It's quite likely that you will think me a terrible person after reading this post. I'm not, I promise. Just hear me out.
Earlier today, I saw an angry woman in Louisiana screaming at television reporters (well, really, she was screaming at the government, whom she supposed was watching this newscast), and what I saw made me feel great concern for our nation. I fear our country has turned down the wrong path, and it is far too late to turn back now.
We, the American people, seem to be under the impression that it is our right, as American citizens, to live a life of relative comfort and ease. We shouldn't have to work for it, and we sure as heck shouldn't have to wait for it. Patience, you see, is not one of our national virtues.
When did Americans decide that the government
was supposed to take care of all the problems that life throws in our way? Be it hurricanes, or diseases which require expensive medications to survive, or retirements that we haven't planned out quite as well as we should have, it seems to have become a national pastime to pass responsibility for fixings one's problems on to the government. No wonder they are scrambling!Need food? Get food stamps. Need money? Get welfare. Need drugs? Get Medicare, or Medicaid, or whatever it's called. Need a transplant? Go ahead, get on the donor list.... no, no, it doesn't matter if you don't have insurance or even if you are citizen, just put your name down and we will see if we can't get you a new heart!
To my knowledge (which is meager, I grant you), until the 1930's, the Great Depression, and FDR, federal help for such things was pretty much nil. If something happened to your town or your family, you were pretty much dependent on the kindness of other citizens to make it through. And this system must have worked pretty well, because I think as a nation we are a generous and merciful people, especially when it comes to helping the downtrodden. After all, we are a nation founded by and for
the downtrodden, are we not?
Since the Depression, however, programs that were meant to be temporary were continued, and continued, and continued. Because of this, we are now faced with problems like Social Security. A generation who knows nothing of life pre- government meddling (and by meddling, I mean the government fixing everything that we humble citizens either can't or won't fix for ourselves) must decide how to proceed.
We can't go backwards. I know this. Even as I type my frustration with the current climate, I know it. What I don't know, what I fear, is how long we can manage as we are.