We Americans are pretty lucky people. Whether you live in Bellmore, Brooklyn or Boston, you enjoy many rights and privileges that few other people on this planet can boast about. Yet there is something missing from the current political dialogue that has to be corrected.
Think about the people in Russia. Step out of line and say something bad about Vladimir Putin, and within hours you’ll find yourself in some lockup, and you’ll eventually be transferred to some far-off prison cell.
And how about Syria, where the dictator uses poison gas on defenseless people? When Bashar al-Assad isn’t poisoning his neighbors, he’s bombing remote villages and killing women and children. If you were living in some Syrian city, how long do you think you would survive if you challenged the government?
It isn’t that much better in China. Despite its newfound years of prosperity, anyone who challenges the government will disappear overnight, never to be seen again. I haven’t seen a major influx of American citizens going to North Korea, aside from Dennis Rodman. And Rodman is smart enough to go in and get out quickly.
Faced with a world in which free speech is curtailed or even illegal, why is it that so many people in this country speak ill of the leaders of our government? The meanness of the opposition exploded during the days of Bill Clinton and has gotten even worse in the tenure of Barack Obama.
While there is only a relatively small group of haters, their rhetoric is disturbing and sad. I was around during the years of Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II. There’s no doubt that none of these individuals was perfect. They were all flawed in one way or another.
Many of us suspected that Richard Nixon might have some ethical problems even though nothing had been proven, but I and most of my friends referred to him as the president. Obviously his problems mushroomed into his resignation, but as long as he was in office, he was the president.