This piece was written last week, before Hillary (June 7, 2008) suspended her campaign and endorsed Obama. I found it in on an old blog site I used. Let’s call this entry purpose Historical Reference.
I Want to Hear…
However the duel between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama ends, history will be made in America. For the first time in the American experience, a black man, or a woman, will be the Democratic Party’s contender for the Presidency of the United States. While I can applaud the historicity of the moment, it seems to me that the happenstance of race and gender are getting more attention than actual issues in the media. We can only hope that this will not be true of the contest during the national election.
What I want to hear is a discussion of the direction the United States should take in the next four to eight years.
I want to hear debate about the serious questions of American military involvement in the world. I want to hear dialog on what constitutes national interest to the degree that we are willing to send our young men and women to possible death. I also want to hear why the American military has become, to all intents and purposes, a private army, controlled by corporations like Halliburton, with private interests in Arab Oil production, and who serve as the major supply source of goods and services to the army in Iraq. They aren’t doing it for nothing.
I want to hear exactly what it means that America is becoming a Service Economy. What does that mean in terms of jobs for the general populace? IBM treats its manufacture of goods (computers, etc.) as less important than providing business solutions. What does that mean?
Diversity of providers of goods and services is a natural price control. Where there is a single provider of a necessity, the consumer is ill served. Competitive producers provide a brake against profiteering. How advantageous to the consumer and the worker, is it when corporations buy each other out? Doesn’t that create a monopoly of production and an anti-free labor environment?
I want to hear how the transfer of manufacturing and labor outside the United States for the lowest common denominator of labor cost, with the finished product brought back into it for consumption with little or no change of consumer price, benefit’s the average citizen.
“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin
More and more, free citizens are finding their privacy invaded for reasons of security. Most of these reasons, as evidenced by the Bush Administration, are constructs of prepared myth. They are an excuse to tap phones, read e-mails, and investigate what you’re getting from the library, without due process. Furthermore, More and more information about private citizens is being digitized and thus vulnerable to any computer hack with nefarious intent. What does the next Administration vow to do about undoing what has already been done? What safeguards against unwarranted intrusion are they going foster and defend?
Add to the small list I’ve posted, here, the questions of Health Care, Social Security and Education. We also need to examine the place of Religion in public life. There is a line increasingly being crossed by fanatics in the politics of this country to which we need to pay attention.
One personal concern that I doubt any incoming Administration, Republican or Democrat will want to address in any meaningful way is Transgender, Gay and Lesbian rights. The most we can hope for, at least from the national government, is maintenance of the status quo. I’m willing to be surprised, but I doubt I will be.
During the next administration, Gay and Transgender people will need to rattle that status quo, turn the heat up on local governments, as well as the Federal. We need more cohesiveness between the various gay organizations and more courage on the part of the individual gay and transgender person. We need to form a national movement with the same power and the same determination for Justice as The Civil Rights movement of the Sixties.
“Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” The Book of Amos