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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

For decades, the people of the United States have been screaming that our own government doesn’t seem to care about us. During the presidential campaigns, every candidate lays out this extravagant platform of domestic policies that sound pretty good to a lot of people. But once the President of the United States takes office, the focus shifts to countries around the world.

It has to stop and it has to stop now.

The schools, roads, and bridges throughout the United States are crumbling. The gap between the haves and have nots is widening and the have nots have even less than they did just 30 years ago. The state and local governments are handcuffed either by incompetence, or by a lack of funding just for the basic necessities.

Why are the schools of the United States falling apart and being underfunded when schools in Iraq and Afghanistan are receiving American financial support? Why is the infrastructure of the United States allowed to crumble while Israel gets billions of dollars every year in American funding? Where are our priorities?

I just heard on CNN that 36 percent of Baltimore children live in poverty. These kids have crumbling schools, old textbooks, and no hope for the future. Sure, you can make your own future if you are ambitious enough. But good schools give kids the kind of foundations they need to chase those opportunities. When the schools are underfunded and falling apart, what kind of future does that give the kids to look forward to?

Then you have parents like the Mom of the Year who plucked her teenage son out of the gang of teenage looters, whipped his butt on national television, and then took him home. How many parents in Baltimore, or anywhere else, are willing or able to fight for their kids like that? How many single parents are working two jobs and unable to provide the kind of solid home life that kids need to break out of their situation and get into something better?

This isn’t just a Baltimore problem, this is happening all over the country. Cities all over the country are so impoverished that they cannot hire the teachers, firefighters, and police they need to keep their communities functioning. And what is our government worrying about? Iran. Iraq. North Korea. Afghanistan. Everywhere but the United States.

I am not insinuating that we need the government to swoop in and save the people, but there is supposed to be a reason why we have a government and our government has stopped fulfilling that reason. The riots in Baltimore, Ferguson, and New York City are just the anger boiling over at the gap between the truly wealthy and the poor. It is the fuse that was lit by the powerkeg that is a lack of opportunity. The rich control too much in the United States and the government is too busy running the rest of the world to do anything about it. Even if our government was paying attention to our own country, the rich own the government and that makes it really difficult for things to change.

I’m not naïve. I understand that the American way of life must be protected at all costs or else we, as a country, become obsolete. But maybe if we spent more time trying to be a member of the international community instead of dictating what we want from everyone else around the world, then maybe other countries would find pride in doing things themselves and stop trying to either please the mighty United States, or take it down.

Our country is coming apart at the seams and President Obama can blame “thugs” all he wants and he is partially correct. But what is it about this country now that entices young people to join in on looting and riots instead of staying home? I would dare say that if the local, state, and federal governments indicate that they do not care about the country, then why should the country care about itself?

When the war on terrorism started, there was this switch that was flicked on in the United States that set a series of bad things in motion. We became obsessed with the rest of the world and did not seem to care if our own country fell apart. It suddenly became so important that the rest of the world do what we say that we started deploying our military to back up our words. Nothing we are doing is working to anybody’s advantage except for the contractors that run the American war machine. They get richer while the rest of the country gets poorer. When does it stop?

I don’t want to sound cold and heartless, but I am starting to not care if children in North Africa have decent schools and good healthcare. I don’t care because millions of our own children in the United States lack schools and healthcare. How can the land of opportunity claim its crown when there is no opportunity for the average citizen anymore?

Baltimore will happen again somewhere else. And, once again, everyone will miss the point of what is going on. Riots happen when people are angry. Looting happens when people no longer care about their own communities or their own country. When both start happening on a regular basis, then it is time for a change before we destroy ourselves.

+George N Root III is a Lockport resident and fears for the future of his country. His column appears each week and you can send feedback to Follow him on Twitter at @georgenroot3.

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1 comment:

  1. This country needs to quir worrying about being politically correct. Very good article and to the point.


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