Dear presidential candidates: Barack Obama, the Democratic incumbent, Mitt Romney, presumptive Republican nominee, and Gary Johnson, Libertarian presidential candidate. It is my hope this will make its way to your campaigns and eyes.
One of you will occupy again or anew the oval office after the November election soon forthcoming. It does not take an off-the-charts IQ to recognize we have problems in the U.S. Heck, it does not even require an on the charts IQ to see it. Many of these issues are related to our seeming inability to stop spending more than we make. This has proven true on personal, corporate and government levels. This has been and will continue to be the focus of discussion, debate and disagreement going forward. Of this we are all aware.
Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden blame Bush and warn of Romney. Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan blame Obama and warn of four more years. Mr. Johnson and Mr. Gray claim there is little difference between the other two. For these accusations we are all prepared.
In the wake of lingering military actions, both overt and covert, out of control spending by an argumentative and infantile congress, incessant finger pointing, name calling and slandering of people, misrepresentation of ideas, and general lack of civility, I fear a few things may be overlooked. Things that are of the utmost importance to many of the people you lead.
There remains a significant number of people in the U.S. who regard abortion on demand as an abhorrent moral evil. It remains, in the minds of many, the closest historical and philosophical equivalent to the Holocaust as has been introduced since the fall of the Third Reich. Even allowing for the three moral exceptions–rape, incest and life of the mother–the sheer volume of children killed for reasons of convenience staggers the imagination. These deaths of the innocents rip at the souls of many and harden the hearts of others. If we were to legalize the euthanizing of elderly persons on the same scale (enough to surpass the populations of most states), I cannot imagine it would be quickly accepted as “case law.”
But, even now, abortion is an issue on the back-burner. It will not be in the middle of the debate because it sits as only a talking point to you and your campaign. Talk against abortion to rally the base on one side, or talk for it to raise funds on the other side. In the mean time a few thousand babies a day are committed to the crematory.
There remains a problem in the U.S. injustice system. In the name of fighting drugs we have enshrined racial and social injustice just as steadfast and immovable as the granite and marble cornerstones supporting our halls of “justice” across this land. When African-Americans are imprisoned at a rate of dozens times that of white for the exact same crimes, and when African-Americans are sentenced to death at a higher rate for the same crimes, and when the murderers of African-Americans receive the death penalty far less frequently than murderers of whites, a noxious, intolerable injustice persists.
There remains a problem with a system of laws and tax structures that has created an income disparity virtually unknown in rest of the civilized world. One need not be a socialist to recognize a trend in which the lowest wage earners have about the same effective buying power adjusted for inflation as they did three decades ago. During the same general period of time 43% of the nation’s wealth has shifted into the hands of only 1% of the population. As little as 15% of individual net worth is in the hands of 80% of the population. Is it that hard to see our laws and taxes are not being applied in a way that reflects equal opportunity? The oft chanted montra “A rising tide lifts all boats” presupposes boats must be in the water to benefit. In our day many are on shore or in dry-dock far from the waters of growth. As it stands the owners have little hope of getting their boats to the sea.
The Constitution of the United States needs to be sewn back together. While Mr. Obama must shoulder blame for shredding both the spirit and the letter of our nation’s guiding document, history shows he is not the first to do a power grab over the graves of the Founding Fathers. He is merely the latest. Presidential directives that skirt the rule of law are common as martinis at a D.C. luncheon.
We now live in an over-criminalized, over-surveilled, over-prosecuted, over-searched, over-suspect society where the “innocent until proven guilty” are monitored by Homeland Security, groped by Transportation Safety, indebted by the Treasury, robbed by the Fed, taxed by the Congress, and ignored by the White House. Liberties proposed in the Declaration of Independence and protected by the Constitution have been pulled, pilfered, stretched, debilitated, and eviscerated to the point Jefferson would hardly recognize his own work and John Hancock would be looking for of bottle of Liquid Paper.
Corruption has become synonymous with Capitol Hill. When the number of lobbyists outnumber the number of representatives, and the process is little different than bribery in a banana republic, there is a problem. Lobbying dollars are spread through Washington like butter through a hot biscuit. The financial industry, the tech industry, big pharma and agribusiness spend tens of millions of dollars a year buying votes, buying senators, buying representatives, and buying influence. Defense contracts are spread throughout every state in the union, in district after district, like well-set hooks. Then, come time for voting on bills and budgets the jaws of our “elected” officials are yanked around in the industry’s preferred direction.
The startling problem is that you do not seem to think any of this is a problem. Start a war? No problem. Start another war? No problem. Select American citizens for assassination? No problem. Ignore abortion? No problem. Tax, borrow and spend? No problem. Act like you are smarter than the people? No problem.
Is there a true leader among you? Must we yet again deal with the lesser of evils? Will not one of you stand up and ignore the “nyah, nyah” endemic in our media and daily public haranguing? It is clear that neither major party has the answer, so someone, at some point, must transcend their party and actually lead with ideas and actions. It is the only way to pull this thing out of the toilet.
Are either of you man enough to do it?