The concept of honorable, representative government in America is being traded in (much like a used car) for the mindless partisanship and selfish, ego-driven, phony leadership. We are witnessing the granite-strong pillars of democracy being steadily replaced with the weak, straw-like structure of copycat authoritarianism.

In 1776, during the era of our nation’s founding, Thomas Paine said, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Sadly, those mournful words most certainly have meaningful application in contemporary America. Our ego-driven, incompetent president and his impotent lemmings have tasted the sweet nectar of blind, limitless power and care not to conquer their deadly addiction. As a result, this nation endures a daily struggle to protect its proud institutions from the horrific threat posed by these blindly arrogant sycophants.

On the domestic front, hyper partisanship has grown into much more than an irritant. It has been smoldering for decades and, during the current administration, it has advanced into a destructive hate-filled tribalism that threatens to destroy America as we know it. This tribalism most likely can trace its roots as far back as the Clinton administration and the breakdown of civility during that era. Regardless of the accuracy of the roots of this problem, there can be no doubt that today it is out of control. Friendships and familial relationships are jeopardized by this rampant, tribal hate. This problem most certainly cripples the ability of the executive and legislative branches of government to serve the superabundance of pressing needs facing the American people. The following represents a partial list of the many critical issues facing us:

Most would agree that a large segment of our infrastructure is rapidly approaching the crumbling state. That includes our railways, bridges, tunnels, highways, and air facilities. These needs far exceed, in importance, the silliness of partisan tribalism. The reforms of healthcare, education, immigration, and environmental protection are crying out for immediate attention. Additionally, the inexcusably huge economic gap between the poor and middle class and the super wealthy among us deserves the immediate attention of those in government and in the private sector. This disparity is truly obscene for a freedom-loving democracy such as ours. (It must be noted that the blame for the failure to address all of these critically-needed reforms over the past 30 years rests with both political parties. So, get together and do your job.)

On the world scene, America no longer enjoys the rock-solid leadership role for which it has, for so long, been respected. Instead, this president and this administration have rapidly and expertly led this nation into the abyss of isolationism and a make-believe state of “America first”.

We have shamefully abandoned long-held alliances with friendly nations who have steadfastly supported us and who have received that same degree of respect and support from America. Additionally, an embarrassingly large number of key positions in the State Department and other foreign service-related agencies have been ignored and unfilled during the current administration. Couple these problems with the failure of our president to listen to sound advice, and we have the makings of chaos in foreign policy.

At each succeeding election, we must rid ourselves of these whining political charlatans and install, in their place, honorable men and women with the greatest potential for leadership and hope. In the final analysis, hope is the great elixir that will lead us toward a healthy national life of true freedom, deserved honor, and full liberty. Hope is something to which every American is entitled.

Bud Morgan is an Avon Park resident. Guest columns are the opinion of the writer, not necessarily that of the Highlands News-Sun.

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