Americans have inherited the world’s oldest democracy, yet many reject its potential by embracing a rabid individualism that rejects the cooperation and community democracy requires.

Exciting possibilities for a more dynamic social order are buried by a mindless drive for personal wealth. However, clean air and water and a healthy, safe environment are the elements of real wealth. Global warming should inspire a whole new way of thinking and living that protects the natural systems on which we survive. Instead, greed-driven special interests are allowed to destroy the nurturing community that provides the life-generating elements that matter most.

We don’t need to “Make America Great” again by returning to segregation, sexism, homophobia and horrific pollution. Instead, we need to Drive America Forward to better schools, a free college education, a restored infrastructure, a living wage, control of gun violence and Medicare for all, a system that benefits everyone equally. Clearly, this is democracy’s responsibility.

Government is not the enemy. Intelligent, well-crafted laws and policies, driven by reason and science, can lead to the brighter future only a dynamic democracy can provide. Savagely shrinking government kills the freedom, justice and equality inherent in a sharing community.

Ron Molen, Salt Lake City