16 June, 2008

Back in the saddle

I wrote a letter today to a politician. I used to write them all the time, when I had faith in the system. I stopped doing it about ten years ago, because the responses I was getting made it clear that they weren’t even giving a cursory glance at my arguments; they were just responding to keywords.
Sometimes I would get a response thanking me for supporting a position I clearly and decisively destroyed in my letter. Fuckers.
I got sick of politicians. I still am, for the most part.
I just can’t get over the feeling that this one is different.
Dear Sir, 
Almost three years ago Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. When Mr. Bush finally decided to leave his ranch he offered weak platitudes that New Orleans would be rebuilt "whatever it takes."
His promises, empty as they were, were forgotten almost as soon as the sound bytes stopped airing on Fox news. Today New Orleans struggles on its own and with the help of volunteers and private industry to rebuild herself. The federal government is nowhere to be seen.
Now, with the flooding in the Midwest, it seems evident that the levees in New Orleans were not the only pieces of infrastructure that we as a nation have too long ignored. This is a failure of the federal government that is unconscionable in its magnitude.
Education, infrastructure, and health care are all areas which would promote the general welfare but have been neglected in favor of providing (poorly) for the common defense.
With the economy stumbling blindly along (led by the blind, it seems) I think that another set of public works initiatives are in order much like the ones that Franklin Roosevelt championed to pull this country out of the last Great Depression.
The immediate benefits of this is that it would put many people back to work in areas that have been hit by downsizing and outsourcing. Roads and bridges and levees must be built and hospitals and schools must be modernized and populated with employees.
The long term benefits of this will be a nation that is better prepared to face the challenges of tomorrow.
The money for all of this can surely be found in the savings that will result from pulling our troops out of Iraq. There is so much work to be done and so many areas that can be improved that will help our country, and help those that still struggle to find the American dream. Things like education, health care, and public transportation are needed most where they are least likely to be found.  Let's fix that. The benefit of these things is multifaceted, of course, and will positively impact far more than just poverty.
Thank you for all that you have done and will do for this country.
Jeffrey S. McAnarney
SSG, US Army, Retired
I think I will volunteer for the campaign when I get down to AL. I really, really like Obama.

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