We’ve been in our current offices for several months but only recently got around to hanging some original paintings to spruce things up a bit. One that was hung in my office is titled “His Country” by artist Harry J. Schaare and depicts a young man riding his horse through a forest. Back in the days when I fit that description, I too rode my horse through the woods in what was a very meditative experience, at least for me if not for the horse.
As I sat gazing at the painting, I recalled that when I was on my horse in that setting I truly thought of the land on which I was riding as my country. Today, no matter where I am or what I am doing, I don’t think I truly feel that I am any longer in My Country.
When I read the news on the Internet or listen to it on any of the popular newscasts, liberal or conservative, I almost can’t believe what I am hearing. Before recent times, I never thought about how many, and what kind of, people were crossing our borders illegally. Sure, we had a dribble of Cubans coming across the Florida Straights to flee their Communist country, but nothing like the flood we are experiencing on our Southern borders today. It is more than a crisis; it is an out-of-control mess.
And, when we go to our favorite breakfast nook during the week, the owners speak to us about their inability to hire cooks and servers because they can make more money staying home and unemployed than doing an honest day’s work. Whoever thought the government would destroy small businesses by paying their employees not to work.
Yesterday’s news reported on the government’s plan to spend 6 trillion, yes trillion, dollars to expand the federal government and spend the treasure-trove on infrastructure, education and climate change. Whose paying for this? Corporations and high earners who, historically, have provided the jobs that are so dearly needed today. Does that make any sense to you?
Some states, like California, have decided to meet their budget demands by reducing the prison populations within their boundaries. That’s right, they’re going to let thousands of convicted felons out into the communities to prey on those who convicted them in the first place. Did anyone ask the citizens of that state if this is how they want to live? Maybe that’s why we see so many more California license plates on our streets these days.
This no longer strikes me as a place I can call My Country. I would not champion any of these causes nor would I vote for anyone who does. Nonetheless, the odds are that most if not all of these agendas will be implemented, either by Congressional action, Executive Orders at the federal or state levels, or simply because no one will oppose efforts to enact them into law.
To be honest, the only reason for not packing my bags and running is the issue of where to go. When I was growing up in Florida, adults laughed at the corruption and political agendas of foreign countries, especially those in South America. We have now come full cycle to where our country is now far worse off politically and economically than those we previously criticized.
I truly wish I could run into and return to “His Country.”