The other day I had a discussion with a friend concerning what we felt was facilitating the decline of this nation. We discussed the problem of illegal immigration as a factor. However, immigrants have been coming to America for hundreds of years — even before we created a legal process for entrance. My friend brought up to fact that many years ago we didn't have a welfare system for which to entice illegal immigrants to relieve the burden after entrance. Before welfare, some came over and made it big through hard work, some were less successful and fell into various levels on the economic ladder, some went back home and some simply died from the failure to "make it." The majority of Americans couldn't care less what happened to them because they weren't a burden on the system and weren't burdened by what I refer to as excessive humanity.

Next, we discussed how this nation "threw caution to the wind" and relaxed our sexual mores and the provisions that went with it in the late 1960s. As a result of such relaxation, we opened the door for many men to take advantage of women's new sexual freedom, often creating many children out of wedlock and a burden to the state. Again, welfare comes into play which further burdens the taxpayer and increases the size of government in the process. Those children born out of wedlock often didn't have the advantages of proper upbringing like my friend and I did. That, too, brought on many social problems.

Later, we discussed the relaxation of personal responsibility and the loss of a sense of shame that resulted from making it more acceptable to take advantage of increased government entitlements and other matters. When we were growing up, such entitlements were rarely offered and considered shameful to take when they were offered, thus, we put forth the extra effort to meet the needs of daily life.

We then briefly touched on the issues ranging from accommodating drug addiction to politicians buying our votes by creating costly programs directed toward catering to our more base desires and putting us into major debt. Also, how many people in this nation have been sucked into the politically correct idea of excessive humanity which allowed for the creation of all of the above?

By the end of the conversation and after considering what we discussed above, we summed up what we felt to be the one encompassing reason for our decline: It is that we have succumbed to accommodating our weaknesses.

Donald Frost, Essex

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