Edward Packard

September 11, 2014

”Physician heal thyself” is a powerful exhortation, one America should obey. To listen to President Obama’s speech last night one might imagine that the United States is not only militarily formidable, but also healthy. It’s not. We have a dysfunctional government, likely to become even more so by the time the next Congress convenes. Money, especially big money sprayed prodigiously by super rich self-interested donors, decides our elections. Members of Congress spend more than half their time fund-raising, and a high percentage of them become lobbyists when they leave office. We have a shamefully large impoverished underclass. Our immigration policy stinks, and there’s no sign it will get fixed. A fifth of children live in poverty, doomed as they grow up to find the odds very much stacked against them. Our forests are being destroyed by drought and climate-change enabled beatles. We’re failing to reduce pollution and failing to slow climate change. We have an appalling criminal justice and incarceration system. Federal and state governments are sapped by corruption, greed, and lack of common purpose. We have no inspiring national goal.

The president has abandoned many worthy ideas that have filtered through his mind. It appears that policy for the rest of his term will be to muddle through and hope we can bomb our way to safety. He should have proposed initiatives to strengthen our country, not to further bleed it.

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