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Issues - Can We Get to the Issues?

By Remy Benoit

The Framers of this country were not in favor of political parties. They feared that these would be divisive, more interested in regional/personal agendas than in the welfare of the new nation.

The press is one of the guardians of democracy. It is the responsibility of the press, as well as of the citizenry, to ask hard questions; to demand clarification, specification from all the glittering generalities being tossed about.

It is the responsibility of those elected to office, of those seeking office, to answer those questions in detail.

Members of Congress, occupants of the Oval Office, are representatives of the People and thus answerable to them. When a newsman asks a question and the response is rudeness and a wish that he could still be challenged to a duel, our thinking has gone somewhere off line.

Think about where you work, think about the word accountability. That holds true for each and everyone of us, including those elected to office, seeking ofice, supposedly gracing that office with diligence, integrity, compassion, and responsibility.

It is up to the citizenry to demand clarification, to ask for answers - show us what you mean; specify what your plans/intentions are; show us your record.

Divisiveness will not heal our Vietnam Era Veterans; it will not help cure those with Desert Storm Syndrome; it will not protect those in active combat. Nor will divisiveness help the aged, the infirm, those struggling on an unliveable minimum wage. It will not educate our children, update antiquated curricula, nor develop a more acceptable, more available, form of fuel.

We are "One nation." Let us not forget that.

Let us ask those who seek office quite specifically how they intend to be caregivers to that One Nation, and to the rest of the Planet of which it is a part. Throwing spitballs, chucking long term alliances, proliferating nuclear weapons, are divisive.

News stations like to make money. If their ratings go down because we hold out watching until real questions are asked, and real answers given perhaps they will catch on that we are serious about this One Nation of ours as well as this one Planet.

I commend Senator McCain for his comment that it is up to the people of this country to demand that this campaign be brought back to issues.

So, anyone know exactly what is happening in Afghanistan; in Iraq; on the budget; on elder care; in the schools; on the streets; in the environment?

An informed public is the life blood of democracy. Let's clean up our national arteries and get down to the real business at hand without name calling, without mudslinging, but with grace, with commitment, with the welfare of this One Nation and the planet as the primary issues that demand answers.


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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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