Call me nostalgic, but our country has drifted far from the moors that defined and built a “great” nation. I yearn for the days when conservatives were heartless, not brainless; when our leaders could be role models, not petulant thugs who consistently admire themselves; when fiscal responsibility wasn’t confused with fiscal entitlement.

What do we expect when we elect only the absurdly rich, despite their putrid personal and moral shortcomings? Why does the average American blindly accept to be represented by those whose fortune alone makes it impossible to relate to their countrymen? Imagine that we insisted that our representatives couldn’t run for office unless they made less than (say) 10 times the average household income. Imagine that you couldn’t run for office if you had a criminal record. Imagine that disclosing your tax reports was mandatory for the application process. These aren’t ridiculous ideas; we mandate accountability from our teachers — why not from our politicians?

This ship has sailed. Before we capsize or dash ourselves upon the rocks, we need to drop the anchor, jettison the captain and his rotted provisions, and exterminate the rats. Only then will we be in any shape to set sail for better horizons.

Matthieu Oppedahl

Helena

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