During these times of political and financial turmoil, many people have voiced their opinions about the dire condition of our great nation.
I decided to pitch in some thoughts and ideas from, perhaps, a different perspective. I do not mean to discredit those who may be a lot more experienced and educated than I am. I have learned to listen like you eat fish - chew it up and spit out the bones.
My credentials for offering advice are, I think, qualifying for some consideration.
I was born in March of 1922, although my scheduled delivery date was May. But due to some shipping and handling problems, I demanded an earlier delivery date. I think that fact may have caused me to have a different bent in my thinking - more to the radical direction, with a bunch of humor.
The Great Depression of the 1930s was an important part of my education. My mom had a profound saying: "We will eat what we have and sing what we can."
A large segment of my education came with volunteering for service in our Navy during World War II, serving on two different ships in the Pacific. My sense of patriotism became a lifetime obsession to me. At the end of the war, I was privileged to go to college under the GI Bill of Rights. I graduated from high school (earning my GED) on a Wednesday and graduated from college on a Friday of the same week, while working swing shift at Boeing, building a "spec house" and planning to get married in July.
The first things that comes to my mind that could help our country is 1) don't spend what you do not have and 2) don't spend all that you have today. Tomorrow is coming. A family or a nation could learn from this simple advice.
On foreign policy, who appointed the United States as keeper of the world? If we give some foreign nation one of those big, low-interest loans, how about requiring some security? If they do not pay, foreclose.
"Equality" is a very nice term tossed around a lot. But suppose I got a "government loan" and then did not pay it back on time? You guessed it right; they would foreclose and take my home, business or whatever.
So, is a foreign nation that hates us more important than us law-abiding, patriotic, flag-loving, tax-paying citizens? Where is the legalized equality?
"Share the wealth" is a beautiful garnering promise. Here is my suggestion to implement this concept: Since cream "rises to the top," let's start by cutting the wages of all the politicians in Washington by one half. Put their surrendered gift against the nation's debt they have incurred. Let's also cut all their benefits by one half, including vacation time, retirement, medical benefits and travel expenses. Then, do not replace all of those who opt out of Congress. There won't be so much wasted arguing time on the floor if we cut the numbers down.
Incidentally, maybe it would be a good idea to eliminate the "political parties" so there would not be so much warfare across party lines. Just send us a few good men or women to manage our national affairs.
Next step: Why do we need those thousands of lobbyists? If our Congressmen can't think clearly enough to make good decisions by themselves, replace them. Lobbyists may serve some purpose that I don't know about, but I bet you they do influence or cloud the thinking of their target.
When common sense is trumped by political career protection, we the people are the losers. Promote and protect "free enterprise." America began with a lot of mom and pop businesses.
Regarding gun control, we should penalize criminals, not law-abiding citizens. No law-abiding citizen has ever committed a gun crime!
Finally, the statute of limitations has expired on the United Nations. The usefulness of that organization to us ended long ago. Send all the member nations back to their homes. That organization is infested with people who hate us; yet we grant them "diplomatic immunity."
Kent Fagerstrom is a Douglas resident.
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