Consider The Children

I believe that there is only one way left to us to save this nation from itself. Only one direction that we must go in order to recharge the individual spirit and drive that, once, nearly made America great but has now been beaten into hiding by all of the pressures and anti-individual stresses that our government and Corporate America inflicts upon us.

That one way shines in every sprawling city and every small farming community. It looks back at us on every street and playground. The only way to make the world a better place for us is to create a far better world for our children.

Listen to your favorite talking heads on the network news shows and read your local newspaper. How much coverage is allotted to the issues that we all must face but which impact our children the hardest.

I don't mean only parents or grandparents or aunts or uncles when I refer to "our children". It holds true for every single person in your community, in this nation and on this planet; the way we treat the children of this earth will eventually either come back to haunt us or to enrich us in ways we can only guess. We are seeing the results of the uncaring and greedy manner that prevailed beginning in the ravenousness drive for personal wealth that Nancy and her husband inspired in the 1980's and, sadly, still infects our "leader's" thinking today.

How often does the media report the platforms and beliefs of candidates in the first place, preferring the cheap and quick and easily copied and edited sound bite? When was the last time you had the opportunity to convene somewhere and to hear, first hand, from the politicians themselves as to what values they believe in, what they will attempt to do if elected and, finally, to defend their past promises when confronted with their past actions? In particular, exactly how do these people intend to deal with those issues that so greatly affect our children and what answers do they bring to the discussion? I can assure you, there isn't much spoken of nor mentioned in their thirty second attack ads or their thirty seconds of standing in front of a flag, their family dutifully by their side, spouting nonsense that only sounds like information. Instead, like most commercials in the media these days, the ads try to sell an impression, to create a desire to follow one candidate or the other in the same way that 7 Up tries to sell non-conformity to children in ads that tell them that only real individuals drink their sugary drink and that the nerds of the world are incapable of appreciating the attraction of the tooth rotting mixture we sell and "The Men in Black Suits" don't want you to be "your own person" so line up and conform to nonconformity by drinking our product.

We must take back our nation from the vile triumvirate of Washington, Wall Street and Corporate America. We must push to redirect the energies of our nation towards a future of plenty for all rather than the worship of those very, very few who have far, far more than they or their family or their family's families will ever need for a opulent living standard.

To do this, we must remind the nation of its complete and fundamental responsibility to the children who will soon enough be loosed into the world. We must make it a day to day fact that the failure of any part of society to grow and mature and to find some level of contentment is as much our fault as theirs, particularly when that failure is due to the greed and self-centeredness of the grasping few.

How would we even begin such a huge undertaking as to cause this massive change in the American psyche?

First, each time you see one of those heart wrenching commercials for the many so-called Christian relief funds that beg you to give your hard earned money to them so that a child in another country will have a better standard of living, call or write to them and ask why those children deserve the relief fund's support when literally millions of children in this nation go to bed hungry or cold or afraid or in a box in an alley every single night. Ask them how sending these funds thousands of miles away benefits any poverty stricken child living in the bushes by the freeway or even right next door. The truth is that it is so much easier, in a purely political sense, to advocate for those children because it keeps the organization from having to deal with the immense differential in living standards right here in America, a differential directly created by the same candidates supported by the Religious Conservatives. The truly awful results of this segment of our society's political will and demands cannot be addressed by the people who make such a comfortable living off the donations meant for the poor anywhere but here. It would prove so very embarrassing to such organizations if it were as easy going a few blocks away to check the group's results and successes. Claiming success in a country thousands of miles away can be safely maintained without fear of discovery. Refuse to support such organizations but, instead, tell them that you happily send donations to Comic Relief or the Salvation Army or, even better, that you donated a few hours every month to your school or soup kitchen or that you help by tutoring the neighborhood children of working or single parents.

Gentle readers, I know I often issue a call to arms over so many of the actions of our uncaring leaders but this is a call over their complete inaction. California just elected the first Democratic governor in nearly three decades. He credits his win mostly to his platform of improving our state's school system and to better educate our children. As usual, these words fell like cool water upon the parched sensitivities of the state's caring voters but I ask you, does anyone have even the faintest notion as to how he plans to do all of this? Other than the few tidbits that he has mentioned now that he is in office, do you have any idea where he planes to get the money and the support for whatever direction he plans to lead us? Hey, this sort of information is exactly what I pour over every single day and I have yet to see a concrete proposal at any kind.

As I mentioned in a previous article, we must demand that all future legislation be shown to either improve the lot of the children or, at worst, show that it will inflict no further harm to them.

Our leaders must explain exactly why they only have the intelligence to ridicule and destroy the President's offering for a national health plan and why they have offered absolutely no alternative plan to provide for the health care needs of this nation's most defenseless and non-represented segment. There is utterly no excuse for the fact that tens of millions of our nation's children have no health nor dental care nor is there even a system in place to provide prenatal care for pregnant women, care which has been proven to return hundreds of times it's cost in lowered future health demands for both the mother and child. When confronted with the President's admittedly weak and fuzzy outline of an increase in medical care for children through an increased availability to Medicare, the only response that this vile Congress can offer is another round of "across the board" tax cuts that benefit only the wealthy and Congress's owners in Corporate America.

Again, I urge you to visit Connect for Kids and ask to be put on their list for their newsletter, one of the most valuable resources for issues affecting children there is and then visit Kids Campaigns and fill out their volunteer form. You'll receive not only an opportunity to actually make a difference but also the wonderful and useful (and FREE) book "101 Things You Can Do For Our Children's Future" by Richard Louv. This book is guaranteed to get you excited about what one person truly can do to make the world a better and more caring place.

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Copyright 10/19/97