distinguish between right and wrong

I once heard an ex-congressman discusseing the shortcomings of our government and said our government is riddled with
dishonesty and corruption. Nobody in the audience tried to deny it.
Our government, according to this ex-congressman, is
spending its way into bankruptcy, re-electing itself by promising
unearned handouts, crippling industry by taxation,
socializing us beyond our means, sapping the self-reliance
of individual citizens by training them to be depend on government,
and otherwise progressively undermining the
American system of free enterprise.
There is no need to identify that ex-congressman. I have
heard the same speech before, not word for word but idea for idea.
Every such talk elicited thunderous applause.

Many important problems beset society. It is common
knowledge that there is corruption in our national, state and
local governments. Every dishonest decision a person
makes gives his tacit support to rackets, graft and dishonest
leadership. What is needed is a majority of persons who
habitually distinguish between right and wrong and use
their consciences to move in the direction of right.
Once I rode downtown with someone. I was in no
hurry, but the driver was. Suddenly he saw a chance to save
two seconds by squeezing between two fast-moving cars.
“That was tight,” I said.
“Was it?”
“Didn’t you see it?” I asked.
“No,” said the driver. “When I see a tight squeeze coming,
I close my eyes.”
Needless to say, that was my last ride with that driver.
Whether we like it nor not, we are being taken for the
same sort of ride every day of our lives by irresponsible
and dishonest local, state and national leaders who do not develop personal integrity of the sort demande by life.
There is no use ignoring the situation, we face many
crises. Our leaders are constantly squeezing through tight
places, and encountering potential disaster.
They are doing the driving, and we are passengers who
can’t get out.

Society is sitting on a pile of nuclear bombs while sinister
strangers finger the trigger mechanism. People are
struggling toward financial security while inflationary
forces and “deficit drain” suck the wealth out of their incomes
and savings. People are trying to succeed under the
free enterprise system while fuzzy-minded radicals use acts
of terror and threats of war to meddle with our form of
government. People are trying to vote intelligently while
dishonest politicians sacrifice the public’s future welfare to
favor their own political ambitions.
There is no sense pretending that such things are not
happening. To ignore them is to hide our heads in the sand. There also is no sense
in thinking nothing can be done about it either. Something
can be done.
What, precisely, is being done?
Our leaders are making emphatic statements and accusations
to those people who already agree with them. That
is as much as most leaders are doing. Most other people, as
a matter of fact, are doing much less. They are taking mental
sedatives: watching television, following the sports
news, going to vacation spots, conducting business as
usual, fiddling while Rome burns. To quiet their fears,
other people turn to literary sedatives: learning to cultivate
happiness, overcome fear, be number one and acquire excellence
along with peace of mind.