If you asked one hundred people what is wrong with America, what caused it and what steps should be taken to repair the damage, you could well get one hundred different answers.
I'm sure the preponderance of the replies would deal with politics in one way or another; don't spend enough, spend too much, too conservative, too liberal, wrong priorities, bunch of crooks, don't know, don't care, do nothing bunch of dolts who personally prosper by spending our money.
And so much of the above, on both sides of the ledger, are the absolute truth. If the scales were balanced today, the State of Texas probably couldn't hold the transgressors, past and present.
But this being a republic, our politicians don't just walk into office and start plying their dubious trade. They are duly elected by we the people and we the people continue to send the same old reprobates, party hacks and powerbrokers back again and again, expecting a groundswell of change, and all we get is a "Wham bam, thank you, ma’am. I'll see you next election.”
These people are not going to affect change. They're too happy with things the way they are.
Every day on Capitol Hill, the lobbyists make their endless rounds, passing out tickets to sporting events, invitations to prestigious dinners and "goy to be seen" shows at the Kennedy Center.
And that's only what’s swimming on top of the water. Wonder what’s going on down where the sharks live?
But regardless of how devious, crooked and unproductive a politician may be, he or she doesn't get into office without being put there by the voters of their district, and therein lies the rub.
Every election cycle the politicos up for reelection go among the great unwashed and tell them what wonderful things they can accomplish if they can only be elected one more time.
And then, you know what happens, they're going to forget about their promises as soon as the last vote is counted, and that's exactly what they did the last time you helped put them in office. So why do you keep on voting for them?
It’s as clear as a Montana sky that the reason our congress and senate cater to the teacher’s union is not to further education, but to pad their vote count. They keep throwing billions of dollars at the problem, and Johnny still can't read or write, add or subtract, and it’s a pretty safe bet that Johnny can't tell you when the War of 1812 was fought.
Is this fair, to let our children go out in the world with a seriously inadequate education, unable to ever advance above mid-levels, just so a bunch of rich fat cats can spend another few years wasting our tax dollars?
Why should only the children of the affluent be able to choose the school they attend? Why shouldn't all families have the right to send their children to a school with the academic levels, religious teachings and ability to discipline they want their kids to be exposed to?
If you ask a liberal, most of them will tell you that it would destroy the public school system, and that's what my British friends would call “balderdash.”
Analogy: Say that General Motors – who builds some of the most quality cars on the planet – would, by an act of Congress, become the only automobile company allowed to operate in the U.S., taking Ford, Chrysler and all the other domestic and foreign car makers out of the equation.
What do you think would happen in the absence of competition?
What would GM lose by lowering their excellent standards a little to make the folks in the board room happy and squeeze a few more dollars out of each sale?
And the next time and the next time and so on, lowering options, horsepower and safety standards until the only car Americans could buy would be something you wouldn't drive to a dog fight today.
So, instead of destroying public education, competition for students would raise the standards of public education, conversely, what it would affect is the vote-heavy teachers union.
And no, I'm not knocking unions. I happen to belong to two very fine ones and have for many decades.
The difference between the unions I belong to and the teachers union is that the American Federation of Musicians and AFTRA-SAG don't promote mediocrity, can't, and would never try to force a bandleader to hire a musician that can't play or force a producer to hire an actor that can't act.
It's that simple. When you're the only game in town – or at least the only one many people can afford – laxity, incompetence and indifference creep in and quality goes downhill.
There are thousands of quality teachers in the public system, but a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and there are way too many of those. There are at least enough to make American students score poorly in the international arena.
Our federal government is riddled with incompetence, and most disturbingly, treason. Divulging secrets and taping confidential conversations are against the law and carry heavy penalties.
This is another sign of the mediocrity that has been tolerated in our government. They were hired by somebody.
Want a change?
What do you think?
Pray for our troops, our police and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America
Charlie Daniels is a legendary American singer, song writer, guitarist, and fiddler famous for his contributions to country and southern rock music. Daniels has been active as a singer since the early 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008.