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American Greatness

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Dan Celia Host of Financial Issues MORE

We've lost so much more than jobs and income...

Almost six years into a downturn (to say the least) of the economy. A so-called “recovery” now four years old. I wonder what all we have lost. Oh, we know we have lost millions of permanent jobs. We know we have lost encouragement as we look at millions of discouraged workers. We know we have lost the ability to find a job in the discipline where we are most qualified and are forced to work in underemployment situations to feed our family and provide for their needs. But what else have we lost?

We have become almost numb to the idea that we have no sort of political leadership in this country. We have seen, year-after-year, both Democrats and Republicans weasel their way through Washington with an attitude of “I can’t get in trouble or perhaps even lose an election if I simply do nothing.” We have watched a generation being raised in an environment where there is no strong leadership . . . and so they themselves become poor leaders.

In the midst of this severe American leadership deficit, have we lost some of the greatest assets that have been with America since 1776? Innovativeness. Entrepreneurship. The mindset of hard work and of being productive and loyal to one’s work, profession, and family. A commitment to God and Country. And all these things lead to a conscious or subconscious commitment to make America great.

Our greatest asset in America has always been its people. The ability of its people to grow, to lead, to innovate, and to work hard. But the mentality of working hard to get ahead has become outdated. I fear that in the past six to ten years, we have lost our sense of patriotism. Although we still have many in our military who are sacrificing so much—even their lives—for our country, so many others have lost the desire to defend our country and to join the Armed Forces. We can no longer know that the convictions and the steadfastness of our military leadership will never waiver. All that is being replaced by political correctness, liberalism, and the influences of the world creeping into our military as it has crept into our churches. Must we continue to sit back and watch some of the greatest American assets wither away? Or will we attempt to claw our way back to the greatness that we once were? I hope so.

Universities continue to train young people to be what they perceive to be good leaders, successful people. But what is their vision? They demonize conservative values, profits, and American business success.

Have we also lost incentive? Let’s not confuse the desire to have wealth someday as the incentive to work hard to create it. After all, it is much easier (I guess) and is the mentality of some graduates to fall into wealth, as opposed to creating it. After all, creating it has been demonized.

I ponder how we can turn our economic system around—and I believe we still can. I ponder how we can develop and promote real leadership once again in America. I also ponder how all or any of this can be done without a total collapse. There is far more motivation to rise out of ashes than to build on a foundation that is still in place (as weak as it may be). Sadly, some will believe that building on that original foundation would mean buying into what has been demonized and projected as evil, corrupt, and the cause of our current woes. But by the Grace of God and His people…

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