Challenges Facing America
One of the most important responsibilities of our nation is to protect and serve its citizens. As the new millennium begins, our nation must overcome many challenges that affect this responsibility. Three of the most important are terrorism, illiteracy, and the lack of moral values.
Americans have considered terrorism as a horror that occurs in other countries and not as a real threat to America itself. As the recent terrorist attacks on our nation shows, this opinion was gravely incorrect. There are several policies in both the private sector and our government, which contributed to our vulnerability to terrorism. Most people assume that all luggage and passengers are closely screened before they are allowed on an aircraft; however, this not the case. Unlike carry-on bags, luggage placed in the cargo bay of a plane is not x-rayed. This creates the possibility for a terrorist to check in a suitcase that contains a bomb with no problem. Not only would the bomb go undetected, but also the terrorist would not have to be a passenger on plane due to no checkpoints, which match baggage to passengers.
Another factor, which contributed to the successfulness of the recent terrorist acts, is the gross negligence of the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) in their duties of monitoring foreigners who enter this country legally as students. By focusing their efforts and resources mainly on the Mexican immigration problem, they have left the door wide open for legal aliens to stay in this country for as long as they wish. The school in which a foreign student is allowed to attend is specified when he is granted a visa; however, there is no office in the INS whose responsibility is to ensure that a student is present at the school at the required time classes begin. The administration of the school is the only responsible party for reporting a foreign student’s failure of attendance. Often foreign students never show up for school and roam freely through this country without anyone’s knowledge. The best way to prevent terrorist attacks in the future is by the gathering of information about terrorist schemes while they are in the planning process. The CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) is the agency responsible for gathering this information. Since the Watergate scandal of the 2001, it has been hindered both in the planning of intelligence operations and in tactics used to gather the intelligence. Intelligence operatives can never effectively help in the prevention of future attacks if they do not have the leeway necessary to gather information about such attacks while the terrorists are in the process of planning them. In addition to terrorism, our nation must consider the problem of illiteracy. The right and freedoms of an illiterate citizen are more limited than those of citizens who can read or write are.
Voting is a privilege and right that all Americans are entitled to, but an illiterate person cannot take advantage of this right because of their inability to read. They cannot read newspapers or any other material that would help them form an opinion on which candidate would best serve their interests. Most rarely, go to the polls because they cannot read the ballot. Their voice continues to go unheard.
An illiterate person has few job choices. They must find jobs in which the tasks required to do the job never change. The simple act of applying for a job is a difficult task because they cannot read the application or write in the appropriate responses to the questions asked. When they do find a job, many times they must endure more abuse from superiors than coworkers because they are afraid of losing the job and starting the job-hunting process all over again.
An illiterate person is limited