Published September 17, 2012
A nation must be good, before it can be greatFRED LAMOTTE
On a Third World avenue, I’ve seen disabled beggars three rows deep pulling themselves on wooden pallets, while in hills above, the ruling class dwelt in walled villas guarded by guns. There was no middle class, just rich and poor, and a thriving black market. Only elites could afford quality food, education, medicine. This could be America in 25 years under the Ryan-Romney budget, which dismantles every safety net this nation took a century to build, cutting programs for vets, children in Head Start, the disabled, the elderly, low-income college students. It makes post-industrial serfs of the middle class, while the plutocrats who bought Romney’s election hoard wealth in offshore accounts and debt-leveraging schemes. Yet Romney insists, despite historical evidence, that the prosperity of the few will magically trickle down and make America “great.” Friends, being a good country is more important than being a great country. In a good country, government and private business are partners. A good country invests in its least privileged citizens, providing health care, education and job training to grow the middle class. A good country uses federal spending to rebuild infrastructure and jump start employment. In a good country, a nurse’s aide, working for minimum wage to serve the sick, deserves quality health care and pension no less than any Wall Street broker earning millions on dividends from the outsourced labor of other men’s hands. I will vote to make this a good country, because America can only be great if it is good.