America will never recover until it reconciles with its people: Rich, poor, what’s left of the middle class and all individuals in between. This requirement is paramount, because a nation is only as strong as its people’s solidarity and desire to share in both the prosperous and disastrous times. In America, I see this strength waning, as selfish and greedy individuals do everything in their power to decimate the savings, incomes, hopes and dreams of the masses. I believe that those who are the stewards of this once great nation are looking only at the short-term gains to be made with their allegiance to some of the wealthiest and most powerful individuals and corporations. These politicians and civic leaders fail to realize that not only are those they steal from turning against their misdeeds, but they are waking up to the possibility of a return to a feudalistic society. This will not stand for a people who have known freedom for so many generations: Freedom of speech, which is being distorted by corporate interests; freedom from oppression, which is diminished by laws that allow the authorities to waive the rights of individuals; freedom from fear, which is dissipating as more Americans find themselves paying for homes not worth their current value; food that is deceptively becoming more expensive; and wages that are shrinking as unemployment stretches from days, weeks, and months to years for far too many. Of all of these fears, the one that presents the greatest threat is the latter, only beating out the others because of its immediacy.

As many Americans must know by now, the threat of terrorism is almost meritless in comparison to the threat of poverty. While the former has become such an obscure idea as to not warrant much news coverage, except for things such as Osama Bin Laden’s death, the latter is on a growing number of U.S. citizen’s doorsteps. This threat of poverty demands a much greater response than either of the two dominant political parties provide: On the contrary, our leaders have oftentimes, facilitated the dismantling of the middle class in an effort to provide more income to benefactors, who line their pockets with the dwindling savings of an ever growing, impoverished segment of society and neither Democrats nor Republicans address unemployment, the rising cost of living or any of the landmines that await people today. Having read online articles, heard news reports and seen documentaries that detail the events that led to the economic collapse that brought financial institutes worldwide to their knees, I am convinced that our political leaders have no intention of helping any segment of society other than the rich. I also believe that if more people look at the actions of their elected leaders more critically and logically, they too would see that these leader’s actions serve only to funnel more money to the wealthy. This is in fact the basis of the trickle down or supply side economic theory: Provide more income to the rich, whether individuals or corporations (corporations are now seen as deserving of same rights of an individual) in hopes that this money will lead to jobs. While this sounds less than ideal, even if it worked the way that Republicans say it should work, it still means that the middle class and poor should forfeit money to the rich, so the rich can put the poor and middle class to work to give the poor and middle class their money back. And the fact that this is not the way in which trickle down has worked for the past thirty years, makes Republican adherence to such policies suspect at best, and downright crooked otherwise. If those who only vote republican ever considered the pros and cons of such loyalty, they would realize that on balance, their loyalty has not been warranted or rewarded. They would see that it has been the policies of Republicans that led to the inequities that now face our nation: The inequities that fuel the protests that have sprung up in countries in the Middle East, Spain, Greece and elsewhere.

Now, I understand that some of the choices made when electing a particular politician are based on religion or at least the perception of religious beliefs held by a candidate running for office. In this, voters should ultimately determine the true character of the leaders they choice, because their actions will always speak louder than their words: If a man or woman running for office professes their love for any particular creator, than their policies should reflect the mandates of their creator. For those of any Christian-based faith, man is to do onto others as he would have done onto him, and what man in need would choose to have assistance for things such as heating, medicine and education denied them? What man would chose to have their right to vote eliminated because they cannot afford state issued identification or because they attend a college that is in another city than their place of residence? America needs abide by the separation of church and state that is explicitly called out in the United States Constitution, because we cannot afford to be lulled further into a false sense of security that too many political leaders use to win elections. America cannot afford to follow false Profits who claim to be God-fearing, yet send young men and women to fight in unjust, immoral and most-likely illegal wars. America cannot afford to follow these supposed zealots who pass laws that allow far too many people to languish, and or perish in defense of the wealthy. Religious beliefs are and should remain a private matter, in which individuals determine what is best for themselves.

Besides, religious politicians who seem to fail at practicing what they preach, the mouth pieces of our nation seem to have placed too much blame on those who had no part in the downward spiral we find ourselves in these days: Teachers did not break this country. Firefighters did not cause the economic meltdown. Policemen and policewomen did not burst the housing bubble and neither did the unions that supported any of these aforementioned groups, but they are being made to suffer for other peoples “sins”. Main Street is paying for the “sins” of Wall Street, the “sins” of the banking industry and the “sins” of large corporations, all of which are still taking advantage of America and its citizens, by avoiding taxes and lobbying for laws that promote their welfare while destroying the welfare of others. It is truly ironic that the only things that have lost value in America are the very things that so many said made America strong: American workers and American homes have both lost value as wages have diminished, thanks in part to the Global Economy and financial trickery, respectively. Home prices have plummeted by 50 – 70% and still remain unaffordable to most, while banks continue to foreclose, whether justified or not. The masses are becoming poorer for their faith in their leadership, both figuratively and literally and some of the fastest growing demographics in this country are the impoverished and disenfranchised.

Many will argue that the disparity which exists between the “haves” and the “have nots” is a matter of ambition, but at some point this rationale loses all credibility and ambition turns to something less palatable. It is my opinion that ambition is when one strives to better their own situation without directly or intentionally harming others, but it is greed when an individual’s goals interferes with and causes harm to others. Perhaps this is why GREED is one of the seven deadly sins. When looking at the direction our country has taken for the past thirty years, we must make a determination as to what examples we see in our leaders: Ambition or greed? Is the fact that the average worker’s salary has increased by a mere penny over the past three decades, while upper management has increased by $4.00 an example of ambition or greed? While the result of upper management’s decisions can be seen and have been felt profoundly by the entire country and the world, have they have earned the money, respect, admiration or loyalty that our government seems to want to foist upon them. I, for one, think not. The elite of this country have failed this country and appear content to continue to fail this country. Whether they be politician or captains of industry or Wall Street Tycoons, they have all raped and pillaged our nation and its people for far too long. This country was great and it can be great once more, but not as long as the status quo remains. For this reason, a third or fourth political party is needed and both Republicans and Democrats need to shed the shackles that big business have placed around their necks. America will never reconcile with its people until it leaders reconcile the fraud, theft and coercion that led it down this road of despair.


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