What have we become as a nation?

To the editor:

Who are we? Are we the same people who, by the thousands, trekked across the western deserts and freezing plains to build a nation of farmers, ranchers, miners and builders out of a barren wilderness? Are we a nation of entrepreneurs who invented airplanes, mass-produced cars, electric lights, refrigerators, nuclear power and moving pictures? Are we the same people who assembled at Concord, Mass., to launch a war against the then-most-powerful nation in the world? Are we the same people who gave 600,000 lives in a war to affirm the principle that “All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights,” notwithstanding their culture or capabilities? Are we the same people who joined together to build 120,000 airplanes a year and three ships a day and assembled a force of 11 million men and women in two years to defeat the powers of the world oppressors?

Or are we a nation of 15 percent living on food stamps and the largess of others? Are we a people who damn the successful among us whose talents, efforts and risk-taking give us the technical marvels of today’s life? Are we a people so dependent upon government care that we will choose as leaders the most incompetent and corrupt simply to assure the continued access to the government’s handouts? Are we a people who today ignore the demands of responsible social conduct, responsibility for our own progeny, simply to enjoy the transitory pleasures of adolescent conduct throughout our lives?

I wonder “Who are we?” Are there those out there who ask themselves this same question? In fact, I wonder how many of our politicians could answer that same question.

Do we know who we are or do we even care?

—Jim Treat
Santa Claus

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