As the tone of this campaign spirals down sound bite by sound bite, the urgency of the issues increases. People are still killing and being killed in Iraq, our government is still paying for mercenaries to participate in this war; Brown and Root, Bechtel, and others rake in big profits from no-bid contracts in Iraq. Veterans from all our wars still struggle to get adequate and appropriate care without long delays.
People are still being spied on, kidnapped, tortured, denied their right to a trial, and arrested for disagreeing with this administration. A recent example is the “pre-emptive arrests” in St. Paul during the Republican National Convention – news that was not well covered when both the dissenters and the journalists who were trying to cover the protests were arrested. (When people are arrested for making plans to express their opinions, the right to freedom of expression is threatened for all. When big media corporations swallow smaller ones, the public’s access to information is controlled by those few corporations.)
Corporate moguls continue to collect obscenely large salaries and benefit packages while most of us notice our take-home pay can buy less. The people who can least afford it, pay the highest proportion of their income, yet those who can most afford to contribute, get tax cuts and tax breaks.
Agribusiness gets the votes as huge government subsidies destabilize world markets and at the very least, discourage (often shut down) the farmer down the road. Farm practices and subsidies continue to abuse the land and the taxpayers. Banks, credit corporations, media corps, and techno firms merge into mega corps, swallowing up and often shutting down smaller businesses.
Big oil enjoys record profits as working people struggle to pay their bills, fill their cars, and heat their homes. Short-term answers rule. Big profits reign.”The bottom line” makes the news. The common good has been forgotten.
I am pleading with you and your readers to urge the candidates to return to the issues, to forget personalities, to abandon the slurs, the slams, the smart answers. I’m tired of the childish taunts. I’m tired of cleverness.
We deserve better.
I will vote. I’ll urge others to vote. I’ll even work for someone. But I’ll hold my head higher if the candidates jump off the political-circus train and walk with the people.