Letter to the Editor:

Our country is in the worst crisis since the Great Depression. In the United States, more than 60,000 people have died from the coronavirus; more than 35 million workers have lost their jobs. The devastation is greater than in any other country in the world. It didn’t have to be this way.

I’ve always respected the concerns of those who are wary of too much government and threats to personal freedom. Our country was founded on freedom. But too often freedom is misunderstood. Freedom is not license, it comes with responsibility. In exchange for safety, security and all those things that are the bounty of our democracy, we pledge our support and obedience to the laws that govern us.

However, there have always been those who would ignore the responsibilities of citizenship and plunder what this democracy has promised to everyone. 

In the laissez-faire spirit of the last few years, we have seen the dismantling of much of what underpins this country. Public education, the environment, workplace safety, consumer financial protection and any organized response to the current pandemic have all become victims of confused and predatory policies.

How misguided these decisions have been. The drumbeat to make this country great by stripping away protections, declaring trade wars, building walls and walking away from the international community may have seemed empowering. However, the consequences and wreckage from these acts can be seen everywhere. 

The day may soon come when we awake to find that our country, and everything it stands for, has slipped into the depths of history.

This is an election year. Our choices will determine our future. Think wisely.

Phil Jensen

Eagle River