Letter from a friendly local liberal

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This archived article was written by: Nathaniel Woodward

It’s easy to talk a big game, rhetoric is what gets you elected, but sentiment means little when evidence casts light on what kind of leader you truly are. It’s great to say that you are proud to be an American, but what are you taking pride in? That we are 22nd in the world in science literacy? Or how about we are only the seventh most literate country? We are third in median-house income.
What exactly makes us so amazing that the world should continue to look to us as examples? The party divisions are deeper than they have been in a century, and for no reason.
Conservatives are outraged at the lack of things democrats are doing to outrage them, fishing for things to get angry about. Liberals are unflinching, unwilling to reach a middle ground on issues the other half feel strongly about. What happened to the moderate? Both world wars were fought after the moderates were cast out. We must reach a middle ground in order to restore civility.
It’s no secret I’ve been feeling the Bern since the early days. But what does it say about the unfounded outrage of our nation that I’m afraid to put a sign in my yard for fear of property damage? I dislike Ted Cruz’s policies, but never doubt the patriotism of his supporters, same with Hillary Clinton’s and John Kasich’s. When did we get so afraid of differing views that we began questioning each others integrity? Our arguments are so reactionary that we care little for facts, or even what a person actually thinks. Saying all liberals want free things is the same as saying all conservatives are racists, ludicrous and shameful viewpoints.
Some rhetoric I’ve noticed coming from both factions for years now is the miserable job we are doing to take care of our service people after they return from deployment and leave military life. It’s a popular thing to say you support the troops but the evidence shows our leaders could care less.
Donald Trump shook hands with some soldiers and Republicans went into a tizzy, shouting how patriotic he must be. President Obama forgot to solute a Marine once and Fox News still hasn’t shut up about it. The truth of the matter is, nobody cares about our troops at the capital because nothing is being done. A Democrat is in the White House, but Republicans control the Senate and House, it’s both their faults.
I’m going to offer my suggestion on how we support our veterans, this may sound strange but hear me out. A minimum wage; you read that right, a minimum wage for all veterans of all branches of the military. A program funded by the federal government where, no matter what job our veteran may have, a subsidy would ensure that hero makes no less than $25 an hour. Employers will pay at least the legal minimum wage and the subsidy provides the rest.
Where will this money come from? The Panama Papers casts a bright shining light on how corrupt the wealthiest members of our country are, perhaps they could foot the bill. Have you been paying attention to how much money goes into Super PACS for candidates? Maybe those benefactors could put their money where their mouths are. A Javelin missile costs $80,000, that’s a rocket held by a kid who doesn’t make that in two years, fired at a guy who doesn’t make that in a lifetime. So my most radical suggestion would be that we stop fighting endless wars and take care of the mess we are making at home.
I don’t care if your pro-life, pro-coal or pro-guns, be pro-veteran, that’s something we should all agree on. It’s a small step, but rallying together in a common cause we both claim to be in favor of, that’s what make America great.