I often talk about the wonderful young people attending our school and how fortunate I am to be a friend/mentor to a number of high school and college age young men.

Sadly, I often apologize to these young men for the current state that our country finds itself in.

I don't think there is any doubt the last presidential election left the country more polarized than ever before as there is seemingly an unbridgeable divide between right and left and red states and blue states.

It would seem there has also been a parallel rise in income inequality as the "real income" of the middle class has risen very little in the last 30 years.

We would like to assume what is "right for the country" is the primary thing that motivates our elected officials but that now seems subordinate to keeping their party in power or making the other party look foolish or incompetent.

Cultural, moral and ethical standards seem too often be cast aside and objectionable or downright bad behavior have become alarmingly common.

I remember our leaders of the past, Lyndon Johnson and Ev Dirksen, for example, getting together and putting political differences aside and working out a compromise that seemed to work for everyone.

Has true statesmanship died?

And those governing the state of Iowa get no blue ribbons from me either.

I have often said that our most valuable asset is our young people as they truly are our future.

You would think it would almost be a "no-brainer" that the education of these young people should be our top priority. But it is not and our young people are being short changed as our schools are expected to do more and more with less and less.

We are told we can't afford to properly fund education but I am telling you that we can't afford not to.

My friends, as a society we can and must do better.

Support our youth by a kind comment, a pat on the back or better yet, a contribution to the Forest City Education Foundation to help them attain an ever more expensive college education.