Polls show that most people realize that our country is in a mess. While polarization seems natural in Washington, it has now reached the Midwest. Three strands, inextricably intertwined, prevent our country from finding peace and unity: money, ideology, and power. These three strands are the diet which politicians feed on in Washington, and are affecting the rest of the country as well.

Why are we in such a sorry state of affairs? I propose to you that it starts with the power struggle in Washington. For the majority of our lives we have had a two-party system; Democrats and Republicans. These two parties had differing opinions on running the country, but were willing to make sacrifices to reach an agreement. However, that has changed.

To begin with, we no longer have two parties. We have now morphed into four parties. According to the Wall Street Journal, “the Democratic Party today really is two parties: the progressive version of the party and the moderate version. This split is hardly new, but now the two sides are roughly equal in congressional strength and leverage.” The writer goes on to say, “This split is mirrored on the other side of the aisle, where the Republican Party also effectively is split in two. There remains the traditionally conservative GOP, which many Republicans refer to as the “governing part of the party,” because it is interested in advancing its agenda through conventional governing channels. Its power now is at least offset, and probably eclipsed, by the populist, nationalist version of the Republican Party, which is animated more by cultural fights with the left than by traditional conservative policy goals.” Therefore, instead of looking for ways to solve our problems, those four parties are fighting among themselves for power.

The faction in power also has primary control over the money. Currently, Joe Biden is pushing to be the biggest government spender in history. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” pales in comparison to Joe Biden’s “infrastructure” and “Bring America Back” bills. According to a recent headline in the Wall Street Journal, there is talk in the White House of paying each immigrant $450,000. “The Biden administration is in talks to offer immigrant families that were separated during the Trump administration around $450,000 a person in compensation, according to people familiar with the matter, as several agencies work to resolve lawsuits filed on behalf of parents and children who say the government subjected them to lasting psychological trauma.”

The $1 trillion infrastructure bill is stuck in the House since Rep. {span}Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York,{/span} and the progressive faction refuse to vote on it until the “Bring America Back” bill is approved. Moreover, that bill does not appear to be going anywhere! Therefore, nothing happens while all parties fight over money.

It has often been said, “Money is the root of all evil,” but today, our nation teeters not on money or power. The primary evil is ideology. The country appears to be divided into three camps; the new Progressives, the old conservatives, and those who hold to a middle ground or, in some cases, have no idea what is happening. Only two of these camps will survive into the next decade.

The progressive wing of the Democratic Party holds to a Marxist form of government. They call themselves progressives because that sounds better that socialist or communist. However, what they advocate is in fact classical Marxism. The fundamental difference is that under Karl Marx it was the working class against the ruling class. Under American Marxism, it is the black victims against the white racists. Racism defines everything today. That is why critical race theory is being pushed into schools around the country, and why the misleading 1619 Project is being taught.

Conservatives stand firm on the Constitution, the rule of law, and a free market society. Most conservatives agree with Martin Luther King that their character, not the color of their skin, should define a person.

The other camp includes the moderates, independents, and some others who are totally out of touch with what is going on in our country. These people will eventually be forced into one of the other two camps. Either our country will remain a free democratic republic or we will go the way of other Socialist/Communist nations before us.

Everywhere Socialism has been tried, it has failed! If we want to go the way of China, Russia and Cuba, we can sit back and do nothing, However, I, for one, want to remain free, have a voice in what happens in our country, be able to come and go as I please, own a gun if I so choose, and worship as I see fit. Therefore, I will use every means at my disposal to prevent anyone from taking those freedoms away!

Bill Shea is a retired major in the U. S. Army. He also worked at K-State as an instructor in computer science and still supply preaches for MCC. He lives in Manhattan.

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