Political possibilities – 2008

I recently found some writing I had done back in early 2008, when “W” was in office and Obama was running. It’s an interesting little time capsule–

 

3/3/2008

It is becoming increasingly clear that the current Republican leadership in Washington is consumed by a few problems, to the exclusion of everything else.

Meanwhile, the list of what is going wrong in this country is staggering:

–Our health care system is in crisis.
–Our school system is struggling.
–Our national bank account has gone from surplus to record deficits,
while the ultra-rich are getting tax cuts
and oil companies are showing record profits.
–The middle class is being pushed down
and poverty is rising.
–Good jobs are being shipped overseas,
and nothing is being done to replace them.
–Our enemies overseas are growing in number and strength,
and our military is stressed and unsure of its mission.
–Global warming is REAL and we’re not doing much about it.

That’s a big list of problems, and that isn’t even all of them,
but you know what?

We don’t have to ignore problems, or pretend they don’t exist…

We can fix them.
We’re America.
Remember?

We can fix health care,
and save millions in the process.

We can fix our schools,
and reap the benefits for generations.

We can fix the environment
and create jobs in the process.

I’m not talking about putting everybody on the government payroll.
I’m talking about creating solid, good-paying private-sector jobs.

Business doesn’t have to suffer.
The transition to Green Industry is going to be one of the biggest growth sectors in the world economy over the next few decades.

We have to move away from burning oil and into sustainable technology.  You only have to look at what’s happening to the glaciers and polar ice caps to see that we are going to have to change.

Green technology is coming.  We can either create it, or buy it from someone else.  Why did we let overseas auto makers get such a head start on viable hybrid cars?  We can do that!

And there are hundreds of other examples.  If we get out in front of this, we can be the world industrial leader in a way we haven’t seen for decades, with the whole world as our marketplace.

America can be the leader.  Innovation is what we do best.
All we need is the WILL TO DO IT.

***

The Republican machine has pulled our country so far to the right, it’s about to tip over.  The answer is not to tip equally far to the left, but to find balance and strength in the middle.

We need to put all four wheels on the ground.

Not Big Government, but Effective Government – competent and efficient, with integrity.
Let’s put Wisdom back in the White House.
(That’s what the “W” should be for!)

***

Our current leaders have made a big show of talking about homeland security, but they aren’t doing the job.  Money and resources aren’t being allocated to where the threat is highest – in major metropolitan areas.  Why is it, if you look at where the money is going, the map bears a striking resemblance to the red states in the last election?  We need to take the partisanship, and crony-ism out of this issue and look at it directly, only then will we have any hope of being effective.

***

Right now, our military is dangerously over-extended.  Morale is wavering, and recruitment is dwindling.  That is going to have long-term consequences for our readiness.

Our National Guard is inappropriately deployed.  The purpose of the NG is to have soldiers at the ready IN THEIR HOME STATES, ready to respond to regional needs.  As we saw in Louisiana and elsewhere, that wasn’t the case, and it contributed to the suffering there.

I hear talk about the World War II generation, and how young people today are unwilling to sacrifice.

Well, I look at our military, and I see thousands of patriotic young people who want to serve their country.  I look at our college campuses and I see young people hungry for legitimate purpose.

All we need to do is give them a mission that makes sense.  If we are to succeed, we as a country must be guided by wisdom, and act with integrity.  This country has the capacity for greatness.  We have shown it over and over,
…but not much recently
at least not at the highest levels of government.

We find ourselves in a situation now in Iraq, dealing with the grave consequences of miscalculations and missed opportunities, and this situation is going to require that we come together as a nation and make some hard decisions.  It is not the time for blame and divisiveness.  We as a country need to have a serious dialog, with genuine soul searching and a willingness to listen to each other.  We need to come together and decide what we are willing to do to resolve this problem.

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