Labor Day signals the end of summer for many and has been a good time to reflect on where things stand and to look ahead for things to come. In my reflection over the holiday, I would say that we — our country and our state — are in a funk and we either cannot or will not pull ourselves out of it.

You might remember laughing and singing along with Buck Owens and Roy Clark on the old television show “Hee Haw” when they sang, “Gloom, despair and agony on me. Deep, dark depression, excessive misery.” It was humorous back then because we have always been a nation of optimistic, hopeful people who believed tomorrow would be better. We applauded our encouragement when Ronald Reagan called America a “shining city on a hill.” But we wouldn’t laugh so much to Owens and Clark right now; their song pretty well sums up the prevalent mood today.

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