In the past few years, it seems there’s been a constant stream of troubling developments in our country —developments that threaten our stability and future — not to mention our economic viability. I keep hoping something will change this downward spiral. But, I don’t see anything on the horizon that’s likely to stop this recurring bad dream.
Politicians and career public employees are thumbing their noses at the American people as they continue to put spin on unpleasantries and actions that are taking away our personal freedoms, individual choices — even our security. These so-called public servants are ignoring the Constitution and any resistance on our part is met with charges that we’re being unpatriotic or that we’re not doing our fair share. And when these people get caught cheating or breaking the law, they plead the Fifth Amendment or blame their actions on others.
Of equal concern are government-supported efforts that blur our attitudes and values. The Boy Scouts are under attack for denying gay men opportunities to hold leadership roles in shaping the lives of America’s youth. Atheist groups are demanding that the Army provide atheist “chaplains” for soldiers who don’t believe in God. In New York City, a man who resigned from Congress after admitting emailing photos of his penis to willing young women is now running for mayor. Can there be no better candidate among a city of eight million people? Have personal ethics and integrity been replaced by an “anything goes” attitude and political correctness there?
An all-too-popular sentiment these days is that “profiling” is unacceptable, despite the fact that all of the acts of terrorism against the U.S. were committed by Muslims. Yet, in our airports and elsewhere in society Muslims are being given a great deal of latitude in their actions, largely due to political expediency. At the same time, grandmothers and children are being subjected to rigorous searches before they can board a flight to Toledo or Dubuque.
Our president also said recently that profiling against young black men is unwarranted and must stop. Yet a disproportionate number of violent crimes in the U.S. is committed by young black men — mostly against other blacks. Profiling all passengers is the major reason Israeli airports are the safest in the world.
Our country is being attacked from within by home-grown terrorists who hate America and all it stands for. When the Boston marathon bombing occurred, our Justice Department declared the attackers lone-wolf radicals — not foreign-trained terrorists. The Army major of Middle Eastern descent who murdered and wounded 40-plus soldiers as he screamed “Allah is great” also was declared a “lone-wolf” and continued to verbally attack us as he awaited trial.
Our government also seems intent on pitting neighbor against neighbor, one class against another, black against white, the poor against the rich, etc. Our Justice Department was heavily involved in forcing the murder trial of George Zimmerman, even though the local police chief said there was insufficient evidence and was subsequently forced to resign. The backlash and vitriol from the “not guilty” verdict has significantly damaged race relations. And the government is still considering federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman.
The country I knew as a youth doesn’t exist anymore. The collapse of Detroit from being one of the country’s great and dynamic cities into a desert of decay and imploding debt is a warning of what’s coming to other major cities and to America if we don’t take drastic steps to stop the bleeding.
The world used to applaud the U.S. for its strength, righteousness, generosity and willingness to stand up against tyranny. But, many of our international friends now are walking away in disappointment and shaking their heads at our mis-steps.
I’m just waiting for a little good news ...
Savannah native Terrell Jenkins attended Marietta High School and later earned a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He is a retired speechwriter for IBM.