Dreamland

Friday, November 5, 2010

I have a dream. I dream that one day we will stand together -- Republican and Democrat, conservative and independent, tea party and all the rest -- to uphold the aims on which this nation was founded.

I have a dream. I dream that the two dominant political parties -- Republicans and Democrats -- will find ways to work together on issue where there is agreement. Government spending would be the best place to start.

I have a dream. I dream of a day when every elected politician in Washington will make his or her best effort to serve the needs of all Americans without regard for the consequences in the next election.

I have a dream. I dream that all Americans of voting age will make an effort to be informed about the issues that affect their lives every day, and will use that information to make intelligent decisions at the ballot box.

I have a dream. I dream of a day when shortchanged Americans -- those whose lives have been damaged thanks to decisions made by power-hungry politicians -- get a fair shake from their government.

I have a dream. I dream of politicians who look at every problem with the intent of finding a solution that will benefit most Americans rather than digging in their heels because someone with another political stripe has a better idea.

I have a dream. I dream of candidates for political office who remember what their mothers taught them about playing fair, saying "please" and "thank you" and doing the right thing no matter how your opponent misbehaves.

I have a dream. I long for a president who will lead this nation instead of campaigning year-round.

I have a dream. I dream of politicians who will be honest about taxation and spending, acknowledging that the only way to afford wars and massive social programs is to ask American taxpayers to step up with their checkbooks.

I have a dream. I dream of Americans who understand that demanding -- again and again -- that taxes be cut also means that government services and infrastructure will be slashed as well.

I have a dream. I dream that the greatest nation on Earth sees to it that the hungry are fed, the sick receive care, the aged live without fear of what tomorrow will bring.

I have a dream. I dream of an America where color and religion are no longer causes for division.

I have a dream. I dream of a nation that seeks a moral path.

I have a dream. I dream of discussions where I can state my viewpoint and applaud my neighbor's ability to make a good opposing argument.

I have a dream. I dream of an America where "Out of many, one" is more than a motto.

Tuesday's election, with few exceptions, did not move this nation toward my dream. In spite of the bluster, we have essentially the same government as we had last Monday. Only those in charge of the charade have changed.

We'll know when my dream comes true. It will be the day a Democrat or a Republican says to someone from the other party: "You know, you're right about that."

Joe Sullivan is the former editor of the Southeast Missourian.

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