A Citizen’s Open Letter, Richard Paschall
There are a number of problems in the world I would like to call to your attention in case you have not yet had time to notice them. First, there is this whole thing about poverty. The world is full of wealth and wealthy people and yet there are those without food, shelter and medicine. Worse yet, successful corporations and wealthy businessmen get additional tax breaks that in no way benefit the poor. Isn’t the government for all the people? How about a little protection for the “little people?” There seems to be no reason for people to starve. Wouldn’t a “more perfect union” seek to help more than the top one percent?
We seem to struggle with the issue of providing health care to the populace. I know you have tried to get medical insurance to everyone, but the costs are still rather high. Other top-tier countries do not force their citizens to choose between food and health care. Costs are controlled to a greater extent. Also, prescription drug costs at the retail level are affordable elsewhere. Here many people must choose if they can afford life saving medicine or pay other bills. Does that seem right? The same prescriptions that are reasonably priced in other countries are sometimes astronomical in price here. Can you even this out? That would seem to “promote the general welfare.”
In a nation built on immigration, as most countries were actually, we seem to have a total lack of understanding of immigration issues. Some politicians, barely removed from their immigrant roots, block meaningful immigration reform. Can you speak to them about that? Maybe they do not realize that their roots are actually somewhere else, not here. In fact, it seems that the native population is really rather small. We need to “establish justice.”
If children are our future and education is the most valuable component of that, can we do something to promote higher education? Many countries provide free education as they realize the value of it. Surely we will fall behind in the world if we do not have an educated population. At present, the cost discourages participation or throws many students into debt for decades after graduation. Would this not be one of the best ways to “secure the Blessings of our Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” If our posterity is to be driven into ignorance and/or severe debt, then they are not blessed at all.
There seems to be a lot of mistrust of government, police departments and authority in general. Can you speak to various leaders about justice and equality? I fear we have taken steps backwards in the relationships between men and women, people of color, people of various religious backgrounds and people of different sexual orientations. Worse yet is the use of so-called religious freedoms to justify hate. Surely you can do something to get the dialogue back on track. People are people. There must be a better way to “insure domestic tranquility.”
I know you must “provide for the common defence,” but we seem to be going about it the wrong way. Can you explain to the citizens that the second amendment was not actually handed down by god? Since we are not living in the 1780’s and there really is no reason for all citizens to bear arms in case the states need to raise a well-regulated militia to defend themselves, we should be able to add in some sort of control. After all, the Red Coats are not coming. Background checks will not infringe upon my rights, I promise you.
Finally, I think programs and policies need better explanations. Can you do a better job of that? President Theodore Roosevelt believed that he had a “bully pulpit” and that he should use it, and use it he did. He was not shy about going out to the people to explain himself and his policies. Why not try to do more of that? On the other hand, that will only mean opponents will spin the truth out of control and get more air time. Maybe you should forget this last part.
Public Citizen Richard