America lacks integrity and we have lost confidence in ourselves. By letting some confuse and devalue science, religion, politics, and economics we have lost our vision for the future. As we sink in fear and division, we grasp at fantasy, deceit, and exaggeration. We are no longer honest with ourselves. I offer some examples.
The religious right claims moral superiority and zealous support for Donald Trump. It would replace our Constitution with the Ten Commandments by worshiping the golden calf, Donald Trump. Only he can give them what they want. In fact, they have abandoned the Ten Commandments, and have no Moses to save them. Ask them what “shall not worship graven images means.” Ask Ted Cruz what honor your father means. Ask the religious right, the Republican Party, and Donald Trump what “you shall not bear false witness” means. It claims it has no religious freedom unless it can deny ours.
The religious right also claims that churches, not government, can better care for the poor. Religions have a right to worship as they please, but no right to impose their beliefs on the rest of us. How can religion meet the needs of the poor and working poor unless it can raise wages, give housing and food aid, and deliver a full range of medical services? It should stop suggesting that it can care for the poor in ways it cannot.
When did we exchange low cost and near-free college for loan-sharking? Student loans once made education possible for students with limited means. When did colleges begin using the loans to add bloated campus frills so they could compete for students? Students had no say. Schools paid for the frills by raising tuition and writing larger loans. Soon, students who skated by without loans now depended on them. The students that loans originally helped could no longer afford college. Many students now leave school with crushing debt. Some colleges took payoffs. What is the main purpose of college? Education, or recreation and loan writing? In this regard, colleges are dishonest, and we let it go without a challenge. Colleges should stop competing with one another and resume educating at reasonable costs.
Until Texas can execute corporations on a gurney, corporations are not people and the money they give politicians is corruption, not free speech.
When did special interests like banks, the fossil fuel industry, Chamber of Commerce, National Rifle Association, and religious right steal our government? Where once we claimed America was exceptional we are now like a Central American banana republic. We turn with every whim of corporations. Ours is government by the people for the people and of the people. Why do special interests have so much say and influence? Why do the religious right and fossil fuel industry have more influence in legislation than science?
When did the pursuit of happiness become the exclusive right of corporations? Why does the pursuit of happiness come at the expense and harm of others? Corporations, now people, enjoy the pursuit of happiness at our expense. Corporate money (free speech) buys politicians who govern for corporations at our expense. Politicians ignore science because of corporations. They appoint court judges lacking sympathy for individuals, but who lavish rights on corporations. When individuals complain, politicians do nothing. When corporations complain, politicians change the laws. The Fifth Amendment gave us the right to due process. With it, we can sue when injured. Politicians chip away at the Fifth Amendment with tort reform, strip us of due process and protect corporations.
Why do people who want to destroy government win elections to Congress? When did politicians begin putting agenda and party before country? Why are Republicans now poised to pass a tax cut that will give a windfall to the rich and increase the debt and deficit? During the Obama years, they rejected all legislation that would increase the debt and deficit. They are making the same promise with this tax cut that they made with the Reagan and Bush tax cuts. We will grow out of the deficit. We did not grow out of it then and will not now.
Where does the Constitution say the Republican Congress must support the President right or wrong? Does it care about our democracy and standing in the world? When will Republicans govern and faithfully serve in the offices they hold? When will Republicans stand up to the President and defend the Constitution against foreign enemies, the Russians? When will the Congress fulfill its obligation under the Constitution as a separate branch of government? Politicians who set out to destroy government or serve only special interests cannot serve the people who elected them. Without a good faith effort to govern, politicians become anarchists.
Until we are honest about science, religion, politics, and economics and restore integrity, our Constitution is a mere collection of words and our democracy a sham.
Joseph C. SciarilloWesterly