I would like to respond to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.
Wednesday he took the Senate floor and used it as a personal soapbox of political vendettas under the guise of homeland security. He lashed out against the Bush administration and the Republican Party for trying to turn U.S. efforts toward protecting the American people into a political carpet ride.
After reading the senator's speech and hearing his tone of voice, I have to disagree wholeheartedly with the point of view verbalized by Daschle and those individuals concurring with him. By misinterpreting words, misconstruing statements and not focusing on the immediate job at hand, these individuals committed the same crime they accused their counterparts of. They were stirring the political cauldron to make their argument against the current act for homeland security put forth by the White House. The Homeland Security Act is not intended to be a ledger for the elections in November or to protect political careers. It is intended to protect the life of every American through measures called forth by the president.
I proudly claim the title of an American citizen before I claim a political affiliation. Because I can proudly hold this title, I also consider myself a patriotic individual, an individual who respects the rights of Americans and who desires to see those privileges granted in the Constitution and Bill of Rights remain unscathed.
But after yesterday, my insecurities for America's future now lie closer than the terrain of the Middle Eastern world. The events in my life and my love for this nation are why I find the implications of Wednesday's battle on the floor of the U.S. Senate somewhat disturbing. They are disturbing for the simple fact that, after Wednesday, party politics have formally become a key ingredient in the struggle to maintain homeland security.
Before Sept. 11, 2001, this nation seemed to be going in a downward spiral of political cynicism. Whitewater, Monica Lewinski and Election 2000 are just a few events that brought to a boil the sentiments of a nation tiring of the constant cat fights and accusations taking place in legislative arenas across the country. America suddenly experienced a horrific tragedy, and this tragedy brought our nation back together again underneath the banner of American pride and patriotism. Flags flew, heroes emerged and volunteers grew by the thousands.
A year later, Americans have suddenly found themselves crossing the same threshold into a realm of finger pointing and name calling. This is not a method this nation needs to acquire as a means of maintaining homeland security and confidence within the American people.
How are we to show not only our enemies but the United Nations that we can come together and face the challenge placed on the red, white and blue? How are we to show the world that the punch in the guts America experienced a year ago won't happen again if we can't even have our own elected officials demonstrate some camaraderie and concordance when it comes to protecting the American people? I think we all deserve a little more respect than what is currently being delved out in Washington, D.C., today.
November is just around the corner, so political strategy dictates to the individuals running for a seat this year to grab hold of the War on Terror and use it as a foundation for their entire campaigns. Focusing on how you plan to contribute to the fight against terror is one thing, but jumping on an issue bandwagon in hopes of aiding your chances of winning is wrong.
The terrorist attack was against every single individual in this country, and thousands of innocent lives were lost as a consequence. Politicians need to remember this when they step up to the podium. This attack did not choose between political parties, it did not decide according to social status or wealth. It was entirely colorblind. So should the basis on fighting a war like no other we have ever encountered before in the past be colorblind. It shouldn't matter what party you belong to because in the end we are all Americans and we all must live peacefully on this soil.
Our political leaders need to put party politics aside for once and focus on the issues of securing our way of life, protecting rights granted to us by our Founding Fathers and demonstrating to the world that America will maintain its rock of freedom. Freedom comes at a sacrifice, and our brave men and women in uniform put their life on the line for this privilege.
Shouldn't our political leaders put their careers on the line for once and do what is best for the nation as a whole, and not for what sounds the greatest in a campaign slogan? America already has one major battle to fight. Let's not make it two.
God bless America.
Samantha Brown is a Cape Girardeau resident.