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JEFF MEADORS: America needs a course correction

I’ve chronicled American exceptionalism in past columns. We’ve watched brave soldiers defend our soil and protect our good name, our freedom, our ways of life and living — all that we hold dear. We’ve come a long way in this land forged by bombs bursting in air through perilous fights. Emerging markets, developing and industrialized countries have always been able to depend on and trust the U.S.

But America today bears little resemblance to the land we love — that home of the free, land of the brave where anything is possible, opportunity is equal but never outcomes.

That’s the beauty of it all. Indivisible yet individually we study, work, pray, and reach higher, aspire greater; it’s the core of all that is American that through tenacity, fortitude, and faith individuals unapologetically exercise freedom to create unparalleled outcomes searing past mediocrity with rich competitive fervor. Through unequal outcomes we discover vaccines, explore space and advance technology.

But we face those stubborn things called facts as freedom undergoes attack.

Media from Breitbart.com and the Black Conservative Network find black youth unemployment today at an unprecedented 40.5 percent to 43.6 percent.

According to the Jan. 8 Wall Street Journal 49 percent of black males are arrested on average by age 23 along with 44 percent of Hispanic males and 38 percent of white males. Double digit percentages of black, Hispanic and white females on average are arrested by 18. Aimless, bored, disengaged and sinking in global achievement rankings America’s youth face ominous journeys as one by one Atlanta educators offer guilty pleas in a globally tracked cheating scandal.

Today 91.8 million Americans no longer participate in the workforce delivering an American dream deferred for many and a threat to peace and civility as crime spikes in our streets and schools.

Still Common Core choirmasters disrupt classrooms with non-field-tested standardization of minimalist curriculum on the heels of decades of rabid insistence that teachers differentiate and individualize instruction. The Whole Language Movement robbed students of grammar, usage and mechanics. Discovery math stole trigonometric functions. What will Common Core loot?

As of January 2014, 47.4 million Americans rely on food stamps, up from 31.9 million in January 2009. The Washington Times announced last week a poverty rate 50-year record. For the first time since 1964 the rate of 15 percent has remained constant for three consecutive years.

The Annenberg Public Policy Center’s report for the fourth quarter of 2013 found that under the Obama Administration regular gasoline has increased 80 percent, consumer prices have increased 10.3 percent, health care costs have increased 15.8 percent, and home ownership has dipped 2.4 percent.

Facing harsh new normals of languishing economic numbers and only tepid growth, Americans face mid-term elections as a government with no clothes froths with lies, deceit and downright degradation of free enterprise, toying with good neighbors to our north over a pipeline that may join the list of deferred dreams. The Canadians have a Plan B and we’re not part of it.

Forced to accept low global achievement rankings in math and science how much more mediocrity will any of us, regardless of age, gender, race and political party, accept before choosing to right our course as a nation in November’s mid-terms?

Columnist Jeff Meadors may be reached at pjeffreymeadors@gmail.com