Think about what it means to be an American while you are grilling a steak this weekend with your family and friends. This is the time to think deeply about our nation’s past—and carefully consider its future.