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Web letter by Amanda Baker: Cynical streak eroding Americans’ sense of community

Hurrah for people like Bob Dunderman (“GOP obstructionism our biggest threat,” Feb. 28) who see the facts and don’t just parrot talking points they heard from some conservative news outlet funded by a billionaire with an agenda. Linking the words “socialist” and “President Obama” does not make it so.

I think some people are confused about the true meaning of socialism which dates to Vladimir Lenin when the government of Russia was overthrown in favor of collective ownership of capital, resources and production capability. Nowhere in America is anyone suggesting that all property and financial capital be held by all citizens in common and not individually.

Here, in the land of the free, all are welcome to compete for wealth by working, owning a business and climbing the ladder of success. Education helps, but even an entrepreneurial citizen can achieve success in normal circumstances. The problem is that the economy collapsed back in 2007-08. That was before Obama was ever elected to office. It was caused by greedy bankers at the top of the financial markets changing the rules and then – oops – the taxpayers of America had to pony up to bail them out.

It has been a slow climb back up after the abrupt freefall of the market crash. Doesn’t the public remember this? How can Congress rewrite history? Do they really think we are that gullible? I recently read a letter that stated Obama has turned this nation from a nation of makers to takers. How dare we kick our fellow citizens when they’re down? If you lost your job/income and failed to pay the rent/mortgage and ended up homeless with run-down shoes and unironed clothes, would you be less valuable to society? Should we turn our faces away from you because you are no longer one of the lucky ones to have income? Should we make you and your wife and children starve because you don’t have a job yet?

In every way the conservatives try to blame the poor for being poor. They blamed the market collapse on people who were sold a bad mortgage product by shysters who got rich. They blame the president for caring about people and try to diminish his presidency by changing the name of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to “Obamacare.” The SafeLink cell phone plan was put in place by President George W. Bush for low-income people to have a lifeline to call for an ambulance or to call the police if needed. This is not a high-end phone, just a very basic Kyocera cell phone. I hear people refer to it as the free Obama phone when he had nothing to do with it.

I am just weary of the disregard for our fellow human beings. It is bad enough they are down, but to kick them while they are down is a tragedy. We are better than that as a society. Come on. We are all in this together.


Fort Wayne