I join the folks who have been expressing concerns for the status of our society. I feel as though each day has been providing me with another nightmare. We should be proud of our United States of America, our Bill of Rights, our Constitution, and the goals of justice for all that our nation has strived for. But our nation's goals are being shattered and the guiding lights of our democracy are being darkened.
Racist views have become acceptable, increasing the divisions in our diverse society. Xenophobia has been encouraged by President Trump and hate has grown like a disease.
Care for our fellow human beings is unimportant. The "I have mine why should I care about you?" attitude prevails.
Gun laws are not being passed by this Congress even though mass killing have increased everywhere in our country.
Our enviable reputation among the world nations has diminished and the U.S. is no longer considered the country of strength, peace and cooperation.
We are suddenly a population caught in the wind of political whims. It is certainly represented in the present tax bill. The priorities set forth provide tax benefits to huge corporations (already earning record-breaking profits) and for the financially rich 1% of our population whereas 62% of our nation has been alerted to future tax increases. Also included in the tax bill is the health care phase that will cause some 13 million people to lose their health insurance. This will result in increased health insurance costs to those who have coverage. Several senators have noted they do not favor this tax bill but will sign it. They can satisfy their campaign donors with tax deductions and will be able to show some accomplishment during their term of office. The public will suffer under this heartless bill.
December is a crucial month for essential program renewals. Unfortunately the "CHIP" children's health bill was not renewed and the president will not be signing a renewal on the "Dreamers." They will be forced to return to a birth home they do not know. They have been here all or most of their young lives.
Our nation's pain continues with the horrible, bigoted immigration ban Trump proposed; the elimination of regulations that were meant to protect our natural resources, the environment and our air and water for health safety; and the prevailing distortion of our justice system and moral behavior.
Sexual harassment is not a new problem, but it is more extreme now. Old movies, stories, and comedy routines often displayed degrading actions toward women. It was supposed to be amusing. It was, for the most part, tolerated and accepted. I remember a well-respected and repeatedly re-elected congressman (Henry Hyde) who stated laughingly to the general public, "I was guilty of youthful indiscretions" after a longtime affair was exposed. Now, shockingly, a pedophile is likely to be elected to the Senate and even our president in his own words has admitted to being guilty of harassment of women.
Is it any wonder I have nightmares?
Together we can change our nation's course. First, we must oppose the tax bill because it will affect our nation for many years in the future. Our Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will be cut because funds will be needed to help the deepened deficit. Email or phone our congressmen with your concerns.
Today's politics are a disaster for both Republicans and Democrats. We, therefore, must be involved, striving for a more just society.
Harriet Hausman is a longtime River Forest resident.
Answer Book 2017
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