The United States is creating a hostile, dangerous, and depressing environment for children. We wallow in the past at the expense of our future.
A perfect storm of pandemic closures, left-wing riots cloaked in civil rights, “defund the police,” remove cops from schools, the leaky border, and years of neglecting mental health care have combined to create a crisis among the young. Consider items in the news:
The CEO of Children’s Hospital Colorado warns of a mental health crisis so severe among youths the medical establishment cannot keep up. Teen suicide rates continue to climb throughout much of the country.
Murders of children increasingly make news in cities throughout the country. That’s after a steady increase in the youth homicide rate between 2013 and 2019, the last year for which we have data.
Texas authorities told The Washington Examiner, The Gazette’s sister publication, about a 3,166% increase in sex offenders trying to cross the border this year. They have recently apprehended foreigners convicted of raping teenagers as young as 13.
Public schools teach children with a curriculum that disparages their country, claiming a slave ship established the United States in 1619.
Children are buried under more than $25 trillion in national debt, and the political class intends to increase it substantially.
A nationwide movement advocates removal of law enforcement officers from schools — the institutions in which we need them most.
Every nine minutes, a child is sexually abused in the United States. Well-documented sexual abuse of children in public schools continues without public or media outrage.
The list could go on, but it is reasonable to conclude our country is headed in a direction contrary to the interests of protecting children and bringing them up as people who love and defend their country.
None of this should come as a surprise. Children have almost no political or economic leverage and are at the mercy of adults. When the adult world loses direction and common values, children pay the price.
Bad public policy, excessive taxation, civil unrest, and deficient public safety will always and forever exact a disproportionate toll on those with the least clout economically, politically and socially. Think children.
As seen over the past year, poor people and children incur the highest increases in crime when society attacks the morale and funding of law enforcement. They lack the wealth and power to defend themselves with guards, gates, guns, locks and security cameras.
When we signal that our border will be porous, as President Joe Biden did throughout his campaign, the people who suffer most are children. Desperate parents in impoverished regions send them on perilous journeys to our border. The unsupervised youths are subject to rape, sex trafficking and all forms of exploitation. Too many end up in the “cages” established by Biden and former President Barack Obama in the 2010s.
When we project soft-on-enforcement policies at the border, we can expect foreign criminals to take advantage. That probably explains why Texas officials have seen such an alarming rise in the number of sex predators crossing the border. For sex perverts, drug cartels and a variety of criminals, children are the easiest of targets.
We can expect children to struggle mentally when we close public schools for a virus, shut down athletic programs, and nearly all other organized youth events. We should anticipate feelings of despair, boredom, loneliness, and fear to cause suicidal thoughts among the most vulnerable children.
When we tell children their country is an evil racist place founded entirely on the long-ago abolished slave trade, we can expect mental and behavioral problems to follow. Children won’t flourish when told their origins are evil and illegitimate, or that the evil country will hold them down for the color of their skin.
Our country has evolved to give individuals the freedom to live peacefully among one another and achieve unlimited success — financially, spiritually, creatively, and otherwise — without regard for irrelevant immutable traits. A safe country that puts the rights of law-abiding people above concerns for the lawless will always be a good, safe place for young people.
A society based on the common embrace of life, liberty, happiness and justice will always protect the vulnerable above all else.
Increasingly, our country is no such place. It engages in self-flagellation over past sins and make-believe history — i.e., we were founded 1619. It does not bolster an environment of unity, love and common goals. It is not a movement that is safe, peaceful, happy, healthy and just for children.
It is time we turn our attention from trying to correct and pay for multiple sins and grievances far in our country’s past. It is time to worry more about the future. That means building up our children and protecting them above all else. It means teaching them to love the world’s most diverse country — a place established for children to succeed at whatever they do.
The Gazette Editorial Board
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