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A U.S. deviation from democratic ideals

Melvin B. Miller

The United States has been viewed, at least until recently, as the international guardian of democracy. Nonetheless, immigrants crossing the border were primarily concerned with economic opportunities. America has also been viewed as the place where you can prosper if you “work hard and follow the rules.” Still, many of the immigrants crossing the Rio Grande need asylum.

Because of America’s lead as an industrialized nation, fortunes were made by some, and Americans became great risk-takers to achieve financial success. This attitude also made many people susceptible to scams. How else could a substantial number of citizens succumb to the deceptions of someone like Donald Trump?

The possibility of succeeding financially in America has created an excessively competitive society. There is an illusion of general concern for the welfare of fellow citizens. That concern stops at providing affordable health care, sufficient income for families with children, and the affordable education that can prepare one for employment that provides a living wage. And what is worse, with efforts by the government to aid citizens, as with the programs to help citizens during COVID-19 repercussions, the losses from theft can be enormous.

Even more damaging to the American culture has been the availability of guns to citizens and the subsequent murder rate that is the greatest in the industrialized world. Indeed, Americans must make many changes for the nation to become the democratic republic that high-principled citizens want it to be.