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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Current Affairs (06/07/12)

TITLE: WILL WE RIGHT THE SHIP?
By James Dick
06/07/12


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The America we love is in a terrible state of affairs today. We continue to spend money we donít have. Our children are graduating from schools that donít prepare them for the future. Our young military forces are fighting undeclared wars on behalf of nations that donít even like us. And these are just the ďtip of the icebergĒ in terms of the problems we face.

Our government continues on a course similar to that of the unsinkable ship Titanic. The captain knows there is an iceberg somewhere up ahead but he continues full speed. Itís as if we think weíre invincible and donít have to worry about what is about to happen.

Well, the day when we have to worry is already here. We must very quickly start doing things differently or the Republic as we know it wonít survive.

Now I know that this sounds gloomy, but there is good news. A large number of Americans, members of the so-called silent majority, fully recognize our need for change. And many actions have been proposed, even if they have been ďwatered downĒ by the political establishment to render them useless. At least the ideas are in the open for all to see.

Let me offer my own five step plan as a start. It wonít solve everything but at least it will get our heading changed. It will help us to avoid a watery grave.

1. Reconnect with God. As a nation founded on Judeo-Christian principles, we have apparently lost our moral compass. We must renew our daily and ongoing connection with our God. We need to ask him for help and guidance. And the best way to do that is through communication by prayer. Sometimes we can only see the truth if we let him open our eyes. He helps us renew ourselves to face any task.
2. Self-discipline. We have to go back to the basics of economics. We canít spend what we donít have and we canít print more money with nothing behind it. We canít continue a tax system that no one understands. Do you realize that the Senate hasnít had a budget in nearly three years? How can an entity operate this way? The quick answer: it canít.
3. Properly educate our children. We need to overhaul our public schools. We can no longer afford to have children graduate from high school who canít effectively read and write. Get the unions out of the education business and base employment decisions on qualification and results. Itís not the school building or its fancy interior thatís important. What is important is that our children learn in the classroom. We must get back to the three Rís with a good dose of history thrown in.
4. Use our military wisely. Stop sending our soldiers to far off lands to defend governments that really donít like us. Use our military to protect America. I mean, really, why say we canít we control our own borders but think we can control the borders of Afghanistan?
5. Limit the reach of government. Cut the size of government and in so doing shrink its power over our lives. One easy way to start this is to return Congress to a part-time body as it was originally intended. What if Congress was only in session from January through April with pay being commensurate? The politicians would then have to limit their legislation due to time constraints and they would also have to find other ways to support themselves for the other two-thirds of the year. Donít you think this would require them to truly reconnect with their constituents? Iíll bet tax reform would come quickly under this scenario.

Now these ideas are simple and by no means all inclusive, but at least they would be a start. And it is true that they will be hard to carry out. Special interest groups will fight, and politicians will argue, but if we put things in Godís hands He will show the way. He will help us face reality.

Do we love our country? Are we willing to ask Godís help to face this challenge? Are we willing to make personal sacrifices where necessary? Each of us must search within ourselves to find the answer. But be secure in knowing that if we do, God will give us the courage and strength to prevail.


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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/21/12
Congratulations for ranking 7th in level one!