Have we as a nation ever had such a variety of problems? All these and more can be used in some way to restrict our freedoms.

Why are we plagued with so many problems? The answer is a lot simpler than what has been discussed over the years.

There are groups of people who don’t like the fact that our system of government and our economic system is so successful. Freedom and opportunity are abundant in our society. We have the freedom to succeed, but it takes hard work and dedication. Not everyone has done this, but those who have have benefited from their efforts.

Crises, attacks and other problems, let’s count them over the last 20 years: Terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, war on terrorism –in Afghanistan and Iraq, the 2016 election, Mueller report, impeachment, coronavirus, George Floyd’s death, protests and rioting.

This is not a complete list.

We should be building and not destroying. The activists talk about hate, while the demonstrations only use hate as the reason for the not-so-peaceful demonstrations. Police actions are being used as part of the reason for this. And various scare tactics are used to “justify” these actions. Attacks on success are everywhere.

Lockdowns and curfews are used to protect the people, while at the same time our freedoms are being restricted and abused. “Stay at home” orders to stop the spread of coronavirus have been marginally successful.

Gun sales have skyrocketed because people fear that with the police under attack, they won’t be able to protect everyone or anyone. It’s been difficult to even go to church, which is another restrictions on freedoms.

Why is success so bad and evil? We are told to go to college and get educated in order to get a good job and career. But with college debt a problem, we are stifled in trying to be successful.

Nations throughout history have built their success on hard work, a strong economy and military. Yes, some of these had brutal leadership, kings and dictators. But the truly successful nations and civilizations didn’t put up with the problems like we are facing today. They solved their problems.

This is something that we, Americans, aren’t doing. We only talk and argue about what to do, from Congress, to special interest groups, to everyday people. There’s all talk and no action, unless protesting and demonstrating is action.

We are losing as a society and will continue to lose until we the American people get our collective acts together and work together to solve problems.

We need to reward success and not penalize those who achieve. We need to assist those who are struggling, perhaps even inspire them to work and work hard so they too may be successful. Everyone needs to stop making excuses and blaming others for what is standing in their way to a useful and beneficial life.

We the people need to stand up and be counted. We need to work together to solve our numerous problems, not just talk about them and protest everything. We need to preserve our republic, a nation of laws — which is different from a democracy.

Herb Dettmer is a retired Bowling Green resident, U.S. Army veteran and writes this column representing the viewpoint of “Joe Average” citizen. He is freelance writer and author of “Others,” a devotional book. Call or text “Joe” with comments at 419-494-4641.