Frank Sinatra once said, "You're riding high in April, shot down in May. But I know I'm gonna change that

tune, when I'm back on top, back on top in June." Does the epitome of individualism lie in the lyrics of a

Las Vegas singer? Is this really how far we must look to find the principles on which this country was

created? Unfortunately, this is the case. Social programs implemented by the Federal Government have

produced a nation of sniveling crybabies. The concept of rugged individualism has been replaced by the

doctrine of victimization. Consequently, we find ourselves entrenched in a constant battle to save our

nation from imminent disaster. Social and moral deterioration is attributed to the following: the media

chastising traditional views, publicly funded Federal handouts, and the breakdown of family values.

The median from which the majority of Americans receive their news has one major flaw; it's not

actually the news. NBC, CBS, and ABC report the news from their perspective. Whatever news they

deem important is constructed to parallel the public sentiment. This has an enormous impact on the way

we form social priorities, morals, and personal principles. If were told what to think, how do we become

independent? For example, when an individual openly proclaims that welfare is harmful, that same

individual is called a bigot by the press. It is no longer safe to promote conservative ideals for fear of

public ridicule.

Our nation has been in a downward spiral ever since The New Deal. The Roosevelt

Administration attempted to remedy poverty by throwing money at the poor, free for the asking. Although

we've demonstrated for the past fifty years that this method does not work, it is still implemented

nevertheless. The Federal Government subsidizes the poor by sending them tax-free checks. Instead of

encouraging individuals to realize their full potential, the Government labels them as helpless; unable to

survive without a bloated Federal Government providing them things. Recent legislation is aimed at

helping welfare recipients by aiding their job search. Moving recipients off welfare and into jobs gives

them a feeling of self-reliance. This is the key to a happy, successful life.

Society's ideals have changed dramatically in recent times. Unfortunately, these changes have a

negative impact on the families of America. Single parent households, divorces, and teenage pregnancy is

becoming more common. Personal responsibility has long been abandoned. Even common courtesy has

been thrown in the background. The absence of a stable family threatens the future of our children. The

alarming trends show us that children of broken homes have a greater risk of becoming delinquents than

their stable family counterparts.

Undoubtedly, our founding fathers would be ashamed of our nation's integrity. America was built

on core beliefs. The seemingly most important belief is rugged individualism. The founders emphatically

stressed the notion that every individual is sovereign, and dependency on Government is political slavery.

America can still be saved. Every citizen should feel personal responsible for the welfare of his or her

family. In addition, Americans should teach their children to emulate positive role models, rather than the

fringe sections of our society. Many people believe that these are extravagant ideals and that we could not

afford to upset the current standards. On the other hand, can we afford not to?