This I Believe

Dorsey - New Castle, Delaware
Entered on September 21, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
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I believe in class warfare. The poor people in this country are becoming poorer, while the rich, aided by the actions of the current administration, are becoming obscenely rich. Even worse, the middle class is being eviscerated; and without a strong middle class, we cannot have a stable democracy. Without a robust middle class, a middle class to which the poor have access via a healthy public education system, job counseling and universal health care, the United States will turn into a country in which no decent citizen wishes to live–a third-world country of gated communities and slums, where the rich are protected by private police from the rabble outside their gates, a medieval country with islands of luxury surrounded by oceans of misery and desperation.

We live in a strange time when real warfare, which kills and maims both soldiers and civilians, is acceptable, but virtual warfare against the dire inequities in our society is not. Think of the good the many billions of dollars that are being spent in the Iraq war could do for education and health care and our crumbling infrastructure, creating jobs at the same time with living wages for citizens who need them. Think of the news stories in which thousands of eager applicants show up to apply for a few jobs that have been advertised; many poor people in this country are not lazy, but they have become hopeless, and for good reason.

I believe in the kind of class warfare in which those of good will from all classes will rise up and fight for the end to tax breaks for multimillionaires; for the introduction of a real living wage as a minimum wage; for the end of government-subsidized private schools, which starve public education; for the inception of a new WPA program to provide jobs and reverse the physical deterioration of our country. Americans stand at a crossroads: we can continue on the road of failing empire, spending vast sums to battle enemies, real and imaginary, or we can choose to refresh and renew the once-shining hope of our democracy, which until recently led a willing world along the path to equality, prosperity, and freedom.