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From the Lefthand Corner: Is this what we want America to be?

As we celebrate our nation's Independence Day this week, I invite thought and reflection as to how we feel regarding our nation's status and direction.

We celebrate our rare existence in a very rich nation with an unparalleled quarter of a thousand years of continuous, uninterrupted freedom border to border.

Think about it as we give thanks for that freedom. Are we progressing as the America we want and can be proud of? Or, are we sliding toward another Sodom and Gomorrah? Are we setting ourselves up for a dictatorship and brutal end of the great freedom that most of us can now enjoy? Have we lost momentum toward a greater society for all?

Do we want an America that tolerates the separation of immigrant children from their parents in a strange land, for unknown amounts of time; that warehouses them in confinement or scatters them across the country; all with no consistent plan or procedure for contacting or uniting?

Do we need to commit or spend billions of taxpayer dollars to build a wall all the way to the Pacific to shut out our neighbors from the south? (Did we ever want or believe our president's boasts or demands that Mexico would pay for it?)

Do we want to alienate our Canadian friends by demeaning their premier and tariffing their products? In so doing, we unnecessarily change long friendship to resentment and invite retaliation against our reliant workers and business entities. I note in the newspapers and newscasts that Premier Trudeau used Canada's Independence Day to do just that.

Do we want an America that is belittling and backing out of both longstanding and recently negotiated peace plans and trade agreements and longstanding military defense alliances?

This has already caused us to have fewer friends and more enemies, and created likelihood that some day we will be left to stand alone - with no longer the resources and military might to provide security.

Do we want a society that seems to take a step backward more often than forward in attempting to eliminate sexual prejudice and discrimination? Do we want a society that continues to have sexual harassment, and other harassment, in the workplace?

Do we continue along on a pathway toward financial ruin as we continue to spend more than we take in? The highly touted tax bill of 2018 has, in just six months, proved that it is unduly complicated, only effectively helps those so rich they don't need it, and will increase our national debt another trillion.

Along the line of spending, do we continue to favor and emphasize a vain attempt to build up "great" military might at the expense of what is needed for our infrastructure and social needs?

Do we want an America that continues to shortchange our young, often imbuing them with drive for profit and material wealth, but almost immoral underspending in providing education for most all children? Numerous nations with less means to do so are passing us by on technical education for now and future.

Do we want our America to continue where shootings have become commonplace and dominate our news? It is an America where one gun activist organization, bankrolled by gun manufacturers, has so intimidated our president and congress that we can't pass even the most minor regulation on use and ownership of guns, not even registration and background checks, nor age limits on purchasing, nor banning sale and usage of devices that cause fully automatic firing in unlimited amounts.

Do we want an America that defies the dollar and focuses on attainment of material gain, rather than using our wealth to share and care for the needy in our midst - those without access to adequate health care, addicted, disabled, mentally ill, lacking treatment, shelter, food and clothing?

As we celebrate this week, take some moments to reflect - is where we are at right now what we want our America to be a year from now, for the foreseeable future?