Is This The Best We Can Do?

We’re not good at what we used to be great at.

Before everyone starts choosing up sides in the latest school shooting, or the new WSJ poll that measures the collapse of patriotism, faith and family, let’s just get this out of the way.

Whether it’s the “inability” (or “priority”?) to secure a school building full of children or the ongoing spectacle of inept people in positions of responsibility (the FAA nominee who withdrew is not a “hero” for doing so), we as a country, we as a people, are failing. We have gone from the people who saved the world to looking like people who can’t save themselves.

We put a man on the moon, once. But we can’t guard a door. Or won’t.

We came from further behind than a NCAA 16-seed to rescue human freedom and dignity, twice, in the first half of the 20th century. Now we can’t find the expertise to run a single safety agency. Or won’t.

So, before you tell me we need gun laws, we need to take a good look in the mirror and ask ourselves what our dead grandfathers and grandmothers would say right now, if they dropped in? After they were done whupping us upside the head and dressing us down, that is.

I don’t need you to tell me how we got this way. I was here for it. Nor am I interested in spinning this into the pitch for your favorite 2024 candidate, because I have news for you, champ. This is bigger than politicians and government. They helped start the fire, but they’re not going to put it out, none of them are.

Open your eyes.

Our challenge is that many millennials and Gen Zers have torn down fences without asking why they were put up. Rejected values they never test-drove first. According to the WSJ poll, they care more about money but understand less about how to make it, keep it or protect it from the pols’ greed. They are their own god. They have learned—learned as a fact, not opinion—that the US is a white supremacist place the world could do without.

From “Defund” to the 1619 Project, from the whitewashing of socialism to the erasing of gender, this all makes sense as an outcome, not a fad.

And when you’re young, and you don’t see competence, you don’t value it. I can’t blame them, angry as I am.

There are challenges everywhere you look. I’m not giving up, but I am deciding where to start.

We start with asking, earnestly, “Is this the best we can do?” 


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