Food For Thought
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The '96 Elections - Life, Liberty and Justice
or Is It a Death of a Nation?
November, 1996
by columnist
David Lawrence Dewey

"Reading provides knowledge...
knowledge leads to answers."
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Two hundred years ago, one of our founding fathers of this great country said, "Give me liberty or give me death." The upcoming 1996 elections will be the most important elections of this century, possibly of the last two hundred years. Mankind is on the verge of a new dawning with the coming of the next century. Technological advancements have already changed many aspects of mankind's day to day living and much more is to come at a faster pace. This is why I feel this election is the most important election. Here is why.

It all started in 1992 when a Democrat President and a Republican controlled Congress was elected. Americans were finally starting to see the mess created over the last fifty or so years and they wanted changes. Americans were tired. but they didn't know however what they were exactly tired of. Was it the threat of BIG government? Paying out the nose in taxes? Social programs such as welfare and medicaid gone amok? Healthcare and many other issues? These problems are just the end result of something that has evidently been forgotten by many. Has it been forgotten that common sense leads to simple solutions? By applying that very simple statement to all the problems this great country is experiencing, I think one can find the simple answer. For example; one day you're driving in your car and you notice that the person in the car in front of you has thrown nails on the pavement. Your first reaction is, I don't have time for this. After that initial burst of displeasure, you then use your common sense. And that is to pull over and remove the nails to prevent your tires from going flat. Is that what has happened with America the last fifty or so years> Have we been waiting for someone else to sweep the nails away for us or fix the flat that we can only fix? Are Americans going to sit without asking questions that will make a difference? Are we going to stand up when something is wrong and do something about it? That is why every American must truly realize and believe they can make a "difference" as John F. Kennedy once said.

The political machinery of every political party in America presents to the public that evidently it is more important to vote for the "man" than what is needed for the country. Kenneth from Washington wrote in, "I am so tired of the mud throwing by the candidates. Because of all the mud slinging, the smoke screen is up again by the politicians. They do this so that don't have to answer for once what needs to be answered."

Kenneth's letter was typical of the letters I received and something that I've been talking and writing about since the debates began. Have you noticed how the candidates in a debate seem to completely walk around an issue when asked a specific question? They answer with either a bunch of political double talk or an attack on the other. Why is is so hard anymore to get a simple and straight answer from a politician? The simple answer is, we let them. The other day, I was at a local political rally for a candidate. I posed a question to the candidate and received a double talk answer. Half way through this totally unrelated answer, I interrupted and said, "That is not what I asked about, could you please address the question posed to you?" Politicians favorite replies to a situation like this is, "I'm sorry, what was the question?" I then replied, "Thank you, you've answered my main question. I understand now that I can't depend on you to vote on issues in Congress that need to be corrected. Evidently you can't remember what is important to begin with." For several seconds there was dead silence in the crowd. The politician had a dumbfounded look on his face when someone else spoke up. That person then said, "He's right, you really haven't answered one specific question that has been asked. You've skirted around the questions." Politicians don't want to have to go on record specifically about anything. Down the road they can be held accountable,. And if they are held accountable for something, it is never their fault. They also blame someone or something else for the reason why they couldn't do what they said they would do.

Marylou, 39, from Michigan wrote, "It's hard for me to see where Dole has vision of correcting what truly needs to be fixed. Instead I see alot of similarities to the Bush administration."

Paul, 55 from Detroit wrote, "The promises that Clinton made in 1992 have been replaced with crisis management and inconsistency."

Many letters I've received are similar to the comments that Marylou and Paul made. What I find interesting is for once is that Americans are finally looking beyond the "man" and looking at the issues. What concerns me though is how we are looking at the issues. Are we being side tracked by the very serious problems this country has? Are we looking at the one thing we should be and that is in my opinion, life, liberty and justice. Are we seeing how the failings of the government have affected our lives in negative way? Are we making politicians do one thing above all? To be honest and truthful. Or are these virtues that we should require been forgotten? Until Americans put politicians on notice that they truly are accountable to the American voter will problems be solved with simple solutions. Or is the American people going to be like sheep that follow the bell ringer every time he rings to bell to the slaughter house? Americans must realize that simple truthful answers will only solve our problems. And most importantly, they must demand this from their elected officials.

Government has gotten way out of hand. Look at the recent injustice of the man who was hounded by the FBI and the media of possibly being the pipe bomber at the Atlanta Olympic games. This man's life was ruined by this great injustice. And beware fellow Americans, this could easily have been you. Have we allowed this country to become a fascist police stat? Authorities lured this man into police headquarters under false pretenses. Thhey got him to sign a wavier of his Miranda and constitutional rights. They then proceeded to create evidence that he was the pipe bomber? This is the sort of thing I am talking about. These are the things that are the most important to correct. When you have deceit, untruths and the authority to do these sort of things, the decay of a civilization such as you are seeing in our country is seen. You ask, what does this have to do with the upcoming elections? Well, it has much to do with it. It tells you what is wrong with this country and it starts with the politicians. Where are our elected officials who are suppose to be overseeing activities such as this and preventing such injustices? Evidently they are sleeping on the jobs. Are they on a Bahama vacation, paid for by special interests groups? Many elected in Washington have these "paid" vacations 5-6 times a year.

Louise, a 79 year old grandmother wrote me, "I am truly worried about our country. It seems in all the rush of the new gadgets, the hustle and bustle, people have forgotten something. They are starting to loose that life is precious and that truthfullness always provides the answers to every problem." Louise couldn't have said it better. And this in my opinion is what the politicians have been avoiding, the truth. Look at what you are hearing about campaign contribution violations by both parties. And both parties are now saying it is time to clean this up. The truth is, they've been saying this for fifty years and the joke is still on the American people. They've been getting away with this lie for years and the American voter is letting them.

Stephen, 32, from Philadelphia wrote, "Thomas Jefferson exceeded his constitutional authority in order to wrap up the Louisiana Purchase and double the size of the country in a single stroke. When are politicians going to realize that just because they've been elected does not mean they are God? I intend to make a difference this election."

The example that Stephen gave is this is all truly about. Have Americans finally reached a point where they are not going to tolerate this type of behavior? I believe so, but the numbers needs to grow. From the hundreds of letters I received, many complained about what politicians have done wrong, but few stated an area of responsibility like Stephen did. I believe few see beyond all the hype and political double talk that Stephen does. We have to start putting politicians on notice that they are going to be held accountable for their actions. That excuses and blaming others for not doing something or correcting something is not going to hold water any longer. It is time that politicans realize they work for the American people, not themselves. That problems and injustices need to be corrected now, not in five or ten years. And no more "quick" hurried fixes that only create more problems. It is time that politicians realize that Americans are not going to climb up anymore dung heaps created by them that affect their lives in a negative way. I believe that once politicians are made to realize this that a huge change in our government is suppose to truly work wil be seen. It will take the American voter to make this realization happen. And the American voter will have to guard it. The old way went on too long and unless the American voter keeps guard, the old dogs will be back to their old tricks again. I believe the American voter is fed up with the games that politicians have been playing.

The more information one has about anything helps one to make good common sense decisions. That is why it is important for all American to understand the main proposals that President Clinton and Bob Dole are presenting to the public. It has been difficult to gather this information for my readers. CLICK HERE to read President Clinton's and Robert Dole's campaign proposals along with my thoughts and comments.

I am not providing any polls at this time of what Americans think about these issues. Or what most Americans are concerned about. I believe most polls are not accurate and do no represent the majority. There is too much influence from certain segments in Washington that supposedly represent the majority. It is amazing how the religious right and the liberals seem to represent the majority of Americans. They certainly do not speak for me. Read the campaign proposal of both men. Explore your own feelings of what you think about them. Apply sense of knowing what is right and wrong about things and make a decision for this election on your own. By not supporting or showing any favorite in this election, I am trying to provide the means for Americans to make a informed decision based on facts and their own hearts. These decisions should be independent of the media, television commercial attacks or any other outside source. After the election, followup up that on that individual you voted for. Check to see if he or she is living up to their campaign proposals. Read the Congressional voting records to find out how they are truly voting on issues once in office. If they are not living up to their campaign promises, write them and let them know your displeasure. The power of the pen is more powerful than you think. Once politicians realize they have to be accountable to the people that put them in office, will Americans begin to see truth at last.

There is much that must be corrected in this country. It will not get corrected unti the American people decide that it is time. Is it time? I believe it's long overdue. This election, the American voter can make a difference. Americans can stand up for what America truly stands for. A nation of people that is truly free of racial problems, crime, poverty, hunger, discrimination of any type, and the list goes on and on. America has these problems simply because people as a society have allowed the beasts to grow. The American voter is the one that has created the beasts in Washington. The American voter simply cannot expect someone else to do what they must do. This is the responsibility is the foundation of America's destiny and future as as nation. The American Constitution is based on a government By The People and For The People. Where has America gone wrong? Each American must answer honestly and see what they can do to change America for the better. Someone long ago once said, "Give me liberty, or give me death?" Can America heal herself as a nation? It's up to the American voter this election year to decide.

In my next column, I will be addressing the issues and problems of America and possible simple solutions. Write me your thoughts and opinions of what you feel are the issues and problems and how you would fix them if you were in a position to do so. Please provide your age. Thank you for all your letters and keep them coming. If a reply is a little slow getting to you, please be patient. I have readers all across the globe and I try to answer everyone.

God Bless and have a terrific day!
~David Lawrence Dewey ~

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