Can We Prevent a Frightening Prospect?  

Ruth Gadebush

It has long been said that all great empires come to an end. Is that to be our fate? Yes, we are an empire even though we seldom apply that word to the American Dream. I fear that we are about to get a hard lesson that just calling a nation a democracy does not make it so.

There is little left when the top court of the land needs an enforceable ethics code, when the Congress disintegrates into party political plays forgetting compromise, when it threatens to let our government shut down by not paying our legally encumbered debt and when a former president is under indictment for 90-some serious crimes. Can this unhappy state of affairs be stopped?

For a nation formed by immigration, the current contention regarding the issue is more than just sorrowful. The nation long the refuge for oppressed people throughout the planet is not just closing its doors but is adding oppression on top of oppression: Evil on top of evil! Regardless of one’s ideas as to our policies intended to protect us, what is being done now by two states is totally disgraceful.

Granted, the states on our southern borders are being overwhelmed but that is no excuse for the political stunts supposedly designed to discourage the uncontrolled efforts of those seeking refuge creating chaos. We fought a war to cement the idea that we are one nation.

When a state joins the union, it is a binding contract. Our Civil War/War Between the States, regardless of what it is called, supposedly settled the idea of unity. Even without that idea, sending already suffering people to other parts of the nation with no provision for care whatsoever is not our nation. It is absolutely inhumane, cruel beyond words even without addressing the splitting of families and other abuse.

This does not even consider the conditions that create our own homeless. Nor is that an excuse for the treatment of those unfortunates seeking citizenship/life in this nation better than anywhere else on the planet. Is there any other place more able to share resources?

Even if we feel limited in our ability to care for the needy, be they domestic or immigrants, surely we are clever enough to find a better answer than the cruelty of sending them to ever more challenging living conditions weather-wise or what else to be encountered. To continue on our current path is guaranteed to backfire on us.

Where are the responsible adults? Who put the current office holders in office? Who continues to support them? Who is financing their campaigns to continue in office? Why are so few citizens willing to hit the brakes?

The questions are not profound within themselves, but failure to address them carry serious consequences. There is opportunity in the various elections to be held in 2024.

We can focus on the age of one candidate while overlooking the fact that he is qualified by experience and commitment as well as the protecting provisions when an officer holder is no longer able to function, or we can focus on a man who in his own words and actions has demonstrated over and over that his focus is more ego and power than a unified nation operating as our constitution intended.

Let us also remember those in the lesser offices who have their contribution to the whole. That is our choice. Which will it be? Will we choose the personal  power seekers or the citizens committed to that document that despite whatever weakness it might have is still the best ever designed?

Incidentally, how many of us native born can pass the citizenship test?


  • Ruth Gadebusch

    Ruth Gadebusch, a former naval officer, was recently recognized by the League of Women Voters with its Lipton Award for volunteer work in various community endeavors. She was elected four times to the Fresno Unified School District Board, appointed by Governor George Deukmejian to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and is an emeritus member of the Board of the Center for Civic Education.

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