Do you have any ivy or kudzu around your house? Years ago, we were in Atlanta and noticed the stuff growing and engulfing the outside of entire buildings.

Do you have any ivy or kudzu around your house? Years ago, we were in Atlanta and noticed the stuff growing and engulfing the outside of entire buildings.
At the time, we didn’t have a lot of it around here, but now we have some in our yard that is trying to take over the trees, the house and anything it can attach itself to. We nicknamed ours “Audrey” after the plant in the movie “Little Shop of Horrors.”
It looks pretty, but as many things are, underneath the beauty is an ugly nature. Basically, it destroys the host that it attaches itself to, just like a parasite.
You can prune the shoots and it will come back with a vengeance. The only way to kill it is to pull up its roots – the place where it originates.
It’s funny how life imitates nature at times because we have the same problem in our country. We have a lot of “ivy” growing around attaching to society, and all we do is prune it back without attacking the roots. When I say “ivy,” I’m referring to the multitude of issues threatening to destroy the very fiber of America.
A disturbed person shoots multiple people and there is a cry for more gun control. Teenage pregnancy is on the rise, so let’s make sure we give all the kids birth control. People refuse to work, so let’s just support them because it’s the “Christian” thing to do.
Fifty-plus years ago, politicians launched the Great Society and the war on poverty. The “experts” were sure that if we just threw enough tax dollars at the problem, we no longer would have poor people.
How has that worked out for us as a country? Millions of people still below the poverty level and the creation of a “dependency” society that rewards being unproductive.
If these things are the branches, what is the root? What do we need to address to get rid of these problems plaguing our nation? I think that if people were to honestly look at what has happened in the last 50 years, they would see that the disintegration of the family is the root of the lion’s share of our problems.
Far too many people no longer have the sense of family that has been the core of society dating to the dawn of man.
The family provides security that too many people look to the government to provide.
The family holds its members accountable because they care and want the best for those whom they love.
The family has a value system and defines what is right and wrong.
The family takes care of family and doesn’t look to a faceless governmental body to provide all of their needs.
I am not naïve to think that all families are healthy and functioning. I get the fact that people by nature can create situations that cause problems within the family and in society. That is part of life itself.
Our problem in America is that, instead of trying to fix our problems first, too many people turn to the “government” to fix them for us.
“Government” always should be the last resort and not the first option. Who is the “government”? It’s a bureaucracy run by individuals who follow laws and regulations voted on or directed by other people that dictates what they think is in our best interests. That “government” and, to a large degree, the media decide and define what they think society’s core values should be.
Humans by nature crave security and acceptance. If you aren’t familiar with it, there is a theory called Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that outlines basic human needs. In reality, it’s a picture of a family unit, not a faceless government.
Because the family unit is fractured and in far too many instances not even there, we turn to our benevolent uncle – Uncle Sam – to be our surrogate family. Well-meaning politicians have fostered this relationship by encouraging the dependency of the populace on the premise that a benevolent government knows best. The old television show “Father’s Knows Best” is a relic and doesn’t fit the new model of the liberal vision for the Great Society.
I’m not really sure that we can regain what has been lost, but I do know that as long as all we do is prune back the branches, we never will get to the root of the problems. Quite frankly, too many people would rather continue to treat the symptoms without addressing the true issues. Doing otherwise would admit that the government is not the answer to all problems.

Kevin Wilson writes a weekly column for the Daily News.