Does that Star-Spangled Banner still wave ...?

Our leaders have failed to lead; our legislators have failed to legislate; and judges have failed to judge. All these marvelous components of the American experiment have failed their duties and responsibilities over the past few decades.

Here’s a scorecard:

They have abandoned our religious foundation and heritage.

They have ignored basic financial needs of our society.

They have substituted polling for principles.

They have courted favor instead of integrity.

They have enriched in lieu of enlightening.

They have sought privilege in lieu of precedent.

The list is very long, but the sum is inescapable: a massive failure to serve the people. Power, money, self, greed, lust and dishonesty have ruled the halls and offices of the powerful.

Recovery? It may be possible, but it may not be possible, also. There is no one who is wise enough to have the future of this nation in sight. It is an ominous omen to see the nation teetering on the cliff edge of a financial debacle, and the main target of the powerful is re-election, not refinancing.

The “leaders” lack the courage to lay out the harsh terms of a solid and long-term financial recovery. They believe, and perhaps rightly so, that they may not be re-elected if they speak or propose harshly. So they kick the can down the road and wait for someone else to face the necessities.

Our nation has been blessed with such good fortune (divine, I believe) through some very bad times. There were periods of mass mistreatment of Native Americans, slavery, robber barons, war and disease and more. But we survived and prospered not because of saintly ancients, but because of our beliefs and our Constitution, even though the application of these was uneven and sometimes distorted.

There are no leaders, only the elected. We must find and elect some true leaders or we will gaze upon a sinking ship which will be surrounded by those who will be gleeful to see our final bubbles.

Americans, it’s time we decide to continue by either accepting some sacrifices now or by just sliding into history as another great idea that was downed by self-interest.

Where are you?

Bill Fontaine

retired middle manager

Baton Rouge