Taken for granted far too often are the men and women serving all of us in the military, whether in a foreign land or at home. No matter one's particular viewpoint on any national or international activity, these brave people are at the ready to serve the United States of America. I was a little kid who played on the grounds of a veterans hospital facility, and learned early-on about the thankless job that they do. Let us not forget them. Let us remember them 365 and 24/7. And similarly, let us not forget our vets.
As we reflect on the place in the world that the United States holds, let us remember to be good neighbors. Too often we forget that we are by far the main consumer of illegal drugs in the world. Without our insatiable desire to consume illegal drugs, many of today's international problems would go away. And just as we as Americans are so quick to judge others, let us look in the mirror. And just as we are so quick to see punishment as the only solution to our problems, let us see clearly that punishment of drug users is not working. Therapy and rehab work far, far better than prisons. I served as president of the board of directors of a drug-alcohol addiction program for offenders coming out of prison. I know first-hand the failure of prison, and the positive results of counseling and rehab.
We Americans who hate taxes almost more than people anywhere in the world, always look to cut "welfare" costs. Translation: that means cutting social service programs for the neediest among us. Rarely do we look at cutting corporate welfare, and never take a hard look at the abundance of corporate welfare cheats. And while the Pentagon and military aspects of the federal budget represent the largest slice, why do we rarely look to cut the waste and pork from the Pentagon budget? We spend billions of dollars on programs that even the military says are unnecessary. This is not a partisan political issue as both parties use pork as a means to feather their own nest and for money to get re-elected from corporations that make ungodly profits from war and war-related expenditures.
Instead of ONLY looking to "throw the bums out of office," why don't we insist that our current elected officials reach across the aisle in Congress, and see what can be done cooperatively to move the nation forward? We have not only become a polarized nation, we have become viscious toward each other. Why would we allow both parties to act out in such a way as to simply and only prevent the other party from achieving success on an issue ...ANY issue? Difference of opinion is one thing, preventing matters from going forward only on the basis of partisan politics is another [and detrimental to America].
The United States of America has elected as President a man with mixed racial blood. The very fact that the U.S. elected a man with this background, is saluted worldwide as an indication of the true democracy that America broadcasts. The very fact that the U.S. elected a man from a poor economic background, raised by one parent, is from what is termed a "minority" background, and raised himself up by his bootstraps, is a gold star for this nation as it is recognized around the globe. The fact that the U.S. elected a man as President of this country who does not come from a wealthy family or a family with strong political clout is something to be celebrated. Let us all do so on this Fourth of July.
You are an American, I am an American; let us join hands.