John F. Kennedy delivered one of the greatest inaugural addresses in our history. His election represented a transfer of power to a generation (often called the greatest generation) that survived the Great Depression and won World War Two. It was a call to achieve greatness. He said “we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to ensure the survival and success of liberty”. He called on Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you- ask what you can do for your country”. It typified the American spirit that took the nation from thirteen states hugging the Atlantic to the greatest superpower the world has ever known.
Over the years I have heard many people express doubt about our future. I have always felt that the indomitable America spirit that Kennedy called upon would see us through. Now I am not so sure. I see that spirit, which goes all the way back from the Mayflower, being eroded.
Many children are being raised in a protective cocoon rather than gaining the strength to face challenges. Political correctness is based on the assumption that people are powerless. Education and hard work used to be the formula for success. For many, sitting back and waiting for the government to take care of them is the preferred approach.
We do have one thing going for us. Each year we get legal aliens from all over the world. They are like a shot of adrenaline. They still believe in the American Dream. They start and run countless businesses, including some of our largest and most successful. Unfortunately, nativist Republicans are trying to keep them out. They have proposed a system that is so strict that it is possible for a Nobel Prize winner to be denied entry.
Life can be hard. We need to be able to face challenges as individuals and as a nation. If not, our best days will truly be behind us.