Letter: Welcome 2019, or maybe not
If you liked 2018, you will probably love 2019. Our national leaders continue to squabble. The scene in Washington often looks like a schoolyard at recess time. In fact, they have even orchestrated an extended recess. We are now in an indefinite shut-down.
Hillary called us "deplorables." During his recent trip to Iraq, President Trump called us "suckers." Trump was right this time. There is a lot of evidence to support his statement. The proof is all around us. Let's consider the evidence.
1: How does the United States rank when it comes to health care? We are at the bottom of the list of industrialized countries.
2: What about infant mortality?
3: What about longevity?
4: Hunger and homelessness are increasing. The media and the press continue to report that the economy is "good". Good? Where? Maybe on Wall Street. Not on Main Street. How can the media be so disconnected from the real world where the rest of us struggle for survival?
5: Respect for our most revered national law, the Constitution, no longer exists. The First Amendment has been rescinded in many towns, on some college campuses, and even in some public tax supported libraries.
What about due process? How many Gitmo prisoners have had a trial?
6: The tax code. It shows that often those who have the least wealth pay the highest per cent of their income in taxes. How can that be? Just look at all of the hidden taxes that we pay every day. Suckers...
7: The Offense Budget. Ninety-nine per cent could be eliminated and we would still have enough weapon systems to blow up the entire planet. So how can we explain that? Easy — it is a gift to the weapons manufacturers. Think about the F-35 and Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin got a billion dollar gift and the taxpayers got the bill. Suckers.... Defund the "black budget." It is a violation of Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution of the United States.
8: The so-called "opioid crisis." Yes, it is a serious medical issue, but the solution is more complicated than just blaming pharmaceutical companies. That is like blaming auto manufacturers for drunk driving. We need a logical, compassionate solution for addicts who want help, while still respecting the right of adults to ingest any substance they want. We also need increased enforcement of traffic safety laws, especially laws relevant to impaired and distracted driving.
9: Our national record on human rights is a disgrace. The refugee crisis at the border is a direct result of United States intervention in Central America. This has been going on for decades. Hundreds of books have been written about it by renowned authors such as William Blum, John Perkins, Howard Zinn, etc. General Smedely Butler, the highest ranking general in the Marine Corps, wrote "War is Racket" in 1935. These books should be required reading in every high school. They are not. Why not? Because we are suckers for blind patriotism.
10: Voters could change all of this, but we won't. We prefer to remain uninformed. We continue to perpetuate the myth that there is no one to vote for. There were six candidates for president on my ballot. Three of them were good pro justice, anti war candidates.
Walk down any Main Street and ask the first 10 people how many candidates were on their ballot for president. Most cannot answer that question. Then ask if they can name them and their positions on the issues. Very few voters can. Uninformed voting is an act of citizen betrayal — sort of an act of treason. It is a sure way to undermine the nation. It is worse than not voting at all, because it cancels out the votes of informed voters who took the time to do their homework.
Voters refuse to vote for candidates who are not widely covered by the press. The press refuses to cover candidates who do not garner a sufficient number of votes. We have a perfect "Catch 22" loop with no escape plan.
Look around. We have become the USA — United Suckers of America. Wake up.
Good luck in 2019. We are going to need it. P.T. Barnum was right.
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