Thursday, January 29, 2004

Letter to the Editor. Driving across town and listening to NPR sometimes results in my sending letters to the two local newspapers. I have had over a dozen published in the last year. I composed this letter tonight as I drove, the words spilling forth as I raged about the US Appeals Court deciding that gays couldn't adopt children in Florida. We live in a time when Sauron or Voldemort has raised his ugly head:

What does the future hold for the United States? A look at our neighbor to the south is helpful. In Mexico, a relatively small percentage of the population controls the vast majority of wealth, valuable real estate, industry, and the media. For years the PRI party maintained control through coercion and corrupt relationships with business. The majority of the population is trapped in poverty, with no safety net, earning wages that do not adequately cover the basics of housing, food, and medical care. Is it any wonder that millions seek better opportunities elsewhere?

The current United States government is leading us toward this reality. The Republican
tax cuts have provided much money to the rich, who have shown no inclination to revive the
economy. The consolidation of wealth has accelerated while more and more Americans struggle to make end meets while working for mega-corporations, such as WalMart, that do not pay a living wage. The Republicans have consolidated their power by gerrymandering congressional districts in places like Texas and Pennsylvania, preventing competitive political races. The Bush administration seems more concerned with rewarding corrupt businesses, such as Enron and Halliburton, than in insuring that Social Security and Medicare are adequately funded. As the deficits grow ever larger, Bush asks for new tax cuts and proclaims that “temporary” cuts be made permanent. For the first time, the company running my 401K has sent out a newsletter telling its investors that Social Security will not be there for the baby boomers. The dream of many Republican theorists is to end all social programs, and bankrupting Social Security and Medicare through deficit spending appears to be the chosen path.

If we continue down this path, how long before Americans will be heading to Canada or
Europe to look for healthcare or employment? It is important for voters to look past the social
issues that the Republicans will use to cloud the election. What difference will gay marriage or school prayer make in the larger scheme of things when you can’t afford health insurance, college tuition, or even food to feed your children?

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