11/24/12 — Stay strong: Principles that built this nation are the ones worth fighting for

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Stay strong: Principles that built this nation are the ones worth fighting for

Since the result of the recent election, there has been a lot of talk about the future of America and where we are headed as a nation.

And there are many people who think that the Nov. 6 result is a sign that the United States is shifting to a new, more European model of life and government, and that there are more Americans than ever who are looking to see what they can get free rather than what they can earn.

Not so. There are more than a few people who remember that this country was built on the principles of hard work and the dreams of immigrants who came here for the chance at a better life -- and then built those futures with hard work and personal sacrifice.

There are still people who understand that government really should work for the people -- not the other way around. They stand for personal responsibility, not handouts.

So the calls for the secession from the union, while interesting, are not really a sign that there are many people who have given up the fight to build a better America.

They are a sign that there are plenty of people out there who still want to be heard.

The reason there is so much frustration is simple. Most people were raised with the idea that they should strive to achieve -- and that if they did the right things, like stay in school or get the training they needed, and then if they worked hard, they would reap the benefits of that effort.

And for many modern day immigrants and entrepreneurs, those dreams have come true -- and they have given back to their communities by helping others take those first steps.

But the America that so many are afraid of is one where hard work is penalized and the opposite is rewarded, where it is easier to stay on unemployment or welfare or to make bad decisions than it is to put in the work to make it on your own.

They don't want to see a country of class warfare and race baiting, where no one is truly equal and no one is truly free.

And that is why now is the critical time to think about the next step.

Pandering is not the answer.

And neither is refusing to acknowledge that there has to be a better way to communicate the message and the possibilities.

The principles that built this nation are still the right ones, the strong ones.

And there are more than a few people -- blacks, Hispanics, whites and women -- who believe that there is reason to fight for them.

The key is opening the lines of communication and talking about what it will take to make a better America and to include new voices in the call to return to the foundation that made us great. It is about facing realities and making judgments based on facts and history rather than promises and bad examples of failed agendas.

If that happens, there will be an honest debate over the next steps this country should take.

And that is what we need. Sooner rather than later.

Published in Editorials on November 24, 2012 10:57 PM