A few thoughts on the condition of the country today

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By Rusty Crain | January 19, 2022

My first thought is that I believe the people who govern our town, cities, states, and the country work for the people they represent. Citizens don’t work for or report to officials elected to govern. But I think those who hold those positions consider themselves to be the ones who know more about what is good for me than I do. That’s not why I voted for that person.

But I want to talk about the state of the country without talking politics. In this talk, there are no Democrats, no Republicans, no left, no right, and no blame or credit; just the condition of the country as I see it now.

The first issue that comes to mind to me is the level of hate Americans have for each other. The enemies outside of America see this as an opportunity because they know, just like we have always believed, that strength comes in numbers. If one third of this country’s population, approximately 110,000,000 hate another third and the remaining third don’t want to be included or even involved it will be easy to understand why places like Russia and China and Iran and others are busy convincing each other that NOW is the time. The way I see it, hate is bred from many different sources including our education system and even the government itself. Personally, I’m not going to hate another individual just because someone I don’t know tells me I should. My father taught me to respect a person till that person proves to me he/she can’t be respected. Hate solves nothing — it just separates.

The second issue I see is the law or in more specific terms, the total lack of it. There are laws passed by U.S. Congress concerning immigration, voting rights, citizenship, and the proper uses, responsibilities, duties, and rights for our police force. The truth is that overall, police officers are limited, sometimes self-imposed, in doing their job. I say self-imposed because police are concerned about the future of their job if they do their job. We have cities and states that routinely release murderers, rapists, and felons of all types back into the public soon after being arrested. Is it unreasonable to assume that behavior like that on the part of the government might encourage those criminals to commit crimes again? Crimes like burning down businesses, government facilities, and setting police cars on fire; ransacking those same businesses by robbing them of the goods they sell to make a living and then daring the police to make arrests, taking over police stations and even neighborhoods and those people stand no chance of prosecution. The attack on the Capitol building in January of 2021has to include penalties on those who breached that building. Those people have to be charged, arrested, tried, and punished for their part. But there is a difference between charging, arresting, and holding a person in confinement without a trial — for a year. And the public wonders why very few people want to become police officers. I don’t know for fact the number of people who have crossed the southern border in the last year, but I’ve heard it is more than a dozen. I’ve also heard that the federal police guarding the borders are instructed to ignore those people and in fact, help them to load into a bus for travel — inside the US. And then, every effort is made to make them citizens as soon as possible, including voting rights.

Issue three concerns education — from pre-school through college graduation. I have always been told that the future of our country is our children. There are organizations in this country that have taken control of the education of our kids — or the lack of education. The idea of expecting a fifth grader to stay at home and get their education by watching a computer screen for hours each day is not reasonable; especially when the parents have to work and the child is left alone. It’s not that I believe kids can’t look at a computer screen all day, I just have concerns that the content is math, spelling, history, or science — after all, there are a lot of games available. And the idea of continuing to pay the people who get paid to help our kids learn when those people want to stay home is also not reasonable. It’s tempting to think the main objective is to keep our kids from learning because they would be very easy to control when they became adults. And what about the large number of kids who don’t have access to a computer at home? How are they to learn? The only alternative for parents is to find a private school which, as of this writing, are still conducting in-person classroom instruction. But those schools, including charter schools are somewhat expensive. What about the families that don’t have the resources to send their kids to those type of schools? And while I’m still on the topic of education, I will say that technology is a wonderful invention — when it is used in the correct way. For decades now, students have used technology (computers) in the classroom. Tools such as a calculator, spelling correctors, and research are wonderful for business uses. But is that the best way to teach our kids to learn those skills? If their calculator or computer goes out for any reason, can those same A student kids do a division problem with a pencil and paper? Can they correctly spell two syllable words or know the difference in the words capital and capitol? Can they find research in a number of resources without just typing in “research” on a particular topic? Kids today are considered to be very “smart.” They learn to do things at a very young age. I wonder how they accomplish that? Hmmm…

The last issue, although there are many, many more, that I want us to look at is the U.S. military. Since the end of World War II, the United States has been considered the premier “war machine” in the world, meaning our military is the strongest in the world. I believe that’s why there has never been a World War III — the world knows after the victories in WWI and WWII that it is not a good idea to go to battle with us. I’m not sure that remains true today. How we left the VietNam war and subsequent wars up until and including the war in Afghanistan that we considered over in August of 2021 has shown the rest of the world that we may not be as strong as previously noted. I have a serious issue with what our “allies” actually consider us to be as we speak.

I’m a 68 year old VietNam veteran, joining the U.S. Navy and serving near the end of that war. Our youngest son is a Captain in the U.S. Army, and I know from conversations with him that our country, including our military is not the same as it was in “my day.” I am fearful, embarrassed, and heart-broken that our now six-year-old grandson will someday, as an adult, visit my grave and ask “Pa, why didn’t you do something?”

Thanks for your time and May God Bless America.

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