To the editor:
Isn’t America great?
Not exactly, but not for distorted reasons Mr. Trump is offering.
This nation had its finest hours when good versus evil was more easily distinguished; when the nation supported common values and a unified world view; when there was greater conscience and capacity for sacrifice; and when daily communication had enough cure time for credibility checking.
The world has become a different place. America has no monopoly on smarts, invention, even in the last fraction of a century, industrial sophistication. The naive cite the Internet; it was enabled by a citizen of the UK. The Large Hadron Collider, beneath the Switzerland and French border, probing the origins of our universe, would have been constructed in Texas if not for the stupidity of our right wing. The U.S. leads the world in medical research, but can’t affordably deliver its promises to many citizens.
Fast forward to the last eight years; the principal barriers to a smarter, and greater America reside arguably two-thirds with a bigoted, dogmatic Republican party, and one-third with an occasionally equally inflexible Democrat left wing’s social delusions.
The bottom line, our present election portrays an America that overall has despaired of both its Federal and state centers of governance dealing rationally with challenges, leading to a dysfunctional populism. Something has muddied values everyday families used to consider sacred: patriotism without guile; religious beliefs not twisted to advance intolerance and bigotry; a trustworthy press, versus chaotic digital communications permitting second-by-second rumors, lies, insults, and delusions, but scrambled with legitimate information without a reality check.
That leaves common sense to be protected by local communities, if they can exercise the wisdom and courage to peek behind the curtains erected by self-anointed elites, blocking democratic process and broad collaboration. One fix for even well intentioned but dictatorial local cultures is, demand debate, then use the voting booth. A second, demand transparency and God-given and prescribed commitment to truth. Can you presently find these values expressed, for example, in New Bremen’s and St. Marys’ manipulative civic arenas?
Critical for weathering our nation’s current dyspepsia, putting these questions on the table in the two communities: What is blocking greater collaboration in both places; what community functions are truly essential to future achievement; and how can all of a community’s citizens get a fair hearing of their needs? Not easy questions, but ones that won’t get addressed by closed minds.
Dr. Ron Willett