Foreign relations are worse than ever. Even doing the Cold War America had allies it could depend upon. Today, America is openly threatened by China, North Korea, Iran, and Russia while terrorists groups around the globe seek to do us great harm. Allies like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, most Central American nations and even neighboring nations like Mexico and Canada hold us with little respect. Our foes insult us and don’t fear us while our supposed allies have no confidence in our ability to stand up for what we believe in.
On the domestic side our economy is in tatters. Granted stocks have gone up which has made many global investors quite wealthy, but good jobs for everyday Americans do not exist. The Middle Class has practically disappeared, out national debt is beyond comprehension, and race relations, once improving, appear to have degenerated terribly. A total lack of trust in government prevails.
Our young generation lives in desperation. They are burdened with high student debt if they attended college yet have little promise of ever achieving an occupation commensurate to their education. Those lacking an education have even less hope for a meaningful future.
Given these problems, America needs real leadership to heal wounds and solve problems, but there is little hope on the horizon as one looks at the candidates. Were this not enough, the anger and hatefulness of the campaign has reached a new low.
Americans have to rally around whoever wins the Presidency this coming November. That is how democracy works. The situation today is such that it appears those who support Trump or Clinton will never accept the other as legitimately winning the election. That means that hope for traditional “rallying around the flag” is gone. Indeed, even disrespect for and burning of the flag appears more in fashion than any sense of patriotism.
There was a time when Americans could disagree without being disagreeable. Apparently, those days are in the past. Today, anger, demonstrations, riots, abuse, bullying, and shouting have replaced calm debate and respect for diverse opinions. This antagonism has even infected some who consider themselves reasonable, and were reasonable during past elections.
This bodes ill for our future. In a world riddled with chaos, we need to respect our leaders and rally around our national interests. Sadly, this will likely not occur. As a result, Americans face a difficult future in this troubled world.
Ron Chapman is a Louisiana businessman, educator and award winning columnist.