Greetings, Gentle Reader,

Do humans become deprived because they are depraved, or do they succumb to depravity because they are deprived? This dichotomy has plagued mankind for thousands of years! This is no philosophical argument posed for the entertainment of debating teams. It is, rather, the basis for the opposing philosophies of the two primary political parties of this nation.

The one party, convinced that poverty is the basis for depravity, gears up to provide housing, food stamps, medical care and most other human needs in an attempt to stop crime, illegitimacy, drug use, alcoholism and every other form of depravity. It is unfortunate that, in the attempt to deal with social problems in this manner, the individual is absolved of all responsibility for his or her actions, and society and the predominant culture are instead declared to be the cause of all anti-social behavior. Many a court case is being won on that premise alone. Common sense and experience argue that the outcome of such thinking can be predicted with pinpoint accuracy.

The incidence of crime increases so rapidly that it can only be referred to as an explosion. Drug use, alcoholism, fatherless homes and their concomitant disease, illegitimacy and delinquency become a flood, indeed an incoming tide, which destroys everything in its path. Our NATION is in its path.

The opposing philosophy, which declares that depravity begets deprivation, requires that humans, all humans, young, middle-aged and elderly, take responsibility for their own actions... that no segment of society parasitize any other segment of society... that broken homes are too often the precursors of societal decay, characterized by the adoption of juvenile male values as the standard for acceptable behavior... that mothers are the primary trainers of the rising generation and that nothing less will produce a sufficiently healthy, productive human product...that prison populations are made up, to a great extent, of inadequately fathered and/or mothered offspring who are, as a result, insecure and have become firstly unproductive, then violent and, finally, devoid of conscience, capable of destroying even their own children on occasion.

These opposing philosophies are at the heart of our national value system. Each of our political parties has its value system imbedded in its platform. First, one set of values is implemented, then the other, as the political parties come to power by way of elections. We must individually choose which value system we will espouse and then take responsibility for its implementation on a local, state and national scale. It is not responsible for us to neglect to vote and then complain about the values imposed on the nation by the triumphant political party. We must expect no one else to do the work which is rightfully ours. We've tried that, and the resulting mess is rapidly destroying us.

Until next time,

Muriel Sluyter

Return to the Neighborhood.

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