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What a country!
The miracle of the United States
When I was a child I heard my grandmother say, ďOh, that President Franklin
Roosevelt, what a great man.Ē She adored FDR. Of course he was the president through the great depression, he led us through all but
the final few weeks of the Second World War. He had style and personality and he had overcame the crippling effects of Poliomyelitis.
Gram wasnít alone in her admiration. The populace elected him to the presidency 4 consecutive times. But, oh, my, there were plenty
of Americans who not only didnít vote for Roosevelt, but hated him with a passion.
I donít know what Gram would have thought about our current President Bush, but I have a hunch she wouldnít have liked him very much.
Roosevelt and Bush II have little in common.
Personally Iíve never
cared for the second Bush as president. I appreciate his persistence, his combativeness, but thatís about all. He got us into a terrible
stew in Iraq, with each day, each month bringing more death and destruction, with little hope of victory.
I sincerely hope that whatever vision President Bush has for a free and peaceful Iraq eventually comes to fruition. I hope Iím wrong
in believing that the invasion of Iraq was terribly wrong. I hope I am wrong in believing that the behavior of our leadership during
the past 6 years has caused the world to view us with distrust, disbelief and suspicion. If history proves that my views of this president,
this administration, this war are wrong I will be pleased and gladly apologize for all to hear. It is far more important that the
United States recover its glory and its world wide prestige than for one opinionated writer to be correct in his criticism of a United
States president, his staff and their actions. As I observe this war, its deaths, its havoc, its mutilations, a part of me keeps hope
that all the killing, all the pain will lead to a positive outcome. A flickering dream remains alive, but with each passing week some
optimism fades that something good will arise from something so perfidious.
Hope has always been the abiding component of the people of this great country.
Perhaps our tradition of hope began on July 4, 1776 with the presentation of our Declaration of Independence Ė a remarkable portrait
of manís hope for himself.
Hopeful citizens of our land rose
up and began a revolution in 1774 and fought until 1789 in a successful attempt to be free of despair and oppression . The hopes and
actions of thousands of those early citizens provided the groundwork of the freedoms and hopes that millions of us enjoy today.
And so we Americans have hopes that we will someday catch Osama bin Laden and punish him for his treachery. We will shut down al Qaeda.
Peace and freedom will reign in Iraq, as Shiite, Sunni and Kurd will learn to share their lands in peace. We have hopes that the people
of Iran will overthrow president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. We hope that North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-il will find his way to a loony
bin and stay there forever.
Americans hope that we will arise
tomorrow morning and find that a cure for cancer has been discovered. We hope that stem cell research will result in cures for dozens
of fatal and crippling diseases.
We are faced with enormous
problems about immigration, energy policy and health care. We care for our unemployed and search for humane ways to deal with our
aged, our homeless, our mentally ill.
We debate over the use
of abortions. We face the problem of teenage births and drug use. We constantly attempt to improve education for our youth.
Scores of years ago our nation embarked on a proposition to create equality between our people of different color. We have not yet
found the keys to equality, but we continue on our quest for racial justice. Blacks and whites continue having hope that answers will
Americans care about the unfed, the starving children,
the poor of the world. We donate millions to feed people in other lands. We arm our youth and send them to foreign lands in an attempt
to free other people from their oppressors. We Americans have hopes that we can help overcome disease, malnutrition and early death
in faraway lands. We are first to bring relief to other countries during their emergencies.
Of all the countries that have emerged on planet Earth since the beginning of time this land of ours is the greatest ever formed.
You and I enjoy freedoms and benefits previously undreamed.
And yet, we are far from perfection, perhaps always will be.
We have politicians who are inept. Some of the men and women who serve us in government are shamefully corrupt. Others greedy. Others
power hungry. Others seemingly dimwitted.
Even democracy cannot
cure the problems of human nature.
Times change and we
currently live in a time of extreme change. The dangers we face today are unlike any we have seen in our history.
America has been involved in wars of which we should not have entered. This is not the first one. We resolved those hostilities as
I am sure we will resolve the current one in Iraq. Sooner the better!
may have a president unable to resolve our major problems and it is probably too late for George W. Bush to change our national pessimism,
but our national hope must prevail.
It is time for all
Americans to express our national hope to our representatives. It is time for Americans to stand up and fight corruption. It is time
for Americans to express with our votes our dreams and hopes. It is a time for all of us Americans to be thankful for our blessings,
our freedoms. It is also time for Americans to stand tall and demand that America regain its standing in the world.
This is no time to let our hopes fade.