Monday, May 26, 2008



I Believe

I believe we are a good people. A people who inherently believes in the right of each of us to pursue happiness in our own way, to be free from the tyranny of intolerance, and free to pursue our own paths in this life without interference by society or government.

I believe we are a helping people. We send human and material resources as well as financial aid to any and all quarters of the world out of humanitarian concern regardless of whether victims are our friends or enemies.

I believe we are a people of opportunity. It is possible to lose everything in one year and then turn that around to fortune in the next.

I believe we are a welcoming people. We have a statue that celebrates that aspect of our humanity. We have been the light in the dark, sometimes the last hope, in a world of endless misery for some. And we have taken in the world’s broken and it has made us stronger as a nation.

These are the ideals that have set us apart from the rest of the world.

But we have lost our way.

We have allowed the weakest minds in our society to set social policies that move 10 percent of us to the fringe once again. We still come up with unique and socio-religious reasons to deny the last segment of our society the full rights they deserve. Defending marriage by denying it to homosexuals no more defends marriage than outlawing barbeques in New York keeps fires from burning in Los Angeles.

We have allowed a criminally negligent administration to make news when sending aid to earthquake and flood ravaged nations that are our philosophical enemies, not to mention the wholesale destruction and rebuilding of Iraq, and we have let our own sister, New Orleans, to lay ravaged, dying, bleeding in the gutter. For this alone should our president stand trial. But he won’t.

We champion free markets when it comes to individuals, allowing financial institutions to fee us to death and change our interest rates all in the name of capitalism and free markets at work, and then we provide welfare to the largest financial institutions when these same practices backfire. It’s like being a little bit pregnant. Doesn’t happen. Either we have a free market in which case Bear Stearns can die, or we don’t. And yes, it is just that simple. Once again, the many pay for the frivolity of the few.

We have allowed men like Lou Dobbs a platform to sell books, fear, and permission to hate. This self-righteous fear mongerer is so eager to build a fence to keep our Latino neighbors out that he can’t see how this will also keep the rest of us in. Or maybe that’s the idea. Meanwhile, the Statue of Liberty weeps while Lou Dobbs goes to the bank. What a gig.

This is the year of change. It will come about in one of two ways. We have the fortune and opportunity for America to put its money where its mouth is. Land of the free, home of the brave, opportunity for all. Obama represents that symbolically and in point of fact. I believe he will begin the process of cleaning out America’s attic, and basement, and closets. And if we give him a second term, maybe the windows as well. The other candidates represent the opposite. They belong to the last century. They are truly good people, I believe. But they have stayed on stage just long enough to make many of us uncomfortable. It’s time to lower the lights. If that doesn't work, there's the second way.

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