What is happening in this country? How is it a small group of 60 Republican Representatives can hold hostage a President a Senate and an entire country? We have just experienced what could be considered an unofficial coup attempt by right-wing legislators looking to usurp the power of the President in order to push through Congress draconian cuts in spending which will derail the recovery from the recession which this nation has not yet recovered from. How could our President allow this to happen? How could the leaders of the Republican Party allow these thugs to have such a loud voice? There is a time and place to make a point in politics. Playing with the economy and the financial system of this country is not one of them.
This nation was founded on the principles that each man is “endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights” and that “all men are created equal.” For those who are familiar with George Orwell’s book, Animal Farm it seems as though the pigs have changed the rules. Now, instead of; “All animals are equal,” we have: “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” In order for the voices of the electorate to be heard, one must contribute thousands of dollars to a campaign. No longer are our representatives accountable to the public! They are more concerned with the big corporations who sponsor them. Those who are left on the moral and ethical high ground never have their voices heard. They stand there talking to an empty chamber on C-SPAN. Elections are no longer about issues and fairness. Elections now are about whether which candidate would be nicer to have a beer with and who seems more personable. People no longer explore the issues a candidate stands for; instead he or she looks to make protest votes and hope for the best. Elections are no longer about which way to move the country and solving issues, but about getting back at one party or the other because they failed to deliver on one issue or another. People do not look at the whole picture when choosing a leader.
It’s time for people to start paying attention to what is happening in the world. It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee! This nation is at a crossroads. We have a decision to make next year. Will this country continue to move forward and evolve into the century of the future? Or will this nation put its tail between its legs and run hiding from the problems it faces? There are a few truths that must be made very clear: One cannot run a government with out taxing the people. This nation currently pays the fewest taxes of any civilized nation. If the population wants services; such as Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, an Armed Forces, etc, there must be taxes. Is it right to tax those who make barely enough to pay their basic living expenses? Is it right that a millionaire gets to hide ten million dollars in an off-shore account and not pay taxes on that? Which is more fair?
Here’s another question: If a person is of the Jewish faith, should he or she be made to pray to a Christian God? Should a Muslim man or woman have to give up his or her religious beliefs because people are scared and ignorant? What about the pagan who is a solitary practitioner? Should that individual be made to believe in something he or she does not? Our Constitution guarantees that our government “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Yet, there are those who would force his or her religious beliefs on others without taking into account that first amendment. Who one prays or does not pray to is no ones business, especially the leaders of our nation. What business is it of Speaker of the House Boehner if I choose to marry a man or marry a woman? If we are both consenting adults then why should he force his beliefs on me? I for one am not forcing him to marry someone he does not want to. Why are our leaders putting civil rights to votes across this nation? That is not what this nation was founded on. This nation calls out for “your tired, your hungry, your poor, your weak,” yet when they get here, we do nothing to aid them. We are a nation of immigrants yet we treat those who enter this nation illegally as though they are murderers and rapists.
There are many people who believe President Reagan was the devil in disguise. There are those who believe he broke more laws than he enacted. Yet, the one thing is for certain: President Reagan treated everyone with respect and dignity, even if he did not agree with one’s point of view. He and Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil negotiated and compromised on many different pieces of legislation, the operative word there is compromise. Today’s leaders view that word as though it were a swear word. No one compromises anymore. No one gives and takes. This past month, this nation was held hostage by a splinter group of the Republican Party. Our entire financial system rested in their hands and if they did not get everything they wanted, they were not going to vote to increase the debt limit. That is reminiscent of a child throwing a temper tantrum and the parent doing everything it can to appease the child. In the end, the bill which was just signed in to law is a horrible bill. It is probably one of the worst pieces of legislation this country has ever enacted. The President should have vetoed it. He should have held strong against those bullies and called their bluff. The President should have held firm, and told the American people what he was doing and why he was doing it. If he had, and he lost re-election because of it, at least he would have lost standing to his principles and standing up for those whose voices are not heard. Instead, he caved as so many have caved before him.
This is a great nation. The potential of our nation is just being realized. However, if we continue to allow bullies to set the agenda, the course our forefathers had set for us will be forever changed. Yoda stated it very plainly in Star Wars: “Once you start down the path of the dark side, forever will it dominate your destiny.” This nation must fight to avoid going down that dark path. This nation has always been seen as a beacon of light for the rest of the world. Let us hope that light is never extinguished.