Is Our Nation Prepared for the Next 4 Years? - Higher Education
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Is Our Nation Prepared for the Next 4 Years?

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Would anyone disagree that we are living in some troubling times in the United States of America? Issues of social justice erupt almost on a weekly basis. Our children and grandchildren are going unchecked and uncensored. In addition, if you live in states such as North Carolina and Louisiana, regulations are making us question who we really are.

Since January, Americans have added a few new terms to our lexicon such as alternative facts and alternative truths. When I was growing up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, my parents taught me to tell the truth. There weren’t optional truths. In other words, if I didn’t like the truth, I could always come up with “alternative truths.”

Can you imagine coming home from Atkins High School or any other high school in America and giving your parents “alternative truths.” The spanking you would have received would have been immediate. I can hear my mom saying to me now, “Boy, you must be crazy.”

We should have seen this coming last year. One of the presidential candidates said he was not going to release his most recent tax return and that was that, end of story.

How can a person be that much of a bully and we not offer any resistance? After all, we file our taxes each year whether or not we are running for public office. So now, he’s in office and controversy is all around him.

Recently, Ana Swanson of The Washington Post wrote an article in which she talks about what the president said during his inaugural address, which was to paint the economy as weak and bleak. Then a few weeks later, he uses a conservative website as a basis to say that job and employment numbers look great. It might be safe to say that, over the course of the next four years, the word misinformation will be used frequently.

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Weeks before President Barack Obama left office, he said, “You are going to miss me when I’m gone.” Well, President Obama, I, along with millions of people around the world miss you. We miss your honesty. We remember the word honesty, don’t we? We miss your hope for America and yes, we can. We miss your humanity and your civility. We just miss you.

For almost two years now, the sitting president has assailed the Affordable Care Act. He promised to get rid of it. On his first day in office, he signed an executive order to do away with the health care law. This was done in the Oval Office with great pomp and circumstance. I guess he thought he was a magician. Not so fast!

Someone in his inner circle must have told him that they don’t have a replacement plan. Fast forward to last Friday when House Speaker Paul Ryan said there weren’t enough votes to pass a new health care law.

The president’s response was that Obamacare was going to implode and explode. Do you really want people not to have health care? If you listened to his short response on CNN, you came away with that impression. Prior to Rep. Ryan’s announcement, the president remained steadfast in believing he had enough votes to pass it. Obviously, it was just his imagination running away with him.

The president should become more acquainted with the term “constituent.” The constituents are you and I. We keep legislators in office. Without our votes, they, too, will become constituents.

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If you live in a red state like I do, there are some tough times ahead. The landscape has changed and we must adjust to it yet challenge it at the same time. One party has complete control of both houses of Congress. On the surface, you would think that legislation being passed would be a cakewalk.

It is just the opposite. The Freedom Caucus of the GOP is making its presence felt. A big part of the reason why their health care bill failed was because of the Freedom Caucus. If you thought the Tea Party was forceful, then the Freedom Caucus will be even more so.

If you voted for the new president, you should be prepared for the bait and switch. He is promising a lot, yet chaos and controversy follow him wherever he goes. He has signed several executive orders yet nothing has really happened. It is like the Dionne Warwick song, “Promises, Promises.”

If you are a young person who aspires to become a politician, you have two examples of presidents. Look at Barack Obama’s rise to the presidency and at the current president’s rise to the office.

The president is expected to govern people in a competent and humane way. The president is expected to have character and does not embarrass the office or put down other people.

Now, if you live and work in a red state, are you better off yet? Do you feel hopeful or used and hoodwinked?

Have you been rethinking your vote? Would you be afraid to admit that you were wrong? No worries, you have company at the White House.

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Dr. James B. Ewers Jr., served as a vice president and admissions director at several colleges and universities before retiring in 2012. A motivational speaker and workshop leader, he is the author of Perspectives From Where I Sit: Essays on Education, Parenting and Teen Issues.

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