---- — To the editor:
Funny thing, members of the extreme right politically like to call themselves “patriots” and wrap themselves in the American flag. But they also constantly push positions that show a profound disrespect for what our country stands for.
The most basic display of this is their effort to stop the government of the United States from functioning because they want “less government.”
To them, the government is a self-created enemy of the people, not that most basic ideal of our system, the elected representation of all the people.
Our country is the United States of America; if you want to honor the flag and be a patriot, you ought to understand that you are talking about the whole country and that the governance of the country requires the members of the Congress of the United States to act on those things necessary for the proper administration and well-being of the whole country.
That means negotiating with people who have different views and coming to some conclusion. And yet what we have is Congress filibustering anything that is not precisely what a stubborn minority wants, while also setting records for the fewest bills passed. The representatives of the people are supposed to try to make government work, not work to make government fail.
So what do we get: the “Sequester,” which is hurting children in Head Start, hurting seniors dependent on Meals on Wheels, hurting medical research which is designed not only to save lives but also reduce costs of care and on and on. How can we be proud and patriotic if we do things like that because the Congress finds it easier to let a dumb “solution” like the “Sequester” go forward instead of doing the work to put in place a compromise , intelligent budget?
How can we look around the world and see countries with better education results, better health care outcomes, more and better new infrastructure and still take the attitude that not only are we the best in everything but the United States government should not involve itself with helping to insure that we are doing our best to be the best.
Real pride, real patriotism require honest hard work in governing.