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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/11/16

Did Senator Jack Reed Sell his Morality for $11,000?

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Message Joseph Clifford

Little Rhode Island exemplifies a gigantic national problem.

Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island
Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island
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The little state of Rhode Island serves as a great model for all that is wrong with the American political system. Citizens know full well that Congress is controlled by campaign money, and it serves the interests of campaign donors and not the public. The public favors Medicare for all, but not Congress; the public favors bringing banks and the financial world under greater control, but not Congress; the public favors a $15-per-hour minimum wage, but not Congress; the public favors regulation of drug costs, but not Congress. These examples clearly explain why the public wants to end campaign contributions, but because Congress subsists, caters to, and thrives on contributions, they put their own political future ahead of the public good, and will not reform or eliminate altogether campaign contributions. Nor will they enact legislation favored by the public, as it might be contrary to the big donors. The following example serves to illustrate the evils of campaign contributions at work in Rhode Island. This goes on every day in every state.

Senator Jack Reed is in a very embarrassing situation in supporting the use and sale of "cluster bombs", which have been criticized by humanitarian groups and 119 nations as being immoral and illegal. They have been aptly described as "Hell from Above". One large bomb is dropped, which then releases tens of hundreds of smaller bomblets. These devastating bomblets are designed to explode above ground, and each bomblet rains down hundreds of pieces of metal shrapnel, which penetrate metal and tears humans flesh and bone apart. About 20% of the bomblets do not explode in air, but fall to the ground and then become active devastating land mines, which kill innocents, especially children. They are so horrific there is a worldwide move to ban them as immoral. Up to this date 119 nations have declared them illegal, but not the US. We are the biggest manufacturer, seller, and user of these immoral weapons. Many are made in RI by Textron. In a recent Congressional vote, 164 Democrats in the House voted them down, but Jack Reed, a Democrat, supports their use and sale. Why? It just might be because he has received $11,000 in contributions from Textron.

Since most humanitarians and nations consider cluster bombs immoral, one might suggest that Jack Reed put politics ahead of morality, or, one might say, he sold his morality for $11,000. But as voters in Rhode Island say, "he is a nice guy", and keep voting him back in. Shame on Jack Reed, but more shame on Rhode Island voters. Do you think your own Congressional delegation has not done the same? Shame on you.

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Joe Clifford lives in Rhode Island and has written a regular column for an online newspaper and has contributed many articles to various RI newspapers. His articles deal almost exclusively with American Foreign policy but ventures into other (more...)

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