As all of us begin to enjoy the blessings of summer, it is difficult to contemplate the serious decline of political and economic standards this nation has accepted. We were once a nation that believed in an ever increasing standard of living for most of the citizens of the nation. Unfortunately, often this vision excluded people of color. Our political leaders disagreed but generally came to a compromise that most of us could at least accept as the best. We could always fight for a better America without seeing the opposite viewpoint as naïve, foolish, treason, or un- American.
We are no longer that nation. Our political life is fraught with a divisive, uncompromising nasty tone. We see other citizens as enemies not as neighbors. We no longer have empathy with the underdog. All the rhetoric of the tea partiers, for example, about wanting their America back leaves me puzzled. Their America does not include the worker because most of them would exclude collective bargaining as a tool for workers. Their America does not include the teacher that wants a voice in their workplace. Their America does not include the woman who needs affordable child care.
Their America does not include the immigrant who can be harassed simply because he looks or speaks in a way a police officer feels needs clarification. Their America would not supply health care (except emergency care) for the poor. This America would not be the America that believed in a future. Our nation has never been paradise. At the same time we cannot return to a past that denies empowerment and a future to the worker, the poor, women, and the immigrant. Justice was always a goal for most Americans. Let us have that America again!
Let us have a glorious and happy July 4th !