Food For Thought
© copyrighted

Americans Speak Out
What's Wrong With America
Novembe, 1996
by columnist
David Lawrence Dewey

"Reading provides knowledge...
knowledge leads to answers."
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The elections of 1996 are over and the people have spoken. Readers have been writing me with their thoughts about what is wrong with America. What I have found interesting is the correlation of the comments I've received. They seem to echo the major root of the problem, American politics. First, let me share voting percentages regarding how Americans voted this time around.

Fifty percent voted for Clinton versus forty one percent for Dole and nine percent for Perot. Let's now look at the percentages of who voted for Clinton and Dole. The same percentage of males, forty four percent voted for Clinton and Dole. However, fifty four percent of women voted for Clinton versus thirty eight percent for Dole. Whites accounted for forty three percent of Clinton's vote and forty six percent for Dole's. Blacks voted eighty three percent for Clinton while only twelve percent voted for Dole. Fifty nine percent of non-high school graduates voted for Clinton, while only twenty eight percent voted for Dole. College graduates voted forty three percent for Clinton, however forty six percent voted for Dole. Postgraduate Americans voted fifty two percent for Clinton and forty percent for Dole. Americans with incomes of $30,000 to $50,000 voted forty eight percent for Clinton and forty percent for Dole. Now this is where it starts to get interesting. Americans with incomes of $50,000 to $75,000 voted forty seven percent for Clinton, while Dole's percentage increased to forty five percent. It gets better. Americans with $75,000 to $100,000 voted forty four percent for Clinton while forty eight percent voted for Dole. Americans over 65 voted fifty percent for Clinton versus forty three percent for Dole. Gun owners voted thirty eight percent for Clinton and fifty one percent for Dole.

Now, how does this correlate with the comments I've received from readers of what is wrong with America. Let me list some of my readers comments, then I'll share my thoughts with you.

Greg, 55 from Los Angeles wrote, "It is evident that politicians are still using the tactics of racial difference to still set the parties at war with their differences, thus swaying different minorities with promises they hardly keep. Because of this, has America truly seen the fall of racism and discrimination? I don't believe so."

Evelyn, 45 from Seattle wrote, "Americans have lost their belief in America because of the politicians. It has been a long time that I can honestly say that I've seen an honest politician stick to what he campaigns on. America is slowly becoming controlled by a right wing religious element that if it continues could very well destroy how basic freedoms and liberties. It seems being politically correct is more becoming religiously correct. By the way, I'm a Christian, but in no way do I support what many of the religious right is doing and saying. Yes, America has some problems, but I've always thought God was a God of love, not hate, and that is what at least I'm seeing in the religious right nowadays. Allot of hate, whereas true love, grace and understanding could heal many things."

Stephen, 42 from Hartford wrote, "What's wrong with America is that we Americans have let the politicians go way to far in getting away with lieing and cheating to justify a political agenda that is being controlled by a few. The best interest of Americans as a whole has been forgotten by politicians because we have forgot to tell them. This is what we want,not what you want or some corporation or group controlling your vote. For America to start to finally solve her problems, we better solve the problem of who truly is in control in our government, the politicians or we the voters who put them there. And please, someone tell Newt Gingrich that when he says, "This is what Americans what.", please tell him that he certainly is not speaking for me and to stop making it sound like he has a direct communication with every American in this country."

Liz, forty one from New York wrote, "Crime, higher taxes, political corruption that never stops or never corrected, politicians saying one thing and then doing another, abortion issues, the homeless, Americans without medical care, children in our own country going hungry everyday. When are Americans finally going to get enough and see that the problems are not in Washington, but problem is us. We elected these idiots into office. Does the average American who would make a good elected official have a chance to get elected without one political party support and especially the millions behind the parties that is needed for a campaign nowadays? The answer is no. I've always said, take the money out of Washington and we will then finally have honest politicians."

A good majority of people writing me expressed the same lines of thought as Greg, Evelyn, Stephen and Liz. As America heads towards the 21st century, it appears that more and more Americans are finally beginning to see what the real problems are facing this great nation. They are finally seeing who is causing the problems.

The election results showed some other interesting things as well. The largest percentage of voters for Dole were republicans gun owners first and people earning between $75,000 to $100,000. Someone once said, the little guy gets poorer and the rich get richer. I don't know if this has anything to do with it but it is interesting that many of the new tax law changes pushed through by the republicans over the last twenty years have benefited the rich and corporations more than the average middle income class American. Most importantly, laws have been passed that have eaten away our personal liberties. Again, many of these changes were sponsored by republicans. An example is this.

Recently a television movie based on actual facts showed how our civl liberties are being taken away from us. It was about a sixteen year old girl, who struck her mother on the face during an argument. The teenager had just been brought home by police after being caught with her boyfriend stealing clothing in a mall store. The policeman convinced the mother that the best thing for the teenager was to let her cool off in jail overnight. He also convinced the mother that she would be released the next morning. The mother did not get her teenage daughter back the next morning. Due to laws that have been changed, the mother had no rights to protect her child. The teenager became a ward of the state. The Judge ordered her to a Juvenile Rehab Center for eight to eighteen months. To compound matters, the social worker at the rehab center was a nut case herself. She lied to the judge about many things going on at the rehab center to protect her job. There were many injustices in this case. The first attorney, a public defender told the mother the wrong time for the first hearing. This caused the Judge to look at the mother as not caring since she wasn't there. He ruled against her. The mother was finally able to retrieve her daughter from this pit of injustice only after hiring three attorneys and five months of literal hell to get her child back. I've had people write me where they have had Judges tell them right there in court that they have no constitutional rights while in court. That the Judge controls the court. Is this truly what our forefathers saw for this great nation to be? Courts and Judges taking children away from their parents when they have no legal or moral right to do so. I don't believe so.

There are other factors that add to this confusion also. Technology has not only brought advantages to society but it's own evil to society. The advancements in so many areas of daily living and working have also compounded the time frame problem. You would think these advancements would provide more time for Americans to enjoy life more. Instead, the average middle income working American is having a difficult time finding enough time to even sleep. Many are having to work two jobs just to survive.

Throughout history, there have been the have and have nots. It appears that the more the have nots try struggle to make a better life for themselves, the haves become more greedy and want more. They slam the have nots down to the ground floor time after time. I hope this is not what has happened to America. Could it be that being kept so busy simply to survive, that this is the way politicians keep the masses from seeing or reacting to the truth of what is really occuring in this country? When is the last time you took the time to sit down and write your elected politician about anything. This is the one weapon that voters still have. When voters unite, they force a positive change. However, what becomes dangerous is when the citizens of any country decide to just let things continue status quo. Instead of forcing the needed changes, voters sit idly by letting a few groups such as the religious right become their speaker. When this happens, the few again are in control and the majority begin to loose their freedom. Liberties and pursuit of happiness which America is suppose to be founded upon slowly starts to be eroded.

In case you have wanted to write your elected officials, but did not know where, you can find your Senators and Representatives email addresses on my website.

And I strongly urege you if you have not read the United States Constitution, do so today.

In closing, what truly is wrong with America is not just her problems, but how we as Americans view them. If we view them as problems only to make hasty decisions to make them go away without finding the causes, we will find ourselves repeating the same mistakes with the same problems again. I believe history speaks for itself, I do not need to qualify this. More questions need to be asked of what caused the problem. This will help us to prevent the same thing from happening again. Politicians love not having to answer questions, especially when it points to wrong doing. The problem is, too many politicians believe that they can do anything they want without having to worry about paying any price for their actions. Maybe it is time to put politicians on notice. They need to do the job they where elected to do, nothing more, nothing less. Too many times in the past, we have let politicians steal from the candy jar without putting the coins in so to speak. Instead, we the voters have had to pay for the candy instead, time and time again. I don't know about the rest of you, but I sure am tired of having to pay for all this candy that someone else is eating.

I would like to hear from my readers with their thoughts for my next column. My next column will be about the commercialization of the Christmas Season. I would like to know if you feel that Christmas has lost its' true meaning and what you feel it represents today instead. Most important I would like to hear from you of what you feel Christmas should truly be about. I will be posting a special holiday FOOD FOR THOUGHT. There will be an entire web page dedicated to the posting of as many of your thoughts about this subject. So please write me.

I would like to close with this information for those of you who are wanting to find a long lost relative or loved one during the holidays. Here is a list of three companies, who for a small fee, (anywhere from $50.00 to $75.00) will try and locate that person for you. All of them have a success of 68% to 85% in finding people. The companies as yet are not on the internet and you will have to write them via snail mail.

Old Friends Information Services 1 Camino Sobrante # 21 Orinda, California 94563

Infoquest, 101 North 4th - Suite 105, Sandpoint, Idaho 83864

Find People Fast, P.O. Box 20190, St. Louis, Missouri 63123

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

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