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Election '08

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One America

One America is a vision of the future that I invite you to consider. One America means that we stop asking: ďWhat kind of American are you?Ē One America is a place where race, lifestyle, ideological leanings and religion donít matter in the definition of the American citizenry. We are not African Americans or Mexican Americans or White Americans. We are not Christian Americans or Jewish Americans or Muslim Americans. We are not Gay Americans or Straight Americans. We are not Conservatives or Liberals. We are all just Americans.

The future of our nation depends on the unity of our people. We have spent the last few years tearing ourselves apart over race, religion and divisive issues while our nation has fallen apart around us. There are more working poor in America now than ever before. The government posts unemployment numbers and says how good we have it while not counting the people that have been unemployed so long that they no longer qualify for benefits or the working poor who donít make enough to pay the bills but have jobs because they are at least trying to work. There are more people struggling to pay for health care in America than at any time in recent history. The time for change is now and that requires new leadership. The politics of greed and division need to be put aside in favor of real leadership for change. The divisions between the haves and the have-nots has grown to the point where realistic hopes for achieving the American dream are beyond the grasp of most people and are becoming further and further out of reach for the poorest of Americans on a daily basis. The days of rags to riches in America are fading quickly and with them the hope of working Americans.

We The People of these United States of America have allowed ourselves to become distracted by the politics of division and have lost sight of the common good of the citizens of this nation. We have become embroiled in debates about issues that donít really impact us to the degree that other more important issues do. While we have been arguing about who is allowed to marry whom and whether a zygote is a person, we have allowed the leaders of this nation to sell out our futures by protecting things like outsourcing and by inaction enabling illegal immigration to continue basically uncheckesd in the financial interests of their donors who will never have to worry about their childrenís education or healthcare for a family member. These people being so dutifully protected by the politicians have and will always have the means to provide for themselves because they have more money than they will ever possibly need in their lifetimes. What about those of us who live paycheck to paycheck or worse yet get a little further behind each paycheck until we lose our homes to foreclosure and all of our other assets to bankruptcy court decisions? Who is protecting our best interests? How does improving corporate profits benefit average Americans if they don't see any of the money and lose their jobs in the process?

Now is the time for the people of America to come together and demand change. We must come first in the actions of our leaders. The majority must be the focus and the wealthy minority must be put into the proper perspective. They are the minority but they exert the majority of the control over the policies of our nation. There is no justice in that. Nor is there wisdom in the disconnected elite making policies for the people that work to provide for the care and defense of the populace of our nation. This elitist hierarchy must be broken down before the majority become so marginalized that we no longer have any voice. We are closer to that point today than you may think. Voting machines are controlled by corporate interests who have an agenda of their own and that might not be in the best interests of the people. Only by the will of the politicians do we still have the option to use a paper ballot that can be tracked for accuracy. Politicians could vote tomorrow to remove paper from the process entirely if they chose to do so.

We must come together as a people and find a way to change our society before itís too late. When our government spends billions of dollars on a monthly basis on war but cannot afford to help Hurricane Katrina victims rebuild their homes or adequately educate our children to face the challenges of an increasingly science and math based economy, we have failed to keep our priorities straight as a nation. When our war veterans return home to broken down hospitals and months long waiting lines for mental health care for post traumatic stress, we have failed to keep our priorities straight. When we put the needs of illegal immigrants ahead of lawful citizens of our nation, we have failed to keep our priorities straight. When big business is allowed to send our jobs overseas so they can make higher profits and then pay their CEOís millions of dollars in bonuses for those increased profits, we have failed to keep our priorities straight. Sometimes a society needs to look inward to find the source of their misery. We voted these people into office and then havenít keep track of what theyíve done while in office. We were too busy working longer and spending less time with our families because the people we work for have all the power in government. With big business controlling government there are fewer and fewer laws to protect us from exploitation. We are losing the means to defend ourselves from this onslaught of greed and corruption and are not even crying foul because weíre not paying attention to what they are doing.

We must start paying attention before we donít have any recourse. We have but one tool left to make a real impact. While our votes still count we need to make them count and become once again the United States instead of the Divided States we have of late become. We The People made this country great to begin with and We The People must step up once again to make it great anew. A nation divided cannot stand. When we have the vast majority of our citizens beholden to a very few with no accountability for those few, our nation becomes weaker overall. Strength and unity are synonymous and without one the other cannot last.
Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer - Give your feedback on this article.


War Heroes

War changes people. Thatís a proven and accepted fact. You simply canít go through what we ask our soldiers to experience and not be changed by it. So while America is unified in the belief that we should support our troops while they are fit, healthy and on active duty, at what point do we withdraw our support?

We all agree that it is unacceptable to send our young heroes off under-equipped and inadequately trained. But, letís face it, you canít train people to survive a war zone. Soldiers have to find their own way to adapt to the new world they find themselves in or they donít survive. They have to learn to think differently, act differently, hell, even sleep differently. So why does it come as such a shock to us that when you put them back into ďnormal lifeĒ they have trouble acting normal? The longer the tours of duty, the longer the adjustment time you need to give them. We send our best to defend our beliefs and values. It seems only fair that we give them the best care possible when harm does come their way.

Why then do we abandon our children when the challenges are mental and not physical? Supporting our troops means supporting all of them. The broken patriots who like the fictional Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump didnít have the common decency to die when they were supposed to need us even more when they return home. We love the heroes who gave their lives in service to their country, but have very little respect for the ones who came home less than what they were when they left. Honoring the dead is much simpler in the long run, have a parade, erect a monument, make some speeches and go home. Maybe come back once a year and do a smaller version. But it is a lot messier to care for those that come home missing pieces. You have to live with the unpleasantness every day and, frankly, in a country where the police are too busy to investigate every homicide we would rather not be bothered hearing about the changing of a grown manís diapers.

Democrat, Republican, or Independent it shouldnít matter, extended and complete care for our soldiers should not be a partisan issue. There is an implied contract with those going into combat in service to the United States of America. You offer your life and we will care for you when you return. Our obligation to them isnít just for five, ten, or even twenty years. We have a duty to them for as long as they need our help. So let us honor those that have fallen in our name, and let us keep our promise to them. Our heroes returning from war will have more than just the physical to mend, there is also the psychological. The images that will haunt our children the rest of their lives wonít just go away because the war ends. Isnít it time that we began to own up to the true cost of war and give back to those that have given so much for their country?

I have met Vietnam tunnel rats on the streets of San Francisco. Men ground into the sidewalks upon which they sit by the nightmares from their youth that still haunt them. It makes sense. We are a society of victims, spending time in therapy to make up for fatherís harsh words or uncleís inappropriate stares. Children are abused, there is no question of that, and we have sympathy for them. Does an eighteen-year-old, sent down the booby-trapped tunnels of the Vietcong with nothing but a flashlight and a pistol deserve anything less when two years later he emerges less than sound? Are his scars any less valid because they are emotional and came after childhood? I have met these men on the streets of my city, they are still good men. They just canít be in enclosed spaces anymore. When we talk about supporting the troops we can't just support the ones fighting right now. When they come home they still have needs that are often not being met. Where is the support for those troops?
Kyle Pesonen - Staff Writer - Give your feedback on this article.



Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to: stories@reform-america.net



Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to stories@reform-america.net

 

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