Remember the Americans

Yes, Saddam Hussein was killed. Yes, Iraq has more potential today than it did four years ago. It’s not better as far as women’s rights, security, separation of religion and state and religious tolerance go, but the mere fact that even with these setbacks there is general improvement says something. Yes, I respect Bush for holding steady in his Iraq policies, despite getting slammed by the same people who voted for them originally. But do not be an apologist for the President. Americans at home are forgotten in poverty, sickness, neglect and old age every waking hour.

Despite solid economic growth and record corporate profits in recent years, the minimum wage remains dismal and the gap between rich and poor has grown. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 45-60% of wealth is currently passed from one generation to the next, versus about 20% twenty years ago. This equates to an overwhelming advantage for the entrenched wealthy versus the rising American.

The US Census Bureau reported in 2005 that a record 46.6 million Americans, or 15.9% of the population, lacked health coverage. So much for trickle-down economics and benevolent growth.

The environment is rapidly changing, with ice shelves 3,000 years old breaking off in the Arctic over the last week. My beloved Connecticut has not seen more than a handful of snow flurries on one occasion this year. Normally, we have had several major snow storms by now, if not blizzards. Despite these disturbing changes, the Environmental Protection Agency is fighting a lawsuit ordering them to regulate carbon emissions.

Our immigration policies currently consist of a broken border, the chance of deportation for workers and talks of outlawing a critical sector of the American working class. What part of this protects us or makes us free?

National emergency readiness, supposedly the trademark of the post-9/11 Bush administration, entirely failed to prevent a drop of 4.87% in Louisiana’s population following Hurricane Katrina. This does not even begin to account for the total collapse of a major US city or the destruction of lives throughout America.

Stem cell research has stalled. Jobs are flowing away from America. Warrantless wiretapping was carried out. Torture was state policy. The last two programs only stopped following court orders. Capital punishment has continued unabated, defying the concept of a “culture of life.” Educational standards went unfunded. Social Security was ignored. Record deficits have been racked up by the government. Medicare prescription drug coverage is impossible for the average American. Many students cannot afford college due to reductions in federal student loan programs. A number of influential lobbyists, congressmen and government staffers have fallen to corruption. The president’s approval rating stands at 36%.

Not all of these issues are the president’s fault. Most started long before he took office and will continue for a long time after he leaves. Many have nothing to do with him directly. But the president was elected twice to represent the people of the United States. He was elected to stand for us. He was elected to be our executive, fighting for what we collectively believe in. He was elected to stand as the leader of America. He was elected to rise above and fight for our values, to listen to us and to be a moral example for statesmen and for all citizens.

Confucius spoke several thousand years ago in China, but his words are as relevant and true for America’s leadership today as they were for Asian dukes and emperors of old. “By raising the straight and putting them on top of the crooked, one can make the crooked straight.” President Bush, we have raised you and put you on top of the crooked because we believed you were straight. Please make the crooked straight. That is your duty as the leader of America and the leader of the free world.

You have done well in Iraq, despite setbacks and some flaws. But America elected Democrats to win the wars on our homefront. Do not forget that you are the servant of the American people. We need your service now. Uncle Sam, the American people, wants you. We need you.

Stand with us and vigorously serve us with strength and conviction as our elected leader. Remember the American people.


5 Responses to Remember the Americans

  1. Jay says:

    Jay is going to write a rebuttle Article for the first time in months! YEAAAHHHH!!! Thanks Matt! It’ll be up soon, kinda can’t write it now due to the tiny fact that I’m SUPPOSED to be writing a ten page paper for English due next Friday and the fact that it’s 12:30 on a blessed school night… Anyway, there are issues on the domestic homefront of which need serious attention; however, if we go the “John Edwards” approach and merely “solve” these problems with MORE government, FORGET about a better country. Forget about a land of opportunity. Say HELLO to a Massachusetts-like nanny state. Ok 45-65% of wealth is passed down? How is this a bad thing? If anything it shows an improvement in the growth of the American home. Our parents had more opportunities to garner wealth and they pass some of that wealth down to us. “Up and coming” Americans are much more hampered by sub-par public school systems than by this little factoid.

    Also, you and I agree on the general premise of which: “Poverty is bad.” I have a question. Has government EVER done anything to make the plight of the poor any better? We’ve heard the same rhetoric from politicians since LJ’s “war on poverty.” You know what? Let’s forget about meaningless government “Welfare programs,” well most anyway. Let’s forget about the same old approach to government. Hey! You wanna help the poor with me?? Let’s give less money to an inept Congress, who can’t even effieciently run the federal zoo, and let’s give MORE money to Habitat for Humanity.

    So Matt, stay tuned for Jay’s big(ger) rebuttle. And hows about you and me spend some quality time at a soup kitchen 😀

  2. Matt says:

    I eagerly await your rebuttal here. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed rebutting you, and may you find the same joy in rebutting me, that I may yet rebut again. Debating the nature of the most beneficial governments that can exist is the foundation for all political-ideological discussions, and it’s been fun discussing such things with you.

    We’ll get to how to fight poverty soon, perhaps when I rebut your rebuttal. Until then, I agree that poverty is bad, and it would be a pleasure indeed to spend some time in a soup kitchen with you. I wholeheartedly reject the notion that compassion is monopolized by any ideology, and I’m glad to see how dedicated to serving the community you are :.)

    One caveat: Do not make the mistake of making arguments against liberalism in your rebuttal. Remember, I reject liberal capitalism: I am a socialist. Suit your arguments accordingly.

  3. Kevin says:

    See you guys at the soup kitchen.

    I agree with Jay on this one: private charities are better forces in the war against poverty. THe government is not, because they are a morally dubious agency who hook people in on welfare money and then essentially own their lives. Private charities, on the other hand, lend a helping hand to those in need and try to help make them into self-sufficient citizens.

  4. Matt says:

    I also agree that charities are the better of the two ways to deal with poverty, especially as the government generally relies on a system of handouts that do not address the root causes of poverty: unemployment. I simply see big government and democratic, socialist economics as a means of truly “leveling the playing field” and ensuring that all workers have a comfortable life. The simple fact that working poor exist is enough of an argument against capitalism for me. Anyone putting in 8 hours a day deserves housing, food, medicine, water, electricity, clothing, transportation, education, healthcare and some leisure money. I disagree with a lot of my fellow socialists in opposing the welfare state system. I just happen to agree with them in calling for a vastly different economic system. Like you, I also believe in personal responsibility and teaching the proverbial man to fish, rather than giving him a fish.

  5. Matt says:

    To finish the thought, my Lao Tzu socialism agrees that charities are the best way to give a man a fish. The government just has to make sure fishers can eat their catch.

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