In this time of sickness and insanity, we, the people of this great nation, have forgotten what it was that made us great. It wasn’t bloviating politicians and wealthy corporations, as they did not exist, and our wealth was in the strength and determination of its citizens.

Our strength was acquired by our name: United States of America. Unlike other nations, many smaller than our states, we stood strong and united, differences were settled, most times, amicably. We had one war during the start of this great experiment that should have fused this nation into the powerful entity we are.

Unfortunately for the nation and all its occupants, we have lost sight of the forefathers’ intents. We have permitted big industry and wealthy oligarchs to seize the incentive and corrupt our greatness. The greatness we shared within is eroding and with it, our standing in the world community.

It behooves the citizens of this once formidable nation to correct our mistakes and return the greatness we all once enjoyed and shared, the American dream. Our nation currently exists in a state of polarity not seen since the pre-Civil War days, and the greatness we so enjoyed is rapidly waning.

Regardless of which party we support, we must get out and vote so our children may enjoy the democracy we had in previous decades. The erosion of our freedoms and democracy must be stopped. Divide and conquer has taken on a real meaning in our democracy and must not be allowed to fester. The uncontrolled growth of industries poisoning our water and food supplies must be addressed, as is the power and sway of mega-industries over our political representatives.

The power of this nation lies in the hands of the House and Senate, not in the hands of industries and the military industrial complex President Eisenhower warned us about. Let’s really make American great again, not by waving flags and denouncing each other — make it great again by being as we once were, a great united and respected nation; for, in our unity, was our strength.

Walter Duda lives in Poultney.

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