Three Questions: MSNBC is asking three questions on their web page. I have pasted in all three and answered all three one by one individually.
First Question: What issue facing our country today is most important to you or has the greatest impact on you, your family and neighbors?
The greatest importance to our country, I believe, is its security. However, to ensure our security and to make sure the country has funding for things that matter I believe we MUST change the direction of our foreign policy. Perpetual war does NOT bring perpetual peace. It brings the threat of more war and ultimately the possible extinction of humankind as we know it. The War in Iraq, which I initially supported, became, I believe a colossal error. It showed me that the US MUST reexamine how we conduct ourselves internationally. When Ron Paul, Republican candidate, for president said it matters what America has done in the past and our historical behavior often dictates present aggressions against us he was exactly correct. Why Rudolph Giuliani never heard an analysis like that I do not understand. Real security and the real safety of our military troops and personnel comes first with an extrication from wars we cannot win through military intervention. Each war for the US after WWII has been problematic. It is a different era. We must step up security which requires funding and we must wage peace. Money going to the Iraq war -- in many cases horrendously wasted -- needs to be spent at here home. We need to develop ties internationally over decades which will HELP the people of the Middle East not bomb them into submission. Bombing does not stop terrorism it creates it. Perhaps, that money we save by NOT going to war could be redirected and spent on ameliorating the planet threat of global warming, improving healthcare, education and ultimately ensuring the welfare and the security of our people.
Second: How does it affect you, your friends or loved ones? Tell us your story, and please be specific:
I am disabled. I am constantly worried specifically about healthcare. This country, the richest on the planet, in my opinion, should have enough resources to make sure someone like I do not spend the rest of my life worrying whether I will have the money to pay for the medications I take now or may need in the future. Aging strikes everyone. Most everyone will have to face the ravages of it at some point in their life. As medicine becomes more advanced life is extended. As life is extended more medical interventions will be necessary. Healthcare is expensive and not affordable to many. Wars sap billions and ultimately trillions of dollars which could be redirected and used to help people who cannot help themselves. Those are moral values too and, in my opinion, those are the ones that count above all the others. If we cannot breath the air, if we cannot afford healthcare, if we cannot pay for medication, if children cannot get the education that is available we all, as a nation, suffer. As much as I love the value of American individualism I also believe man is a social being and needs the group to ensure his survival. Our nation must attend to the needs of its individuals when those individuals cannot do that alone.
Third: What do you think should be done to "fix" this problem?
We cannot anymore utterly waste billions conducting unnecessary, purposeless, unsupervised and careless military interventions. While there is no doubt we must spend on maximum military preparedness, we must be prudent, too, and ever-so-cautious when we use it. It must be used only as a last resort. We most especially need to elect the most intelligent, articulate and communicative leaders who possess an understanding of history and who possess the diplomatic skills to know when to use force and when not to. Huge amounts of money, which has throughout recent decades, been wasted on ineffective wars, must be spent on the betterment of mankind and not on its destruction. Only then can we as a nation begin to recapture and show to the world, as we have in the past, the true genius of our system of government and the humanity of our people.