Who do I want to be

There is a lot of talk about the Presidential election and there is a lot of hate and yelling, which is sadly what the American political process has become.

When I think about who I want to lead this nation, I basically ask myself one question:  Who do I want to be?  Do I want to be the guy who supports denying rights to people?  Do I feel comfortable telling a group of people that they do not deserve the same rights that everyone else has?  Being Jewish, not too long ago people were telling people like me that we were not allowed the same rights as everyone else.  It was wrong then and it is wrong now.  It is all about going back to basics:  equals.  It was a principle the country was founded upon yet a principle we have been fighting for ever since the country started.  I think we are closer than ever.  The fact that there are people who still want to say that if you are gay or you are Muslim or you are whatever else you cannot have the same rights as everyone else shows that we will have the most basic of battles to fight.  That is where I am at.

Supporting the Troops

I am not sure what this phrase means.  Politically, it has turned into meaning that someone is very pro-military in the respect of more and more military spending and more deployments and more putting Americans in harms way.  Some politicians will talk about how they support the troops and how they will use those troops in any number of countries around the world.  I cannot really talk about how and when the US military should be used in conflicts around the world.  I have my own opinions, but they are not based enough in fact for me to share those opinions because opinions with no backing, in my opinion is meaningless.

My question about the politicians that are quick to talk about how willing they are to send Americans in harm’s way is how willing they are to support the veterans that come back injured.  What are these politician’s voting records on funding medical care for those with severe, long term medical needs.   There is a disturbing trend of politicians being quick to vote for deployment and funding all sort of military projects, but when veteran gets home and needs care, the votes are not there to fund veteran benefits.  There are a lot of people who will cheer the rhetoric of sending our military men and women to war, but when they come home with physical and psychological issues from the war, are we going to take care of these people?  How many homeless veterans are there?  latest counts have it at about 50,000?  The face of homeless veterans is also changing.  They are younger and female.  The bulk are still those that are in their 50’s and 60’s and were in Vietnam.

Homelessness is awful regardless of whether or not people are veterans or not.  Homelessness effects men and women and young kids and it is a crime that such a rich nation has people living on the streets, but it is an extra slap to the face that so many that wore the uniform to defend this country are now living on the street with no where to go.  When a politician says they support the troops, my immediate thought is to see how they vote on vet benefits.  That’s the real tell, not whether or not they support military deployment or the so called industrial complex.  It’s the man or woman on the street with no where to go.  When people see a vet and say “thank you for your service” my though is what about those that served who are on the street.  As an individual, as with most things, it is about who you choose to vote for and what they choose to support in word and deed in government.

Individually, you can do your part through good organizations like the Wounded Warrior Project.  You do what you can and part of that is to make sure those that we vote to represent us truly support the men and women that choose to defend this country.

If I were to start from scratch

If I were to ignore all current political thought of the day and start from scratch as to what I think a government should do in broad terms I think I would have a fairly short list.

1 – Ensure the defense of the country

2 – Ensure that everyone is treated equally

3 – Ensure that everyone had the basic bare necessities

Defending the nation is an absolute necessity.  We need to have a standing military and we need to properly fund the military so that it could do its job.

Making sure everyone is treated equally is something we have never gotten right, even though it is prominently stated in the Declaration of Independence.  We needed laws and amendments to give every single non-white, non-male group the rights of while males.  This seems pretty ridiculous to me that we are still dealing with this and we have a major political party that is actively fighting against giving equal rights to individuals.

It just makes sense to me that a country takes care of the citizens of the country.  No one should be living on the streets.  Babies should be fed and clothed and people should be able to earn a living wage.

I am a firm believer in the free market, but that we should be making the market work for us, not us working for the market.  The government focus on the corporation rather than the people to me is nothing short of treason.

I don’t know how these things would work, I am just saying that if I were able to set the agenda, these are the things that I would put at the top of the list.

Fighting over things like same sex marriage and guns distracts us from what is really important.  What makes sense to me, from a logical standpoint is that happy people are better for the economy than stressed out miserable people who do not know how they are going to get through the month.  If people are happy and earn a living, they go out and spend money.  They buy things and go places.  This is what spurs the economy.  I don’t think it takes an advanced economics degree from an ivy league school to know that in order to spur the economy, people need to have money to spend.  I am frustrated by both of the major parties.  Even the democrats, who are supposed to be the party of the common man has really forgotten that it means to support those that cannot support themselves.  I don’t claim to support any party or politician, I am just saying that these are the things that are important to me and what makes sense to me.