Where is the hope? Where is the call to build and to invest in America’s future? Where is the challenge; a gauntlet thrown down to the entire people of the nation to do what the rest of the world thinks cannot be done? Where are the great-souled leaders both creative and flexible enough to see past the partisan battles of today?
They are utterly absent in this field of Republican presidential candidates, and their political party and its adherents all over the nation numbering in the millions. They are so obsessed with removing a president they have never, even for a moment, considered legitimate that they lack a positive unifying call of hope that inspires us all.
The Republican Party today is all about an Ecclesiastes-like quest to kill, to tear down; to induce a Job-like great time of trial and suffering for its own sake. Candidates and their supporters know all about what is wrong with the United States but not of what is right, good, and will bring us out of the problems we face.
Those that seek to lead them and the nation in 2013 are so entirely petty and narrow-minded that they are utterly incapable of providing the real leadership that Americans have always gotten from their leaders when the going was rough.
Their opponents. the Democrats, struggle with this vision and message of hope as well. But they have it. They can and do sometimes find their voice and raise it.
Democrats have been forced to play defense so much of the time that it crowds out their natural instincts to dream and to challenge their countrymen to answer the call of hope. They mightily struggle in simply holding on to what we’ve had: so much of what remains good about America that they have not been permitted by the other party to turn their minds and unleash their energies in making the nation what it needs to become.
So profound is the Republican’s hope deficit that they expend all their energies on further destroying the social safety net in attacks on Social Security. They wish to return to America’s great hopeful moments and to throw them all away.
A rising ethnic and racial bigotry feeds the popularity of their leaders. Ron Paul would love to get rid of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Governor Walker in Wisconsin has passed with the help of his party a measure to fight almost non-existant voter fraud in his state that openly and directly via a poll tax violates the Constitution of the United States.
As has been said by a sage politician from our shared past: they know what they are against but what are they for?
And when Republicans wax eloquent on what they see as the vision of America, it is a land where corporations rule over the indvidual citizen and a select few have the wealth of the nation at their disposal while forty six million of their fellow citizens lie in poverty.
Is this a vision of hope? Does it uplift the soul of the nation? Does it speak to the great well-spring and touchstone of the country: “all men are created equal?” Perhaps they are created equal and then made to live in a nation that denies that ideal the moment they are born.
The President’s repeated calls for his opponents to enter the adult world and assume the real responsibilities of political power and governence have been met with a sneer and predictions that the President’s leadership ought not be followed; that we should wait until his defeat over a year from now to meet a problem that begs for immediate attention.
Where is the moral conscience and courage to ask those most fortunate whether they be corporate or a human individual, to shoulder their fair share of the burden of making the necessary investment in America’s future?
Here are a few of the kinds of things Struggles for Justice has not heard from Republicans or for that matter, embattled Democrats circling the political wagons and cowering at the wasteland that our nation will be if their opponents gain power:
The committment to go to Mars.
To Cut Poverty in America to less than half of its present level.
To use Green Technologies that are not based on Fossil Fuels to cut our dependence on foreign oil and even domestic supplies in half.
To have the best transportation system and the safest fastest mass transit system in the world.
To put all able bodied Americans to work.
To remove obstacles to collective bargaining via associations of working people in the workplace, now protected by Federal law, into a reality accepted by all.
To invest in education at all levels and to encourage and support the teachers who deliver education to the next generation: our children.
To have a health care system where every single American has access to full health care as a birthright.
To simplfy the tax codes of our national government and state governments to make our tax system uniformly and entirely progressive. And those taxes to be moderate, predictable, and fair.
To offer tax relief to businesses that do socially responsible things such as locate and remain in the United States, employ Americans in good, family-supporting jobs, and to innovate with new technologies and to compete internationally.
To have the smallest and most powerful computer chip and the best developed bio-technology in the world.
And finally to have the leaders committed to work as one to see these things happen.
A dream you say? Yes it is at the moment. But without them, the United States cannot return to being “the last great hope of Earth.”
Will we be led by the petty, bigoted, narrow-minded and fearful people of the Republican Party or shall we turn to those who at least have the hope in them to make the investment in our nation to bring it forward?