Steve Stefanides, is an experienced award-winning reporter of local civic and public interest news. Contact him by email at

While sharing some time with friends over the weekend and discussing a number of their concerns, it made me begin to think about some concerns of my own. The ride home gave me an opportunity to let some of those discussions jell in my mind, while I travelled back across the bridge. 

Many of these folks have children and grandchildren, and every time we are together you can just feel the love and concern they have regarding the future we will leave for them. When you think about that, you can’t help but understand that this should be the most important factor we should consider when making the decisions that lie in our hands today.

How we deal with today’s challenges will truly mold the future that our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be left to inherit. You have to wonder whether we are mature enough to step up to the challenges facing us.

Those challenges range from a wide array of questions regarding many subjects, and opportunities, that lie before us. I won’t attempt to speak for them, but instead will choose to articulate the concerns and questions I believe are important, some of which we may share common ground on as we move forward.

Will we ever deal with the fact that we may have unwittingly created a “ruling class” within this country?

In our fight for independence, we appear to have replaced an aristocracy with another class, one that wields more power today than the one we discarded during that struggle 246 years ago. This class of people spans across political lines, businesses and industries, subsequently wielding enormous power to shape our nation’s future, and therefore, the future for us all.

Politicians may spend over 20, 30 and even 40 years in office, coming in as the proverbial “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” characters and emerging as multi-millionaires with astounding influence from their wealth. Our Founding Fathers never envisioned someone would go to Washington and stay in power for decades. It is true that back then we were more of an agriculturally-based economy. The idea was to dedicate a short time to national service as part of a person’s “responsibility” to the nation, but to maintain the principle that “all power would derive from the people.”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, our nation is at a crossroads. This is a result of the changes we have unwittingly allowed to happen, due to the enormous influence of the media and corporate dollars that are injected into our local, state and national elections.

Today, we are led to believe what others feel is important to meet their daily objectives, and in regard to important national issues, that which may fit the agendas of only a small group of the privileged few.

Over this weekend, as we spoke about the issues that concerned me the most, I came to the conclusion that we may have squandered one of the most important issues that we could pass on to future generations yet to come. That issue is TRUST!

While growing up, I think the generations before me felt they could trust in what they were being told on a daily basis. The conflict in Vietnam may have been a damaging infliction on my generation’s feelings, and not because of the bravery of our young men and women who bled, died and were crippled there.

Families today are unfortunately being torn apart because of the lack of trust in relationships. The examples we have set in the past are being discarded and the path of least resistance is being substituted in their place. Today, it may have become easier to walk away from responsibility than to accept the difficult choices.

Over the last two years we have been dealing with the onslaught of the pain, suffering and death which has come about due to the COVID Pandemic. It seems as though every time we turn on the TV, a computer or read a paper we continue to get a message that lowers the trust threshold we have with those who should be assuring us of the steady hand that is dealing with this terrible tragedy. 

The American people are slowly losing confidence in our government regarding the information that is being released and in the occupant of the highest office in the land. We are constantly being fed conflicting information regarding masks, vaccinations and other issues regarding the Pandemic, which is causing an erosion of trust.

The situation on the world stage regarding various international crisis is another area of great concern to the American people. The debacle in Afghanistan, the Southern Border Crisis, as well as escalating tensions in the Middle East and the concerns regarding ominous darkening clouds in Asia and the escalating tensions along the Ukrainian border are all concerns to the American public, who are showing increasing dissatisfaction with the handling of these challenges. 

Some of these concerns are beginning to show up in the American economic numbers. Some feel this is a natural cyclical event in the markets. Others are looking for leadership to calm the concerns of the American public. 

The vast majority of the public is looking for some results, not to place blame for these issues. They are seeking to understand where almost $6 Trillion in stimulus money that was pumped into the American economy over the last two years has gone. Some fear this may have created a Pavlovian response amongst some of our citizens, who are looking for what they feel are free government dollars, rather than returning to the workplace.


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