I remember the presidential campaign of 2008, I was promised the most transparent administration in history. I was told increasing the national debt was unpatriotic. I was told executive orders would not be used, and total cooperation with the Congress would occur. I watched as an alleged constitutional law professor swore he would uphold and defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic, and I was told our brave men and women of the armed forces that had sacrificed so much in defense of our country would be taken care of and supported to the fullest.
Why has none of this occurred? Laws have been passed with little or no participation by the minority party, drafted behind closed doors, passed by a house divided with the statement "We need to pass the law to see what’s in it." The national debt has more than doubled and there is no end in sight. The administration said if you don’t just agree with my policies I will go around Congress.
Our first, second, and fourth amendment rights are being ignored. Allegations of voter fraud go unanswered. Veterans face long waiting periods to receive their earned benefits. Politicians who have no idea of how to run a military campaign have decided to reduce the number of active duty troops. When cutbacks are called for, the very first hit goes to the military and the first reduction in entitlements comes from our honorable retired veterans. Meanwhile our elected officials receive automatic raises that cannot be voted on by their employers.
In other news, our own congressman last week raved about the Affordable Care Act without mention of the millions of people who have lost their insurance. He boasted that 10 million people have signed up, the actual number is 3.3 million.
Here in Massachusetts we have the highest standard of education in the country. If we were a nation, we would be ranked fourth or fifth in the world; the implementation of Common Core will greatly lower the standard. We were bought with the carrot of Race to the Top, only to find out the small increase in aid will not even cover the cost of implementation. Many Berkshire towns still do not have high-speed Internet; our infrastructure is decades behind in repair. Our young people are leaving the area because there are no job opportunities, at the same time employers can’t find qualified employees, in some instances because unemployment pays better than working.
I long for the day when people can express their opinion and engage in civil debate without disdain or ridicule. I long for the day when elected officials’ only agenda is a good government, a good government that benefits all of the governed and not just a few. I long for the day my children can realize their full capacity to succeed and live out their lives secure in their futures.
These are some of the reasons people from around the world immigrated to this country, set up a republic, and have been willing to defend it for two and a half centuries. My greatest fear is that we as a nation are letting the dream slip away.
There are many good people in our nation who have varying opinions and political affiliations that can work together to accomplish the higher task. There are also people on both sides of the aisle that are so intolerant of any opinion except their own and whose repudiation of any compromise cripples progress and threatens to destroy the very fabric of America.
I believe we can fix all of this, but it will take sacrifice and hard work and we’ve no time to spare. I want to leave my grandchildren a better America, not a bankrupt America.
Mike Case is a retired military and police officer.