America’s leadership lacking

Richard Millsap

By A Contributor

I was in the process of drafting a letter when I read the article by Arthur F. Loub. He covered, with ability, several of my concerns. Now I would like to revert to the past and touch on some of the causes of our most serious and complex problems.

Our nation’s financial situation is deplorable — moving toward $17 trillion of debt and borrowing 40 percent of what we spend. This is indefensible. The Congressional Budget Office and non-political economists have pointed out the dangers. Liberal Democrats and some “me-to” Republicans have given us this condition. I told those interested for years that the liberals would win in the foreseeable future. To quote the H.L. Mencken, we have been “on skids with fools” for some time.

Our government has given us or supports with millions of dollars…

• Acorn, whose main purpose was to register Democrat voters.

• Planned Parenthood. The excuse “But we don’t use the government’s money for abor-tions” is an insult. Using money for salaries, rent, etc., doesn’t free up money for abortions?

• AARP. This group doesn’t receive its millions directly because it lobbies, but it creates subsidiaries that claim to educate and perform research, and these receive many millions.

• Public Broadcasting. It produces some good programs, which I watch, but it clearly leans liberal and shouldn’t receive millions of tax support. PBS TV did some documentaries on presidents a few years ago and in the one on Franklin Roosevelt, made the statement: “Franklin Roosevelt was the first president to tell the public to look to the federal government for security.” Bad advice!

• Amtrak. This agency has lost billions of dollars for years and, in my judgment, is kept viable largely to pacify seniors. It may be self-supporting in certain venues in the East; the other routes should be eliminated.

I am disillusioned, disgusted and ashamed of the condition of our government and our nation. Most people blame the politicians. Though they may be more at fault — they are better educated in such matters — final responsibility is with citizens. It took me a long time to see this, as I was ignorant and immature as most youth. It is the character and maturity of its people that makes a country great.

A few years ago, I saw a live TV interview with Paul Simon, a former U.S. senator form Illinois. I knew he was through with politics because he criticized a fellow Democrat, Bill Clinton, for governing by polls. Mr. Simon was critical of polls and gave a clear example: The Marshall Plan, which saved Europe from communism, was opposed by 90 percent of Americans.

There are many examples. Most government hand-outs started with FDR. Dozens of groups have sprung up to lobby and beseech the federal government for largess.

Politicians spin and mislead the public, which is abysmally ignorant of politics and govern-ment A historian once wrote that he looked forward to the day when the public would be sophisticated enough that our leaders would not need to lie and spin. (He must have been thinking tongue in cheek.)

The self-interest of many groups is so apparent. One in particular involves feminist zealots, who insist on total control of their bodies until they need tax money for many services. We didn’t even think of such things in World War II.

The media haven’t helped; they seem to support every liberal cause. The media were eager to support the Arab Spring, which I was fearful of.

I may have rambled some, for which I apologize, but the complexities of life are beyond imagination. Winston Churchill said courage is the greatest of mankind’s qualities; without courage, the other quali-ties are weakened. Churchill had great courage and honor — qualities we need in a leader today.

Richard Millsap, 3821 Chestnut, in St. George, was in a law firm in Johnson and Wyandotte counties during the 1950s and 1960s and later was director of education for the Missouri Bar.

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