By Norma Warren-I write to express my shock and dismay at the dismantling of the wonderful country in which I was born. You see I grew up as a “latch key kid” during WWII. Both parents worked. We were at war. We saved our tin cans, stomping on them to compress them for easy delivery to the scrap yards. We practiced night time air raid drills, turning out the lights, pulling the shades, and listening for the sound of aircraft overhead. Our gas was rationed, as were key food stuffs. We did it for our country. We pulled together for our country. We overlooked differences in religion, race, wealth, ethnicities, sex roles, and everything else; because we were all Americans ! It didn’t matter where you came from or how you looked. If you were an American, that was enough.
In that pool of acceptance, I flourished; secure in the knowledge I could be whatever I worked for. Even we women could go to school and have a career. I attended a public school which prepared me for jobs, or for college. I chose a public university and lived at home because it was cheaper. From age 14, I worked part time too. I vacationed with my family and friends at public parks, beaches and camp grounds. I traveled by car (after the war gas was abundant and cheap), seeing relatives and friends in other states. I visited public museums, libraries, and historical sites. All were free of charge, or very cheap, and open to the public. My parents and I were proud to be citizens and proud to pay our taxes. Always, I was able to find work and to earn enough to support myself. When I found myself divorced with three children, I was able to earn enough money to support all of us. I was able to send my children to public schools, vacation at public beaches, parks, and camp grounds, and expose them to visits to public museums, libraries, and historical sites, free of charge or very cheap. I never minded paying my taxes.
But then………it all changed. While I was rejoicing over the abundance in my country and the privilege of being a tax paying citizen, paying the abundance forward to the next generation, I found I was suddenly a despised liberal ! To my surprise, public schools now lack supplies for their students ! Students who want to avail themselves of extra curricular activities, must pay for equipment ! Many Americans don’t want to attend public schools, don’t want to pay for public schools. Nor do they want to pay for roads, welfare for those less fortunate, medical care for those in need, and a living wage for those employed.
Finally, and most importantly, most of us don’t vote ! I can’t imagine what is on people’s minds. I do realize politics is mean and nasty. Any time money and power are at stake, we have to expect selfish, greedy people will be attracted and will stop at nothing to get their way. But that is all the more the reason to vote. And get your heads out of the sand ! You have to pay attention to those running for office. Probably none of them will merit your 100 % support. But please vote to protect your country from the worst of them. And if it comes to a choice between bad and worse – for goodness sakes vote for the least destructive