When Americans feel things are "out of their control" they mistrust more. I wonder where people could have ever gotten the impression these days that things are out of their control? It wouldn't start from economic inequality would it? It wouldn't come from education inequality would it? It wouldn't come from political rhetoric reinforced time and time again with calls of "we need to take back our country" would it? It sure seems a lot of people are mad these days. Mad about government, social interactions, money, and I guess life in general. But how does this reconcile with the public face of thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season of "Good Will to All Mankind?" If we are a mistrusting nation as a whole, aren't we simply kidding ourselves when we rationalize the holiday spirit for a temporary gratuitous purpose?
Recently, addressing the homeless has become a major issue in our area of Florida. Being homeless is a problem, but it is not the sole problem folks out on the streets face. Psychological, economic and societal factors play a huge role in determining their collective predicament. Yet, as the issue is moved to the forefront, local citizens have voiced their indifference to those in desperate need as instead being "the underclass of society" who somehow enjoy their low station in life. Amazing how just those views alone make myself less trusting in my fellow man (whom is obsessed with their own personal wealth and happiness to the exclusion of those less fortunate).
And it goes much deeper than just dealing with the homeless. Americans mistrust their fellow man so much they see no need to share collective obligations to pay for local schools and health care. A letter was printed just today in the local newspaper that says it all about our society. It reads, "It's not fair to have to pay school taxes if you don't have kids. It's not fair for young, healthy people to pay more for health care so that the old and unwell can be insured. It's not fair to have to help the homeless who have self-inflicted drug and alcohol problems and will not help themselves... these are forms of wealth redistribution..Makers should not be punished by making them support takers." (See Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 12/1/2013). Do I trust this gentlemen to determine what is fair or unfair in today's World? Uhm, NO! There but for the grace of G-D go I and I will forever believe that I am not simply lucky to have what I have, but also Blessed. If I am blessed, does that mean that the sick, poor, hungry and homeless have somehow been forgotten by G-D? Do some have no sense of morality today in America?
And doesn't some of the blame for our current mistrust of others have to do more and more with the role our Media plays? Shouldn't the Media stop bashing everything that goes on in this world by sensationalizing it as a form of Infotainment and instead start educating Americans again as to what is really going on and what can be done to improve our lives and those that share our communities? Caring for American society should not be considered being a liberal or a conservative. Caring for fellow Americans should be considered being a real American! Frankly, reading letters and message board postings (that are seemingly popping up everywhere) is beginning to shake MY trust in America. I maintain that losing sight of what "community" means is far more dangerous to America than fearing and mistrusting perceived redistributions of monetary "wealth."
As President James Madison once wrote; "I have no doubt but that the misery of the lower classes will be found to abate whenever the Government assumes a freer aspect and the laws favor a subdivision of property." I suppose if someone wrote that today, Americans would claim it to be "an Un-American thought." I will put my trust however, in Washington, Franklin, Adams, Madison and Hamilton - and all of my fellow Americans that feel an obligation towards all fellow Americans. Have a great week!