In just over a month people will be going to the polls to vote for president and for other candidates. The presidential election will primarily center on these issues: economic growth; jobs and unemployment; government debt and spending; and health care and taxes.
All of these issues are to a certain extent measurable in that we have a sense of how these issues will impact us individually and how they define the overall well-being of the country. But are these the real measures of the health and well-being of America? Does annual economic growth or our unemployment rate, our national debt or the level of government spending or even our tax rates and health care options determine the health and well-being of America?
The answer is no.
Richard Lamm, the former Democrat Governor of Colorado, wrote that “… great nations have great citizens, and the kind of future we will have depends on what kind of people we are and what kind of kids we produce.” In other words, the future of the nation depends on what kind of citizens we are, what we teach our children to aspire to be and what values and attributes we pass on to them.
It has long been understood that nations go into decline when the moral character of their citizens go into decline. Not only do large segments of the population neglect their civic responsibilities, but far too many of those who do participate do so primarily out of personal self-interest. And this is not just true for liberals who want to expand entitlement programs to “…spread the wealth around.” It is also true for conservatives who turn a blind eye to government corporate welfare and other programs that benefit them.