The 9/11 attack gave America a chance to show the world how great we can be. What have we accomplished 10 years later?
I wish I could say that we brought peace around the world; I cannot. I wish I could say that our military is not engaged in fruitless wars; I cannot. I wish I could say that children 10 years old and younger know what dividends peace can bring to our country; I cannot. Credit must be given to both the Bush and Obama administrations that have protected us from further attacks.
IT IS PART OF our history that we fight back and win. It is not part of our history that torture becomes a needed tool to claim victory. It also is not part of our history that we invade countries with excuses of having weapons of mass destruction that were never there. It is not part of our history that we send our secretary of state to the United Nations to lie.
I wish I could say that people and not the corporate world are involved in controlling Congress; I cannot. I wish I could say that 14 million jobs are being created in this country rather than overseas in China and India; I cannot. I wish I could say that the Congress is working for the good of the country instead of damaging the social infrastructure by their call to end Social Security and Medicare; I cannot. I wish I could say that the middle class is growing and that financial gain is helping all groups instead of just the wealthiest ones; like the recent protesters, I cannot.
I wish I can say that 50 million children have been getting the best education possible; I cannot. Many state legislatures, and particularly Georgia’s, have picked on education to balance the state budget. Million of dollars have been taken away from our county school systems, and HOPE scholarships have been drastically reduced.
In the past, the pressures of “No Child Left Behind” have caused shameful behavior by some teachers. Under these conditions, how can our children compete if they lag behind in science and math when compared with children in other countries?
The election of President Obama seemed to have signaled that racial hatred was diminishing in this country. The celebration of this new morality didn’t last long, and unfortunately disrespect for the president has increased. Almost daily, The Chronicle – with its editorials, with its cartoons, and with scurrilous letters to the editor – heaps scorn on President Obama. Respecting our president goes along with respecting the United States. To do otherwise is to diminish this country’s stature.
Our Republican-controlled state legislature has passed immigration bills that make us one of the most repressive U.S. states. We now chase from our farms the immigrants who pick the crops necessary for food. The result is rotting fruits and vegetables ,which is detrimental to keeping food prices down and our income up. How useful is that?
LIKE THE CHRONICLE, I am concerned about the future of this country – a concern that will only diminish if the voting public becomes educated on what changes are needed to our Congress and Georgia legislature. For example, Republican populist candidates for president may be good fodder for cable and celebrity news, but will be a disaster for this country. We must think before we vote or we will regress.
It is time to stand up and say to those in Congress and those who write in The Chronicle: We are going forward. We respect our president and will work with him, so once again we will be the leader in all aspects that make our nation the world’s leader.
(The writer is chairman of the Richmond County Democratic Party.)