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We need to elect those who will lead

In this election year it is easy to get caught up in the political, partisan rhetoric. But we have real problems and few politicians are addressing them.

We hear that unemployment is 8 percent, but because the way the unemployed are counted is flawed, we are more likely at 10 to 15 percent, plus underemployment and non-living wages bring the poverty numbers too high for so rich a nation.

We worry about crime and drugs and we should, but addressing the poverty, unemployment and underemployment issue would go a long way toward solving this. And in the age of the internet and background checks, a large number of the unemployed and homeless will remain that way. Drug dealing and crime are the alternative of the unwanted. We must love and respect and, yes, forgive our fellow citizens.

More cops and longer penalties, while seeming to help, do not. This, in fact, creates the culture of good vs. evil with little middle ground.

We have been involved in two disastrous wars that have bled the middle class and poor dry. Not the rich, they are richer than ever. Defend America, yes, but drone strikes on wedding parties and funerals and our attitude that we must police the world is wrong.

I grew up in post-WWII America. We had a strong middle class and low unemployment. Homelessness was rare, crime rates were low and we were a proud people. During the 1950s and ’60s penalties for crime were far less harsh than today and a guy could walk out of prison, get a job, rent an apartment and regain respect of his fellow citizens.

Our nation signed and supported the Geneva Convention on war conduct. Today we torture people, deprive them of their constitutional rights and treat the disenfranchised like they are subhuman. I’ve seem more humanity on a park bench in Tucson than from the establishment. Perhaps those who would lead should not only swear to uphold the Constitution, but they should know what it says and what it means. It’s not complicated. Our founding fathers intentionally made it short and simple so that all could understand. I keep a copy in my house and I read it.

Fellow citizens, we elect these people who would lead, make them respect us and promise not only to defense the Constitution but respect the citizens who that document was intended to protect.

Don Williams