The Decline of Our Nation's Character by Trent Sigler - Read Online
The Decline of Our Nation's Character
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America has changed. Our character has changed. The founders of our nation believed that liberty was essential to human happiness and well-being. They understood that liberty could not long be maintained in a nation that lacked a virtuous character. Pundits on all sides look to our elected leaders as either the cause or the cure to our problems. The leaders, however, are not the issue. They are simply a reflection of our national character. The real problem lies with the citizens of this country. To reclaim our national character, and thus preserve liberty, we must recognize the truth about America’s declining character, understand how it was lost, and recognize the cost of our current course with respect to liberty.
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ISBN: 9781483501086
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The Decline of Our Nation's Character - Trent Sigler

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A Reflection of My Purpose

This book is a portion of my personal journal. As the nation went through this last cycle of elections, it became clear to me that our country has character issues. In fact, our national character appears to be on life support and ready to take it’s last breath. Freedom, which I would love to pass on to my children and grandchildren, is fragile, and I know that a society that lacks virtue cannot long sustain freedom. As the character of this nation continues to decline the possibility of freedom for my posterity, and your posterity, swiftly erodes. I, along with the founders of our nation, believe that freedom is essential to human happiness, and I want that for my children.

This book is a voice of warning to a nation that is in the process of destroying itself. If this country doesn’t change course our children and grandchildren will suffer the loss of their freedom, and as a result a large portion of their happiness and fulfillment in life. This book is different from others because they tend to focus on our political parties, and elected leaders, as either the source of our problems, or the means of correcting our issues, depending on which side of the debate you are on. The truth is that our elected leaders are simply a reflection of our national character. The real issue is not with our politicians, but lies with our citizens. Until we, the people of this nation, recognize that the problem lies with us, and not our political system, then we cannot change course and freedom will be lost. Because of our lost character we want to blame everyone but ourselves for our problems. Our politicians are more than willing to point their fingers at each other, but never at the general public for fear of offending them. In publishing this book, I am hoping to change our national debate, so that the blame is placed squarely on those who are responsible for our problems - us! - the average citizens of this country - we are ultimately to blame for what is going on in this nation.

This may be an unpopular position but the truth is the truth, and only in accepting and facing reality can we save the nation. When I was getting my master’s degree in social work, I would attend class where my professors, in their ivory towers, would tell me that the problem with blacks in the inner city was not one of personal character, but lack of opportunity. I would then get in my car and drive over the bridge to the inner city, where I was working as a practicum student. We offered, free of charge, vocational training, GED and college preparation programs, after school educational programs, and a host of other programs designed to help people overcome poverty and improve their situation in life. Sadly, opportunity was not the issue, character was. These people were trapped because they had lost the character trait required to work hard. Young men would come into the program and as soon as they realized that improving your station in life is a lot of work they would leave. It was just easier to hang out on the street corner with friends than do the work necessary to break out of their situation. Then I would drive back across the bridge to school and report my findings to my professors - that character was indeed a key issue with blacks in the inner city. I was immediately shunned as racist, and a heartless retch of a person, because I would dare suggest such a thing. I wasn’t racist, I sincerely loved and respected the people I worked with and considered it an honor and a privilege to be a part of their lives. I truly wanted to help, but realized help could not be had unless people were willing to face the truth - the character of the community had been destroyed by taking the path of least resistance provided by government welfare for years. Until that truth is faced, all other programs and solutions are just bandages, not cures. We as a nation face a similar crisis but on a national level. The loss of virtuous character in our nation must be faced as the truth, or freedom will be lost.

My intent in publishing this book is also to preserve for my children and grandchildren, a glimpse of what values are essential to freedom and how they were lost during our character descent, so that they may understand the values required to maintain freedom, how they were lost, and be more wise in protecting freedom in the future.

This book, as stated earlier, is a portion of my personal journal and as such may not be perfect in spelling or grammar. One of the characteristics of our society has been the insistence of unrealistic expectations on people - we have to be more than human to be considered valuable. For example, people have lost their careers over misspelling simple words like potato. This expectation is extremely dangerous in a society where most of the information received by the masses is filtered through a biased media. They effectively filter such information to destroy their enemies, not provide information for public use, all the while hiding under the guise of impartiality. Look at how effective the media was in creating an image of Sarah Palin that destroyed her chances of being seriously considered as a candidate for high office. The public now sees Sarah as the person the media wanted us to see, and not who she really is. Now contrast this with the writings of Thomas Jefferson as published in Dumas Malone’s biography of the President. In truth, President Jefferson was not good at spelling which can be seen in his correspondence with others. Still, his brilliant mind was evident in the thoughts he conveyed. The people of his day didn’t care if he spelled potato correctly, they looked beyond spelling to his thoughts. In this writing I want to do away with the media’s ability to destroy people by placing too high of expectations on people. We are all human. We all make mistakes. If Sarah Palin has a bad moment on camera, or speaks with an accent, or if a candidate stumbles during a debate, it does not change their value or their character - it simply means they are human. Aren’t we all? Only in a shallow society, which lacks character, can such trivial things become such an overwhelming force as to actually destroy a person’s career over the misspelling of a simple word. We need to look beyond the surface, beyond the image, to the depth of character to be able to see the truth about a person. I am not advocating that we not protect our language through laziness or upholding standards, but recognizing that we all have weaknesses that do not detract from our value. So, in this book, I have done the best I can to make it all that I am capable of in terms of writing, but still be a reflection of who I am. I don’t want it to be so sterile and perfect in terms of spelling and grammar that I am lost in the process. That kind of sterile perfection is for less personal writings. This book’s weaknesses are my weaknesses, it strengths my strengths. Again, this book is part of my personal journal to my children. I want them to see me,