Email from the JD Scholten campaign June 27th:
You hear from us so frequently, we thought we’d do something different this time and share an op-ed that appeared in yesterday’s (June 26th’s) Forest City Summit. This excellent piece was written by a “life-long Republican” who can no longer vote for Steve King. It very accurately sums up the feelings of so many people that we talk with across the 4th C.D. and it also underscores the importance of this fight. Please take a moment to read the story below, and then join our efforts to win with a donation today!
We can and must do better
By: Raymond M. Beebe
In a recent issue of Time magazine, Steven Brill asked a question that is very sobering: “How did the world’s greatest democracy and economy become a land of crumbling roads, galloping income inequality, bitter polarization, and dysfunctional government?”
I have previously commented I did not believe the country had ever been more polarized than it is right now and I doubt that any of you will disagree.
Measures of the nation’s public engagement, satisfaction and confidence are far below what they were 50 years ago and in many cases have reached new historic lows.
In prior columns when urging everyone to support scholarships for our young people through contributions to the Forest City Education Foundation, I have pointed out there has never been a greater need for private support for our college-bound students and one of the factors that leads to that conclusion is that middle class wages when adjusted for inflation have been nearly frozen for four decades.
The recovery from the Great Recession of 2008, which saw banks and bankers bailed out while millions lost their homes, savings and jobs was reserved almost exclusively for the wealthiest. Their income in the three years following the crash went up by nearly a third while the bottom 99 percent saw an uptick of less than half of 1 percent.
Many parents today can provide very little or no financial help to their college-bound child because they have their hands full just “getting by.” The ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, said a thriving middle class was critical for a democratic society. In one study, the United States was found to have the smallest middle class of nine countries and references are often made to America’s disappearing middle class.
Many of us grew up in an era where parents expected their children to earn more than they had. But for adults now in their 30s, the chance of earning more than their parents has dropped to 50 percent from 90 percent just two generations earlier. Although the U.S. remains the world’s richest economy, it has the third highest poverty rate among the 35 nations in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development behind only Turkey and Israel. Nearly one in five American children lives in a household that the government classifies as “food insecure,” meaning they are without “access to enough food for active, healthy living.”
Americans today have virtually no confidence in Congress. And why would they when Congress’ performance can only be described as pathetic. Congress has not passed a comprehensive budget on time without omnibus bills since 1994. There are more than 20 registered lobbyists for every member of Congress. Congressmen/women raise huge amounts of money and they gravitate toward the special-interest positions of their donors and their party’s base. The party in control blocks virtually all legislation proposed by the other party and the vast majority vote along straight party lines. The many statesmen/women of the past who put country above party and saw the necessity for compromise are gone.
But while we know Congress is not performing, we re-elect the vast majority of incumbents’ election after election. I have been a life-long Republican but I am unable to vote for Steve King who is well known for his racist views and truly is an embarrassment to our state. Are you satisfied with the status quo? I am not and can’t believe you are either. Let’s do something about it. I will have more to say about these issues in future columns.
Every day we run into Republicans like Raymond Beebe who tell us they’re tired of Steve King embarrassing them and that they’re ready for change too. Help us create that change we’re all looking for with a contribution today!