Four Issues which Existed in 2017 Exist Today and Prevent America from Becoming a Great Nation

Golden Lady Justice, Bruges, Belgium

Every other developed nation in the world is better than the United States of America. Now, don’t “get your panties in a bunch.” I am devoted to the people of our nation, but not to our government. Until Washington begins to place people ahead of corporate profits, four issues which existed on January 20, 2017, and continue to exist today, will prevent America from being what politicians falsely claim, “the greatest country in the world.”

Let’s begin with the obvious. Trump is a white supremacist. With him as their leader, the Republican Party has finally been exposed as the ‘party of racists and bigots.’ At his rallies Trump encourages anger, hatred, and violence against anyone who refuses to agree with the schoolyard bully. The only reason racism continues to be an enormous problem in our country is because millions of Americans embrace ignorance. If you claim to be an intelligent man or woman and continue to harbor racist beliefs, you are lying to yourself.

Second, a great nation; great leaders; are concerned with the welfare of all the citizens of their nation. One-half of our federal government considers healthcare a privilege, and not a right, except for themselves whose medical insurance is paid for by taxpayers. Every developed nation, other than the United States has a healthcare system which is free or affordable for everyone. Not a single man, woman, or child should lose their lives because they cannot afford the best healthcare available, especially in the richest nation in the world. And no family should face bankruptcy or become homeless because they faced a serious injury or a life-threatening medical condition.

Educating our younger Americans is paramount if our nation is to advance intellectually and economically. Every year our country loses some of its greatest minds for the sole reason of affordability. The amount of student loan debt rivals the annual budget of the Pentagon. Every developed nation offers free or low-cost higher education with the exception of the United States.

Last but not least, is our failed penal system. America’s population is only four percent of the entire world. However, we incarcerate 25 percent of all imprisoned men and women in the world. Put simply and honestly, our penal system sucks. An ignorant government refuses to learn from other nations that rehabilitation lowers the rate of recidivism. The goal of America’s current system is to punishment without considering where and what these men and women will do when they complete their sentences. The current prison population is disproportionately filled with minorities, many of whose only crime was drug possession.

Refusing to address these problems and claiming that America is great is bullshit. Greatness is found in people, not in buildings, or the hollow words of our elected officials. Actions focused on solving these four issues can make America great. It begins at the top. We need leaders in our nation’s capital, not self-serving men and women who refuse to perform the jobs for which they were elected.

The Truth Lives Here

Op-ed by James Turnage

My eight novels, including “Down from the Mountain,” are exclusively available on Amazon; click HERE; the Kindle app is a free download

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