voice for democracy

Busey: Our democracy at crossroads – Journal Record

October 4, 2021 0
Phil G. Busey Sr.
We are in a critical time for our democracy. Our elected seem to have forgotten the founding principles of our nation. Without honoring these sacred values, we risk the end of our democracy as we know it. We are at a crossroads.
What will it take for us, as citizens, to get peacefully – but strongly – involved by using our voice, vote, and influence? Putting differences aside is incredibly important to at least focus on binding up ill-advised and unfounded political and social differences and impress upon our Congress these needless partisan disputes and support of misinformation is undermining our democracy.
Last week exposed partisanship in the worst way. The Republicans blocked a bill to raise the debt ceiling and without agreement move toward a potential government shutdown. This forced the House to pass a short-term fix to avoid a shutdown. This game of political chicken is disastrous for the American people and our economy. Failing to raise the debt ceiling could mean a downgrade in our credit ratings, default on obligations, furloughs and layoffs. The damage will be at their feet and on their watch.
These actions come amid a raging deadly pandemic, fights over necessary vaccinations, unabated social injustices, confrontations with adversaries, a looming Cold War, broken supply chains and economic uncertainties at home and abroad. Addressing these crises matters.
Today’s politicians – including our congressional delegation, others in Congress and our governor – are not like previous leaders who sought office to make a difference. Leaders who shaped this country brought vision and hope to move us forward. You may not agree, but this president has good intentions. However, the lack of bipartisan leadership may doom much-needed initiatives and open the door for potential authoritarian leadership.
At the end of World War II, we had a clear focus on the need of sacrifice for a free world. Despite our own past failures with inclusion and justice, we emerged with a purpose to lead a world desperately in need of fighting to preserve democracy and liberties for all people.
Today we forget that purpose and instead are focused inward – fighting each other and facing severe challenges to democratic principles. The outcome if we do not speak out, vote for reason and change our course is not a good one.
We – this republic and nation – are needed more than ever to unite our allies and be ready for adversaries trying to divide us and threaten our presence globally.
We must remember who we are and what we stand for as Americans. Together – regardless of color, creed, persuasion or religion – we can succeed. When Benjamin Franklin was asked at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention what type of government we have, he replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” We the people must keep this republic for our children, grandchildren and the sake of the world. We must choose. We are at a crossroads.
Phil G. Busey Sr. is chairman and CEO of DRG and The Busey Group of Companies.
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