Do we care enough to make a difference
It's easy to get discouraged about the way things are going, especially if you or your friends or family are out of work and you've watched your chance for a comfortable retirement evaporate with Wall Street's bull market.
We've looked on with alarm as the government takes over banks and two of the former "big three" automakers and old family franchises disappear. We're alarmed over the possible effects of the "cap-and-trade" energy bill and equally worried about the prospects of government-run health care.
California is on the verge of collapse, and those of us who follow conservative Midwestern values, dutifully balancing our own state budgets, worry about being forced to pick up the tab for someone else's irresponsibility.
Beyond that, many are concerned about Washington's new leftward tilt on same-sex marriage, abortion and other social issues.
But Saturday's Fourth of July celebration should be a reminder of how much America still has to offer. Citizens, for the most part, are limited only by their own imagination, willingness to take risks and work hard.
If we're not happy about the direction our country is going, we have every right to speak out, organize others of like mind, and elect candidates who share our values.
The budding TEA (Taxed Enough, Already) Party movement is one example, planning a Fourth of July gathering at 7 p.m. on the southwest side of the ballfields at the Red Willow County Fairgrounds.
Another was the recent visit by Rebekah Davis, who seeks the Democratic nomination to represent Nebraska's 3rd District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
It's encouraging to see such grassroots organization and retail politicking going on.
If enough of us are willing to get involved enough to make a difference, then we'll really have something to celebrate this Independence Day.