New Orleans then:
New Orleans now:
I remember watching CNN after the levees broke. It was the first time that the traditional media had dared to criticize the naked emperor. Too late, of course, for so many dead in terrorist attacks, needless wars and man-made disasters like the flooding that destroyed the Ninth Ward.
And too late for the tens of thousands who are still living in these:
On September 19, 2005, in a speech given at Brown University, Senator John Kerry said this :
Rarely has there been a moment more urgent for Americans to step up and define ourselves again. On the line is a fundamental choice. A choice between a view that says “you’re on your own,” “go it alone,” or “every man for himself.” Or a different view – a different philosophy – a different conviction of governance – a belief that says our great American challenge is one of shared endeavor and shared sacrifice.
Over the next weeks I will address these choices in detail – choices about national security, the war in Iraq, making our nation more competitive and committing to energy independence. But it boils down to this. I still believe America’s destiny is to become a living testament to what free human beings can accomplish by acting in unity. That’s easy to dismiss by those who seem to have forgotten we can do more together than just waging war.
But for those who still believe in the great tradition of Americans doing great things together, it’s time we started acting like it. We can never compete with the go-it-alone crowd in appeals to selfishness. We can’t afford to be pale imitations of the other side in playing the ‘what’s in it for me’ game. One thing we know: the last thing America needs is a second Republican Party.
Instead, it’s time we put our appeals where our hearts are – asking the American people to make our country as strong, prosperous, and big-hearted as we know we can be – every day. It’s time we framed every question – every issue — not in terms of what’s in it for ‘me,’ but what’s in it for all of us?
And when you ask that simple question – what’s in it for all of us? – the direction not taken in America could not be more clear or compelling.
Let this tragic anniversary be a reminder that conservatism is not just a philosophy that favors the rich over the poor; it is an evil virus that kills all those whom it infects. And our country is on its last gasp. The rule of law – broken, as top government officials commit treason and war crimes with no accountability. The separation of church and state? Almost gone. Economic justice? Please. Education? No, George, our children is NOT learning. Energy? We have solar and wind technology, but we’re still invading and occupying countries for their oil.
Do we need a new direction? No. We need to go back to the old one. The Founders based our Constitution on the concept that government exists to improve the lives of its constituents. The only way to do that is to invest in people, not corporations – what I call trickle-up economics.
To do otherwise is to create Katrinas. And Iraqs. And poverty. And housing crises. And…