I am fortunate to be able to have and use this venue to voice my concerns about the direction of our country. Each week I hear from many of you. At times, I must admit I’m a little embarrassed by the acknowledgements and the degree of praise I receive. I think readers recognize I’m writing from the heart. It’s not so much how I put the words on paper, but perhaps the passion and belief behind what I try to convey.
Like many of you, I’m concerned about the direction of our country, the attitude of our people and the things we see that are clearly not moving the nation in a positive direction. My goal here is to voice concern from a position that I hope the majority can agree needs attention. I also hope to encourage our leaders to put aside their party affiliation and hidden agendas designed to further divide the nation and stonewall needed legislation.
I don’t consider myself a radical, a revolutionary or someone who sees a conspiracy behind every tree. There are simply subjects that I don’t see appearing in the national media, however, that should be covered and I’m concerned why they are ignored.
I make these points because it reflects what I hear from many of you when you contact me. One of my concerns when I began writing this column a couple years ago was the fear of offending some readers or advertisers who ultimately pay the way for this free newspaper. I’m surprised at the number of you who express concern about speaking out and expressing their views either in letters to the editor, guest commentaries or comments on the web site. Fear of retribution is a major concern for many of you.
The concern that in this land of free speech many have been silenced by fear, not of what others will think, but more so by what others may do, is an alarming trend. Respectful disagreement has taken a back seat in this day and age. One can easily see how outspoken individuals can be labeled “crackpots” or “nut cases” and the media and our politicians should take the blame for making citizens fearful about speaking out.
Think for a moment, if you were given an opportunity to speak out respectfully about your primary concerns for the key issues facing this nation and you had the opportunity to do so less than 5 feet from the president, vice president, the first lady and many of our elected officials. I encourage you to watch the 27-minute video of Dr. Benjamin Carson, a John Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon who dug his way out of the poorest of situations when he was young and gave a speech last week at the National Prayer Breakfast. Carson offered his concerns for the nation on subjects like the deficit, education, taxation, political correctness, partisan bickering and God all while the nation’s leaders looked on. The video is available on YouTube. In case you don’t have access to a computer, here is one of Carson’s many points:
CARSON: “What we need to do is come up with something simple. And when I pick up my Bible, you know what I see? I see the fairest individual in the universe, God, and he's given us a system. It's called a tithe.
We don't necessarily have to do 10 percent but it's the principle. He didn't say if your crops fail, don't give me any tithe or if you have a bumper crop, give me triple tithe. So there must be something inherently fair about proportionality. You make $10 billion, you put in a billion. You make $10 you put in one. Of course you've got to get rid of the loopholes. Some people say, 'Well that's not fair because it doesn't hurt the guy who made $10 billion as much as the guy who made 10.' Where does it say you've got to hurt the guy? He just put a billion dollars in the pot. We don't need to hurt him. It's that kind of thinking that has resulted in 602 banks in the Cayman Islands. That money needs to be back here building our infrastructure and creating jobs.”
Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher of Denton Publications. He may be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.