The word “authentic” isn’t spoken much these days. That’s because authentic means “the real deal — genuine.” There’s very little, if any, genuineness around in 2019. 

If you know of someone with that enviable quality, you’re very fortunate. Far too many public servants are unauthentic. They tell us what they think we want to hear to get our vote or our dollar.

Authentic and honest form the foundation of integrity, another human quality lacking today. 

A few afternoons ago, while trying to keep from nodding off, I kept running this thought through my mind: who or what is authentic today? 

I did not realize this mental task required deep thinking. My sleepiness soon dissipated.

Here are a few thoughts on authentic that came to mind.

First, the USA is the real deal. There is no other nation on earth like America. Therefore, immigrants wish to come here out of a basic human desire to improve their lives.

Since its founding, America has stood out as a true beacon of integrity in a very wicked world.

It is our historic Declaration of Independence that reassures us we are authentic. “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men (people) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Wouldn’t you want to be part of a nation that stood for these values?

Immigrants want to come to the U.S. because our nation is authentic. Here, with “blood, sweat, toil and tears,” to quote Winston Churchill, they can enjoy the rights their home countries deny them.

Desperate, they arrive at our borders any way they can, putting everything on the line to gain entry into our country.

It is a long and arduous process to be admitted to the U.S., but these immigrants gladly accept this, knowing it will be difficult.

The U.S., to them, is the land of hope. Sometimes when all you have is hope, hope can be a pretty good hand to play, according to Cool Hand Luke.

Who in the world would not want to be a citizen of the U.S., the nation that does the impossible?

The Apollo 11 moon landing, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this past Saturday, was the real deal. Americans did visit the moon and two men walked on it. The first person to step foot on the moon was an American of Scottish and Germanic ancestry. 

The immigrants I have met or known are honest, hard-working, family-oriented people ready to accept any hardship to become legal citizens. 

I speak only for me. I do not want them shipped back to their countries. By what they have endured to get here, they have shown the true spirit of our nation.

They do not mind starting at the bottom and, by sweat and labor, working themselves up. They will gladly do jobs most Americans refuse to do. They possess the great spirit of the American dream. 

Let it be known that thieves and killers do not attempt to get into the U.S. through legal means. When caught, they are quickly handed over to the authorities at immigration stations to be returned to their homelands.

Politicians use the immigration issue to drive a wedge between us. But if our hearts and minds are on the side of authentic and honest, we pay no attention to their rants. 

We are on to those who use fear and hate to turn us away from fairness in this issue. We know the truth. And the truth is authentic.

And so I ask, why is Congress so reluctant to address the immigration issue?

Is it a hot potato that lawmakers can’t hold? It’s a national issue that begs Congressional attention but isn’t getting any. And it is cruel for it to continue as is. 

Immigration is clearly a federal issue that requires an authentic fix at the top, once and for all. And let me add, we need to amend federal law to allow volunteers to work at the borders. This would be a big improvement.

We elect our U.S. representatives and senators to solve tough issues the nation faces. For political reasons, they keep avoiding the immigration issue when it should be their top priority.

Time to put the MAGA hats and the U.S. flags aside and really resolve this human crisis. 

Ralph Morris is a retired newspaperman who lives near Auburn. His e-mail address is r.morris@ctvea.net

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