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David McCann: Address the real problems

Posted: February 20, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 20, 2014 2:00 a.m.

I just finished reading Susan Stamper Brown’s piece about not trusting our government (Santa Clarita Valley Signal, 2-18-14); and, while I could not agree more with you on some of your points, I could not disagree more with you about your reasons for making those points.

The first point about “shortsighted Republicans” and “thickheaded blowhards” in the Democratic Party indicates to me that you are willing to cast a plague on both of their houses, if they disrespect the Constitution and are not “in sync with the American people.” You also write that a “good leader” should respect the will of the people and roll up his sleeves “to join the team, including recalcitrant conservatives.” Again, I could not agree with you more.

Think of some of our greatest leaders: Have they not transcended party politics and worked together for the good of the American people?

I agree with you that Barack Obama has not lived up to many of his promises and his rhetoric—about things like “social justice,” “racial and gender equality,” “toleration of same-sex relationship and marriages,” and most importantly, things like “ending the wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan, “standing up to Wall St. for the benefit of Main Street,” and addressing perhaps the greatest threats to humans--pollution of the planet, global warming and climate change, as well as the threat and danger of nuclear war and proliferation of nuclear weapons.

I wonder what in the world you mean by the words “preaching the secularist gospel of social justice and income inequality”? “Secularist”? “gospel”? I wonder what Jesus, or, for that matter, the Pope himself, might say about this as a “secularist gospel”? What could be more “spiritual” than working together with our fellow citizens to redress the increasing income inequality in this country and the world?

And what could be more in keeping with the “spirit” of our Constitution than a government working on behalf of the people to check and balance corporations, like Comcast and Time-Warner right now, who want nothing more than to concentrate even more wealth and power in the hands of very few. As most Americans know in their pocketbooks, when mammoth corporations become even more gargantuan, who suffers the most? The consumer, for whom service declines in quality, and whose costs for Internet and cable will inevitably go up?

Susan, who cares whether Barack and Michelle have state dinners with finery and expensive food? And who cares whether they both prate about bullying, nutrition, and gay/lesbian equality? Isn’t the proof in the pudding? I voted for Obama in 2008, I admit, because I believed he represented necessary change we “could believe in.”

Today I continue to get solicitations for contributions with a lovely picture of Barack, Michelle, and their daughters, looking like the quintessential American family. What I want to say to them as I look at that picture would be something like this:

Michelle and Barack, how could you even dream of accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, when you have the power of life and death in your hands with your Drone policy of killing human beings, including American citizens, without so much as a nod to our Constitution and international law? How could you sit by and allow some of the largest energy companies in the world pollute the environment seriously, without so much as a slap on the wrist (as the most recent case of the Virginia energy company paying a measly fine of $99,000)? Why would you allow a corporation like Walmart, one of the wealthiest in the world, to not pay its employees a living wage, forcing so many of them to have to rely on government hand-outs to get by? Why haven’t you used your presidential power to put millions of Americans to work on the infrastructure of this country, which is sadly deteriorating, as your predecessor FDR did to alleviate the suffering of Americans after the collapse of the economy in the 30s? And why have you allowed so many hard-working Americans to lose their homes to the sub-prime shenanigans of bankers and mortgagers, while I read in the Wall Street Journal of juicy profits being made by speculators from rents from those lost homes? (WSJ, 02/10 /14).

Susan, with your columns appearing across the country and your influence, why are you not doing what Aristotle said was the task of any great writer—to entertain and to educate—and address the real problems facing this country?

David McCann is a Santa Clarita resident.



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