Epiphanyblog

All about ideas…

What is best for this great nation.

with 2 comments

I’m 60 years old and this is the first time since Pres. Kennedy and his brother Robert that a candidate has truly inspired me. Of course, I’m speaking about Barack Obama. I really do hope he can inspire the populace to take back the nation from the PACs and all the other special interests. I’ve been waiting almost 50 years for someone on the political scene to say what I’ve thought. I also hope he can assemble around him advisers who are truly knowledgeable rather than ideological as has been the case throughout this Bush Admin.

We have a huge number of problems to solve. Not only with regards to foreign policy but also with regards to our current and future economics. Anyone seeking this most high office, in my humble opinion, should be looking down the road 20 to 40 years. What do we want the nation to look like in 2050? And what will it take to get us there?

Any candidate seeking office, whether Presidential or Congressional, should be asked what will it takes to get us to where we need to be so that this nation will survive? What will it take to build a consensus to achieve the goals of an economic and honorable nation that seeks the care and comfort of all of its people?

As long as we settle for the status quo in Washington, we’ll not achieve any measurable goals towards decreasing a deficit that is going to saddle many future generations with immeasurable debt; that is going to significantly reduce the ability of US citizens to earn a living equal to or exceeding their parents; that is going to be able to handle the ever increasing costs of health care and college tuition; that is going to enable the middle class of this nation to succeed in a global economy; that is going to restore our honor, respect and prestige around the globe at a time when it’s needed the most.

Following WWII, this nation’s rise of the middle class really began. Returning soldiers went to college and got degrees in science and liberal arts that sparked a whole new way of thinking. Taxes stayed fairly low because the rise of a middle class caused an increase in revenues, which enabled the government to spend monies on new highways and bridges and levees. With the additional monies the new middle class had to spend, new companies came into being to satisfy their consumer needs for furnishings, clothing, cars, and foodstuffs. War factories converted into consumer goods manufacturers and new technology companies spang up around the country. A single household earner could buy a new, moderate sized house, feed himself, his wife and his 3 children, buy a new car every 5 years, and finance his kids college educations. And he would be able to save enough money to pay for major purchases such as the latest appliances and new clothes for the kids without going into debt.

That is no longer the case. The middle class sees its taxes at a higher overall rate that than the wealthy. When someone making $2MM a year pays a lower percentage of his gross income than someone making $40K, something is wrong. Not since the late 19th Century (and beginning of the 20th Century) has the economic system in this country favored the extremely wealthy. Yet that is exactly what is going on because the average American is not part of the mix in the decision making in Washington.

When health insurance costs for the average family prevents almost a quarter of the American population from being able to afford health care and causes bankruptcy of many families facing catastrophic illnesses, something is terribly wrong. Even a little country like Taiwan has national health insurance that keeps rates low, covers everyone, and costs a fraction of what the people of the US pay…and all without breaking the national budget, or causing delays in administering health care, or reducing the quality of health care.

In a rating of most first world nations, the US rates near the bottom in educational quality because we don’t value the quality and pay of our teachers. If you pay for the worst, you get what you pay for. I once thought of being a teacher until I learned of salary. Because I had two precious children to support, I decided to go into private industry where my salary more than doubled a teacher’s salary for the same education and experience. While I’d already been told by students whom I had tutored and professors that I’d be a terrific teacher, I saw my primary duty as the care of my children. There was no way I could care for them adequately—supply them with a safe home, food, clothing, medical care and other necessities—on a teacher’s salary. Let’s face it, you don’t get Mercedes quality when you pay for a Kia! The same goes for our educational system and its teachers. If you want the best you have to pay for it. If you want great teachers you have to pay for them. You have to lure them away from private industry by offering them the same kind of income they could earn in private industry. And you have to hold them accountable. If they’re not doing the job for which you’ve hired them, then they do need to be fired! But first hire the best…not the cheapest!

Our universities are still among the best in the world, but their rating is rapidly being challenged in places like India, China, Taiwan, and Scotland. We’re not only not graduating homegrown students who have the knowledge to compete for placements at the University level, we’re not making sure every college able student can afford to attend. When I went to college, it didn’t require me or my friends to mortgage 10 to 20 years of our post college lives to pay off student loans. When my uncle graduated with his MS, following WWII, he had no debt at all. This nation turned out the best and brightest worldwide because college was affordable. That is no longer the case. In many other first world nations, college is free for all who have the skills and knowledge to pass the entrance exams. The university systems in those other nations will soon surpass the US in turning out exceptionally talented graduates who will lead the world in technology, science, and arts if something is not done to change Washington.

Washington has allowed PACs and other special interests to set agendas, policies, and make laws all in the name of being able to accumulate enough funds to pay for the next election cycle. The result is that Washington fails to listen to the public because their ears and wallets are being filled by the special interests.

Many citizens have been led to believe that government is bad. That it is a hungry, ever consuming monster that must be starved until it dies. But it is this very government which supplies the capital to finance infrastructural improvements, secures our transportation systems, insures the quality of our medicines and foods, prevents harmful imports, provides grants for research and development for new sciences and technologies, and many other benefits too numerous to name.

But government can be run better. We the people can demand the elimination of wasteful and stupid expenditures; that laws be created for the benefit of all people, not just the special few; and that we clean up the fiscal mess we’re currently in.

It will take a lot of hard work, though, by the people. Just hiring a new President won’t do the trick. We also need to hire a Congress that works for us–all of us private citizens–not just for those PACS and special interests who donate to them. We the people need to set the agendas and the priorities, and demand that our lawmakers abide by our decisions, as a nation, or leave office. We need to force them to be accountable to all of us and not to a party or any other entity. We have to hire better people who are committed to looking out for our interests! People who are committed to solving our many problems rather than accumulating the funds to get re-elected.

When John Kennedy addressed the nation on his inaugural, he said, “Ask not what my country can do for me, but what I can do for my country.” It’s time we the people demanded that those in office live up to those words!

We each owe this great country for which our ancestors “gave the last full measure of their lives and their honor” to choose the very best representatives of us that we can. We owe those who fought and died to bring this republic into being the honor of hiring representatives who hold our whole populace of this nation, not just the select wealthy few, as their sacred trust. We the people owe ourselves and those who come after us the best, most intelligent, most honorable, most just representatives we can hire.

When we hire a new President, and a new Congress, in November, I hope we also will keep in mind the values that our founding fathers (and mothers) staked their lives: that Jefferson’s ordinary citizens have the right to decide the policies of the government rather than the policies of those wealthy individuals (and corporate entities) who seek only what is best for them.

That is why I support Obama. I hope and pray that he will be that odd, historic leader who will return the U.S. to its stated roots of justice and honor and will return the U.S. to its historic respect among world nations that it so sadly currently lacks. I hope he will inspire this most historic nation to “do the right thing” for all peoples, not only of this nation but for the world.

We all have the shared responsibility in hiring the best people we can to represent us. We have the shared responsibility to hire the best people who embody the finest principles of our founding fathers: that of respect, dignity, honor, truth and justice. If we can get past the inane high-school personality contest that has been so much in effect during the last two presidential elections, perhaps we can hire people with the intelligence and ability to lead us out of the problems that plague us. And perhaps if we hire representatives who sincerely seek to solve our many problems, rather then become ego-centric party or media stars, we might even have a chance of surviving the challenges that face this country over the next fifty years.

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Written by Valerie Curl

April 27, 2008 at 12:24 AM

Posted in mccain, Obama, Politics, Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

2 Responses

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  1. God Bless you! I wholeheartedly agree. I keep thinking that Obama is like a combination of JFK / MLK. He is the first political figure to motivate me and bring tears to my eyes. He is a great American and will be a great President.

    mhughes3500

    April 27, 2008 at 1:16 AM

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