“We The People, in order to … promote the general welfare … do ordain and establish this Constitution …”
Have we, as a nation, forgotten this important clause about our purpose? The ‘general welfare’ is not about welfare, as in handouts, but certainly includes making sure nobody in our nation goes hungry. It also includes making sure everyone gets the best possible education, health care and clean air and water. It further includes making rules that businesses have to follow to protect the people from pollution and exploitation.
Although our current president campaigned on a promise to ‘Make America Great Again’, he and the GOP-led congress are now following an agenda to destroy everything included in that basic American value and purpose.
How does letting kids and senior citizens go hungry make us great? How does cutting funding for schools, or funneling money into segregated religious schools, do so? Are you proud to let corporations poison our air and water so they can make more profit? Does your heart burst with pride when you hear the Education Secretary imply that kids of color or with disabilities aren’t to be guaranteed educations? Are you thrilled that citizens of color around the nation are being accosted and told to leave or that LGBT citizens are being attacked?
Is this really the America we’ve become? Do we really believe it’s every person for themselves? Or are we the United States – one people with common goals of helping each other?
The people of Torrington are some of the best people I’ve known, always ready to lend a helping hand to neighbors. Our town and county budgets reflect those core American values as well, yet our federal congressional delegation is voting against everything that we stand for here. Workers, children, women and the disabled have all had rights whittled. Our air and water are at risk because of the removal of rules that protect them for us. Millions of our neighbors across the state and nation will probably lose their health insurance and banks can again rip you off because of those votes. We could lose access to our public lands, a resource we all value.
What America do you want to live in? I prefer the America that promotes the general welfare of all Americans, not just the wealthy few.