Joe Braddy

Joe Braddy is a retired newspaper editor and longtime resident of Winter Haven, Fla. He continues his writing, editing and media work on a personal and freelance basis. He launched this website on Sept. 11, 2011. He can be reached by e-mail at



The good must stand up and be heard

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Continued from this page


Instead of challenging us to greatness, instead of reminding us of the rugged pioneering and can-do spirit that built this nation and made it great, our so-called leaders tell us that we can’t do anything without government’s “help” or intervention.

Under the guise of “helping,” our lawmakers and public officials create more programs — programs that suck away our tax dollars and, even more incidious than that, suck in the public and make larger segments of it more greatly dependent upon government.

Instead of leading, instead of resisting the irresponsible demands of this and that special-interest group, instead of being disciplined with earmarks and pork-barrel projects, instead of just saying “No,” our elected officials spend our money like never before on worthless causes, unjustifiable endeavors, unsustainable “entitlements” and even bigger government. The results include an astonishing $15.7 trillion federal debt and a $1.1 trillion federal budget deficit that cannot be closed without some real and extended sacrifices throughout the land.

Selfish individuals and many of the groups they form somehow think they are owed things — jobs, food, pensions, health care, housing, goods, services, property and the fruit of other people’s labor — just because they can walk and talk and not necessarily because they worked for them or deserve them. As Americans, are we really owed or entitled to anything?

The clear lines between good and bad, right and wrong and morality and immorality are blurred to the point that acts and behavior once considered to be beyond the pale of decency are now considered to be acceptable.

National defense, the very first responsibility of the federal government, becomes the first target for budget cutbacks — despite unceasing external threats — when politicians gutlessly refuse to face down the special-interest groups and get social spending under control.

Deliberate or foolish, aided by outside influences or just allowed by a complacent and ignorant populace, the individual acts of people in power might not seem to be evil, but taken together, the cumulative effect of these acts — the true cost of them — is nothing but evil.

America is rotten from the cancers within and more vulnerable than ever to the pressures and dangers from without. Those include the nations and groups that would, given the means and the opportunity, do us harm.

Where are the good people who would confront the foolishness, the recklessness and the cowardice of many in public office and the ill intent of those who might handle them?

Where are the good people who would stand up and say “Enough is enough!” when America’s traditional values are undermined, when decency and morality are compromised?

Where are the good people who would tell the irresponsible, the covetous and the envious among us that individual responsibility and selflessness are keys to a strong nation, that America has to be a nation of givers rather than takers?

Where are the good people who would push back against growing socialism and unfurl the banner of capitalism and the economic freedom it provides?

Where are the good people who would defend America’s right — its need — to be strong militarily as a means to maintain the peace rather than threaten it?

And where are the good people who would recognize tyranny, oppression and evil abroad and even at home and stand up, without fear, to unmask and fight it?

The heart says the good people are out there, but the eyes don’t see enough of them at work to face down our threats, to preserve our liberties and to return the USA to greatness.


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