I’m a little depressed today over events in our country. Now that’s not a new development for me as I get that way quite a lot — especially when I listen to too much news. But it seems like it’s happening more often. When I get this way, I have to remind myself who is in charge but I still get worked up over things that just defy explanation.
Even though God is ultimately in control, He does use each of us to accomplish his goals so we should be vocal and proactive when things are going awry. Obviously we need to temper our feelings of depression with the knowledge of the final victory but we still need to be vigilant.
OK, so what’s got me fired up this time? It may seem petty to some people but it’s a news article about a mom in Florida who got in trouble because she let her 7- year-old son walk to a public park by himself. Yep, you read correctly. She was arrested and charged with child neglect for letting her son go to park by himself.
He had a cell phone with him and, when approached by a stranger, ran off just like he was taught to do. But, apparently the “authorities” thought that they were better equipped to make a decision like that than Mom so they locked her up. Ultimately, the charges may be dropped, but don’t you think it’s more than a little scary that she was arrested in the first place?
This wasn’t a 4-year-old that was wondering around in the middle of the night but rather a second grader that was in his own neighborhood in broad daylight. So, does this mean that we need to start calling the government and ask for permission to let our kids play outside?
If you aren’t scared and concerned about an overreach like this then I’m not sure what will get your attention. As a society we have basically given the government the right to dictate to us every single aspect of our lives. And we have done it to ourselves. A lot of people in this country think that every problem they encounter in life can, and should, be solved by the government. And, the rest of us have sat back and allowed this encroachment to happen.
And, anybody that thinks there is any semblance of accountability in government is sadly mistaken. All you have to do is read any of the news reports making national headlines and you quickly realize that almost all government agencies work with absolutely no oversight or fear of being punished for inefficiency or downright fraud, waste and abuse.
I read an article this morning that a report from the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (is that an oxymoron?) found that the Obamacare website was fraught with problems that cost tens of millions of dollars in overruns and unnecessary costs. And, have you heard of anyone being held accountable for the colossal screw-up?
Most times if someone is caught in a case of outright neglect or managerial ineptness, they are either transferred or allowed to “retire” with full benefits. And the vast majority of Americans just don’t care. As long as the benefits they need from the government keep coming, then they could care less how much is wasted or how the money actually gets there in the first place.
I used to think that at some point Americans were going to wake up and demand accountability from their government. That they would say no to more and more government intrusion into their every day lives. But, sadly, I have come to the conclusion that far too many citizens just don’t care. Far too many are more than happy to let Uncle Sam take care of all their needs and most of their wants and tell them how they should live. I guess that even includes when and where you can let your kids play.
I wrote at the beginning of the column that this might seem petty to some people. At what point in time are we going to wake up and realize that slowly but surely we have lost way too many of the freedoms that so many have given so much to preserve?
Freedom in America is dying a slow death and sadly, it is not as a result of a foreign power but rather at the hands of a citizenry that just doesn’t seem to care. What could be sadder?
Kevin Wilson writes a weekly column for the Daily News.