When I saw the cover of this week’s The Economist with headline “One Nation or Two.” It took a second look to see the tiny Star of David and know it was not America. I suddenly recalled Pogo saying long ago: “We have met the enemy and he is us!” is showing the earmarks of impending failure. Rarely have any lasted more than 400 years. “By ignoring history, we seem doomed to repeat it,” to paraphrase Sir Winston. Are there leaders of character with the fortitude to put country before self and save us from the abyss?

There is no quick fix, no omnibus solution, no silver bullet but rather a collection of steps we must take to save our precious country from tyrannical rule.

We can start by realizing our Constitution was penned 250 years ago by men who could not possibly have conceived of the complexities of today’s world. We must focus on the fundamental principles that guided the drafters and a whole lot less on the lawyerly parsing of words and punctuation marks.

We must once and for all put a stop to the obscene amounts of money needed for election campaigns and lobbying. Once an election is over, the next day a new one begins. We are constantly being dunned for money to fight for the cause du jour.

Let’s reinstate the fairness doctrine. The public must have access to and hear more than one side of issues. Broadcast and print media should inform rather than brainwash their constituents.

We must fix our primary and secondary education systems so they stimulate more critical thinking not just test results. STEM is wonderful but a stronger emphasis on subjects like civics, history and philosophy is also essential. No child should graduate high school without a complete understanding of how our government is structured and how it works. Parental participation, too, is critical. We must do more to engage them.

At all levels of government, including our own communities, we must relearn the art of compromise for the greater good or we shall indeed be doomed.

Jon Barton

Coos Bay


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