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Lady Liberty's Nation

By       Message Charles L. Riccillo     Permalink
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Have we forgotten, in the midst of all our political wrangling, the message on the Statue of Liberty? It pledges our nation to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all, as did our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. So many documents and laws have undertaken to ensure all that!

Of course, in the world now, we are besieged by many problems. But, we always have been. At the present moment, our porous borders are proving to be a problem. We must come to terms with this matter. Ports also have far too little scrutiny.

How many soldiers, particularly Hispanic, are dying because they are promised citizenship through military service? And yet problems abound in this era of terrorism, resolving the security of our borders and ports. There are neither eyes nor electronics enough to keep them safe.We are, however, a nation of immigrants. No matter where your family crossed the Atlantic on the Mayflower, or arrived later from Spain, Ireland, Italy, the Orient or South America - you have all due respect to pay Lady Liberty. In an attempt to obtain dual Italian/American citizenship, I discovered that my Italian and Sicilian Ancestors had all been naturalized. So I would have to live in Italy for a time to accomplish that desired goal.

As a beacon of light and hope to the world, we naturally bear a heavy burden. But then JFK said that we would "bear any burden" in the pursuit of our rightful national goals.

Observe that we are embroiled throughout the world in conflict, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan. And our allies no longer accord us the respect we once had. One cannot blame them. The current Bush administration has, without fail, acted precipitously, unilaterally, and even maliciously toward too many countries. True diplomacy has become a rarity instead of a vigilant and dependable tool. Israel still stands in the Middle East among threat. Iran has its bellicose eyes on that country and stands ever determined to annihilate it.

We have, during the Bush years, alienated more nations globally than we have ever done before. France and England have always turned to us for leadership, as has Germany and Japan, but now financial straits largely engulf the world. It's our national deficit that has imperiled the economies of other countries. We import more than we export. American workers have tired of this state of affairs. They long for retraining and reemployment.

McCain lacks a plan for the economic greening of American, but Senator Obama has clearly stated his intent to get the ball rolling again, rather than it unraveling as it has under Republicans. But Necessity, ever the mother of its child, Invention, will force the issues, without doubt. We cannot go merrily onward as we have in the past, carefree and fancy free! Too many conundrums plead for our American ingenuity. No longer will profiteering around the world serve our nation.

Nor can we remain peacekeepers, without the assistance of allies and the United Nations. We station our troops all over the globe. They maintain vigilance. But how much more can we endure such military presence largely unassisted? Blissful ignorance and willful indifference will not help the ethnic cleansing in Georgia overseen by Russians, or in Darfur by a rogue regime. Black, white, yellow-skinned - all -have suffered at the hands of various parties over a horrible history of war and abuse along with torture. But now we have added our country's name to the list. If a statue could do so, surely Lady Liberty would now be blushing in embarrassment.

Never before have we had so much irresponsibility laid at our feet. It is as though we want to break Lady Liberty's back!

Over time, we've certainly had millions of poor and hungry immigrants deposited here. They found opportunity, life, love, happiness, and even wealth. That happy state of affairs must be restored.

Senators Obama and Biden have their eyes solidly upon all of these issues, examining them carefully, with an eye to their resolution. Meanwhile Sarah Palin continues to embarrass with her expensive wardrobe and ill chosen words. Poor McCain can only grin and bear it. He claims now, after years of voting with Bush, to have been "born again" as a reformer. But I believe, as I consider do also the majority of voters, that his zeal and competence as a reformer are questionable. Nothing, after all, is truly new under the sun. The Republicans have little novel to add to their history of political obstructionism and allowance of the stock markets, multi-national companies, and big business to run wild.

Yesterday, I discovered on CNN that the first response of major banks to their newfound bailout money was to award still more bonuses to executives! Such behavior shows incorrigible lack of sympathy for the plight of average Americans. Startlingly few executives - except for the head of Bank of America, interviewed Sunday on "60 Minutes" -offer to sincerely seek stability without excessive profiteering. So, "What doth it profit a man" - or a company - if he or it "doth lose his soul?" Surely our nation conceived in liberty, to which we pledge allegiance as "under God," cannot longer afford the politics of fear, Godless prejudice, greed, ignorance of and apathy regarding human rights abuses, or the faltering of the middle class under fiscal attack.

So much calls for our attention: health care and insurance reform, selfless service both civilly and militarily, restoration of the value of our currency, and at last our laying claim once again to a position of responsibility as a force for good upon this planet.

My friends, Lady Liberty still shines, but dully, and I fear she is shedding tears tinged with copper over a nation gone astray. Shall we restore her to brilliance, and fulfill her promises or not?

I believe Obama and Biden will dutifully serve in our nation's behalf to work for the end of all prejudice and establishment of fairer laws. So, it's all up to you on November Fourth!

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EARLY 50's BOOMER:Leo.Decidedly heterosexual & available EDUCATION;Roman Catholic grade & college-prep, Roncalli High '69, Honors grad, Triple Distinction,National Forensic League.BA: Theatre Univ.WY ''75 Outstanding Theatre Senior & "Who's Who (more...)

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