Your Views for June 27


A lot at stake

As a 71-year-old, I’ve tried to view history objectively. Radical politics is contrary to my belief that the issues of the day can be resolved through compromise and just plain figuring it out. Having said this, I find what’s happening politically in our country right now disturbing.

I read in the paper that the S&P 500 reached a record high level this week. You would think this is wonderful news for the majority of Americans.

Yes, the retirement funds, at least the ones that have not become bankrupt, are likely happy. And regular folks who were lucky enough to invest their money at the right time and the holier-than-thou top 1 percent, most of whom inherited their wealth, are happy, too.

Fortunately, most of us are happy the economy is showing some indication of recovery, and it’s better than it was three years ago. We continue to have a relatively high standard of living, considering the mess Wall Street and its supporters in Washington, D.C., created in 2007.

And then, there are the disenfranchised — identified by some as “those people” who have not really benefited from the trickle down economy theory and continue to live in poverty or on the edge, working in low-paying, often temporary, jobs. And let’s not forget the local small business community that tax-dodging international corporations pushed off the map. Does the minority who control the economy really care?

Thanks to the present U.S. Supreme Court, we see millions of dollars being filtered to politicians who for themselves and people of like thinking, genuinely think all is well and they, “the Real Americans,” need to control the seats of power.

So, it’s election season, and there is an opportunity for the majority to send a strong message to our nation’s leaders and question what is happening in the country — one that calls for a fair and balanced playing field for all who want to participate in what has been defined as the “American Dream.”

Wouldn’t it be grand, if some of us retired ’60s peaceful revolutionary types began screaming and shouting again like we did back in the good old days, when the status quo was unacceptable — a time when collective energy made a difference and actually changed the political landscape?

So, maybe it’s time for the majority to come together with a common cause to regain political power and create a new beginning that focuses on economic fairness and equal opportunity — an organized coalition of seniors like me, young people, the disenfranchised and others who recognize the need for changing the economic landscape.

So, here is our challenge.

Those of like mind need to step up to the plate. We have to do what is necessary to replace apathy with hope and optimism by encouraging our family members, neighbors and friends to get involved in the political process.

Let’s hit the streets with sign-waving for candidates who reflect our personal values. Contribute financially what you can to offset the dollars contributed by special interest groups and “have gots,” and, if nothing else, express a sense of urgency by voting in the upcoming elections.

The future of our participatory democracy is literally at stake!

Joel Cohen

Waimea

 

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