In this writer’s biased opinion, the people of this nation are among the most creative, adventurous, industrious and compassionate on the planet. If one travels throughout the hills, valleys, coastlines and plains of America, one will surely discover a mass of amazing human beings. These people represent a level of cultural, racial, religious, ethnic and economic diversity that is unequaled in other countries of the world. They are immigrants from other lands seeking to escape tyranny and/or poverty and seeking the opportunities for a better life. They are also the sons and daughters of a homegrown revolution that sought neither power nor wealth. The goal of that revolution sought something much more honorable and meaningful – they sought liberty and freedom.
Nestled along the picturesque Potomac rests a magnificent city of granite and marble buildings and monuments – monuments that shine in the brilliance of their historical majesty. In that glorious city, resides something of far more importance than granite and marble. In that city exists the peoples’ government – a government conceived, debated and fought for by those earlier architects of our republic.
Within the hallowed halls of our Congress are a relatively few men and women of both parties who seek to bring improvement to our government and to the people it serves. These few – but dedicated – legislators understand the pressing demands of the modern era. They look across the landscape of America and see the desperate need to reform and improve public education. They see our roads, bridges and other examples of infrastructure in disrepair and want to fix them. They are aware of the need to reform and improve health care, entitlement programs, the military-industrial complex, the criminal justice system, and a host of other glaring needs. Unfortunately, those well-intentioned men and women of Congress are stymied by a growing number of extremists who oppose every reform or improvement.
These extremists are not, at all, interested in reform of legislation or government programs. Make no mistake! The enemy of these people is government – period. When U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, says that he wants to shut down the government. This is not a ploy or political gamesmanship. Believe him! He and his fellow extremists truly want to shut down the government. They have already succeeded on several occasions.
There is a growing number of partisans who believe that practically everything the government does should be turned over to the private sector and then let the market forces prevail. Our government is far from perfect and in need of reform, but “turning everything over to the private sector”?, OMG! These people are annihilators of government, and they pose a real and present danger to our constitution and to the preservation of our national government.
Today, we in this nation are having our chance to shape destiny – our chance to show future generations that we were here upon this earth and left remarkable achievements to serve as a marker on the great clock which ticks in the ear of humankind.
Whether or not that marker is visible to future generations of Americans depends, to a large extent, on how well we paint it. If our brush is guided equally with thoughtful and deliberate motions, then it will appear. Conversely, if we move our brush with selfishness and disunity, then our marker will not be worthy of the clock, and our brief moment will be shamefully wasted.
If our lives upon this earth represent only a second on the great clock of time, how tragic it is that we allow trivial partisan divisions to stand in the way of our noble responsibilities to the future.
Our generation’s goals are neither liberal nor conservative. Our goals are American. We seek to improve the nation we inherited from our forebears. If we allow the cries of extremism or the drums of partisan discord to drown out the ticking of the great clock, then our time to shape our destiny will have passed. Our marker, then, will become invisible, and time will record that we were never really here.
Bud Morgan lives near Avon Park.