You have to wonder what is wrong with Americans that requires so many of us to be imprisoned. It is reported that one in 100 of us is in prison on any given day, the highest ratio of any nation in the world. Are we that bad a people that we have to be locked away? Or is there something in our culture that sees punishment as the answer to everything we don’t like?
When the going gets tough, candidates get stupid. With the economy reeling and most Americans finding it difficult to keep up with their bills and expenses, Sen. McCain comes up with one of the most hare-brained ideas of the season, only to be joined in this non-solution by his alter-ego, Sen. Clinton.
Universal health care is the only humane system for a nation of such great wealth, and the only logical discussion is how to get there. Except, why has this Congress not taken a baby step? Why has it not authorized Medicare to negotiate drug prices?
This week we have descended further into the hell that passes for the campaign and are asked to compare a liar with a man who forgot to insert "some” into an otherwise accurate statement. Agreed that in the current world of diplomacy, the President of the United States of America must speak with precision so as not to give false signals. Candidates enhance their ability to speak non-communicatively during the campaign and Obama, Clinton and McCain are honing their skills in the hands of the mainstream media which throws their public and private comments in their faces.
If you are tired of the mudslinging, dredging up of “gotcha’s” and the other exercises that pass as political campaigns in America, strap on your vomit bag because this ain’t nothing yet.
On February 12 one troubled teenage boy ended the life of another with two shots to the head. Lawrence King, 15, paid the ultimate price for being effeminate and gay. Did you help pull the trigger?
This week “straight talking” John McCain was exposed as the liar he is and true to form, the result was a circling of the right-wing wagons to support him. It isn’t the issue of whether he snuggled up with his lobbyist gal pal that is important but rather his poor judgment when it comes to lobbyists. The Keating scandal first suggested how blind McCain is to paid influence peddlers but we were told that he had been born again as a reformer who had learned his lesson. And then he got cozy with Vicki Iseman and that led to carrying the torch for Paxson Communications.
Bear with me. I am not a Christian, big “C” but I was “born again” when at fourteen years of age I read what Jesus is reported to have said to the people he encountered. I found in Jesus the personification of a set of values that seem to me to be essential to being a worthwhile human being. When I listen to those values, when I feel the deepest message of Jesus, Gandhi, Dr. King and any number of lights in history, I am led to see in Barrack Obama the best hope for their expression in our future as a nation.
The Soviet Union finally collapsed as a result of having over extended itself with military adventures meant to keep up with those of the United States. As Soviet debt mounted, it found it could no longer sustain its cold war campaign and match the weapons build up that President Reagan accelerated during his term. Have we met a similar fate today? Are we due for a comeuppance with similar extreme consequences?
The Iowa caucuses are widely being acclaimed as a “stand for change” and hopefully they were. Yet the change represented by the two front running candidates of each party is a small one indeed and nothing even close to what this nation needs. If you take all the messages of all the candidates, including the darlings of the “outsiders” Kucinich and Paul, we still would only barely be scratching the surface of America’s real needs.