Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Thoughts for a Tuesday

The New Hampshire Primary was today. Ours is on Super Tuesday, a month from now. If I understood correctly, they had a record turn out for the Democrats in NH, about 280,000. A record turn out. The population of NH in 2005 was 1.3M. Between the parties, about 40% came out to vote. It's just sad.

I love politics. I watch about 3 hours of cable news a day and listen to several news related podcasts. Election years are awesome! But this year things have changed for me.

When I turned 18, I registered to vote. The first time I was able to cast a ballot, I did it for Mondale. I was raised in a Union house, and Democratic party was the closest thing to a Labor party. My immigrant, naturalized father and I voted together every election, every primary, every time there was a reason to perform our civic duty. We did it together until 1992, when I had moved to Northern California. I never thought that I would ever vote anything other the Democratic ticket.

Yeah, well. I'm not feelin' it anymore.

I have reached out to Representative George Miller three separate times these past few months. Has he acknowledged the messages and emails that I have left him? No. I have contacted Boxer, Feinstein, Pelosi and Reid. Nothing. On the top of my list is the immigration issue. My parents immigrated to this country legally. My mother HAD TO - HAD NO CHOICE but to learn to speak English. Ours was not a bilingual home until I was almost 8 years old, because my father didn't want me to speak MY native language with an accent.

This country came to greatness because of the sacrifices of immigrants. The African-Americans and Chinese suffered greatly at the hands of our Government, but they helped to build the foundation of our infrastructure and economy. Those that immigrated from Europe to seek a better life fueled the economy, even as they became factory workers, farmers, and small business owners. We opened our hearts and homes to those that have suffered from war, political persecution, and disaster. Even those that were brought here against their will became the fabric and backbone of our society. These immigrants created the American culture - the melting pot of humanity.

It used to be an honor to be granted a Visa to come live in this country. People were thankful that they were given the opportunity. They filed the paperwork and paid the fees. I have a friend from Vietnam. It took 14 years for her family to be united here in the US. They all have their citizenship. I grew up next to a family from the Philippines. The Father was a Doctor, the Mother was a Engineering Professor. He worked for a medical supply company, she worked as a CNA. It took them 10 years to bring their 6 children over. Each of their kids went to college and went into the medical professions - nurses, a pharmacist and a radiologist.

I believe in immigration - it is an integral part of our national identity. But, seriously, why should we make millions of exceptions? My ex's Social Security number was used by three illegal aliens in three different states over a 5 year period. He repeatedly had to deal with the IRS over "unreported" income. Here's the kicker - he had immigrated to the US himself. He had a green card! When he applied for citizenship, he had another set of problems because his number had been used illegally. When some politicians say it is a victimless crime, that they are here doing the jobs Americans won't do, I have just one questions to ask. How many laws and how many people have to be negatively impacted before you see that this is a problem?

Sorry - I am not bashing any minority in this virtual diatribe. Our problem is not just from the Southern border. We have thousands who overstay visa's, and nothing happens to them. We have people arriving by plane from Eastern Europe and Asia that disappear into the crowd. If I want to travel between two cities in the US, a have to trudge barefoot or on stockinged feet through the metal detector and hope that they don't confiscate my knitting needles as potential weapons or swab all of the contents of my backpack for bomb making material (that is a story for another day).

I just want my government to work for the best interest of its' electorate. They haven't even tried for years to show that they care more about us than their re-election. But last summer, I was done. I couldn't even count on the Democrats, the party that has been supported by Labor, by Unions, to protect and support our livelihoods and well being. They won't stand up against a President that has taken us down the path of destruction for fear of being called unpatriotic or accused of cutting and running? Why they hell did we elect them if they weren't prepared to do something that made them uncomfortable but was the right thing to do for the country? Grow a damn backbone and stop taking money from special interests and tell Big Business to quit whining and do their part to support OUR economy for a change.

Will the world come to an end if we tell China we don't want to be poisoned anymore? Will it end if we tell Mexico that we will aggressively move against the drug lords and drug runners, and shut down the border if they don't take decisive action? Will it end if we tell the drug companies that we are lifting import restrictions on pharmaceuticals that meet FDA safety requirements? Will it end if we embrace the Kyoto Protocol and actively work towards reducing green house gases and our need for foreign oil? Hmm, let me think.........NO!

I re-registered as Undeclared. I was thankful that my Dad wasn't here to see this. But as disappointed as I have been, I know it would have been far worse for him. He would have seen it as a betrayal by the party he supported since arriving on these shores.

I guess in my own, pathetic way, I just want people to do the right thing and follow the laws of the land and do what is best to insure our future viability. Isn't that the decent thing to do? The right thing to do? The American thing to do?

No comments: