We must elect leaders who understand our plight

To the editor:

If there is one thing we should have learned over the past 40 or 50 years it is that no amount of party rah-rah-rah or political blah-blah-blah is going to get corporations out of our pockets or get our leaders out of corporate pockets. If there is anything we should have learned over the past seven years it is that this situation is going to require systemic changes. This election is not just about electing the president it is about electing 34 senators and 435 members of the House as well. To think that this cannot be fixed is to misunderstand the term "political revolution."

We are a great nation. We should be the brilliant beacon of a civilized society in this sad world. We will not return to this lofty position until we recognize that we are not being led by people like us. Our leaders cannot represent us because they do not know us.

The 2016 race for the presidency could cost in excess of $5 billion and will have lasted 500 days. Add to that the races for Congress and the cost could approach $10 billion. The schedule for Congress indicates that there will be 91 days when they not in session between July and November. They must use the term "in session" because to call it "going to work," like we do, would mean producing meaningful legislation.


Our elected officials in Washington are mostly millionaires. Their children do not drink Flint water, go to Detroit public schools or go to school primarily for breakfast and lunch. Their parents do not struggle to buy food and pay for rent and medicine. Their sons and daughters do not go to war and come home to no job — or worse. They do not sacrifice their retirement by paying college tuitions and fees. They are not in litigation with corporations over faulty ignition switches, oil spills, unsafe coal mines, exploding chemical plants and polluted rivers and streams. We need to recruit and elect officials who are like us, and who understand the urgency of our plight.

To think this cannot be fixed is to misunderstand the term "political revolution." So what do you say, ye olde boomers? Shall we join these upstart, whippersnapper X-ers and Millennials (remind you of anyone?) and stir things up one more time?

We need to act now because it is possible that the next person we elect to be the president of the United States could be in office until Jan. 20, 2025. By then we will probably be dead, dying or crazy. It is also pretty clear that this sad world needs the United States of America to become that brilliant beacon of a civilized society sooner than 2025.

Sam Henry, Lenox