The Fourth of July brings us plenty of opportunities to show our patriotic hearts, doesn’t it?
The wonderful celebrations in Kingston all focus on the things that make our community and our nation wonderful places to live. We are blessed with values that uphold community spirit; neighborly love and respect; and care and concern for every citizen of every age. All of this comes through to me in the community celebrations around the holiday.
Election news is starting to get into gear, even though we are still 16 months away from the next presidential election. I am hoping we can carry the spirit of our care and concern for the entire community into the 2016 election.
One political topic I follow, naturally, is the environment.
After the 2012 election, I read about a survey that said 74 percent of Americans say “global warming is affecting weather in the United States.” The same survey said that Americans of every political stripe overwhelmingly support clean energy solutions (including 85 percent of Obama voters, 83 percent of then-undecided voters and 73 percent of Romney voters). And still, this usually is not a primary conversation for our leaders.
That election followed the massive Sandy hurricane on the East coast. We have had phenomenal weather events in floods and draughts this past year. Pristine and precious lands are being threatened by our seemingly insatiable need for oil. Will any of this put the environment into the topic of election conversation?
The late George McGovern voiced my view on government in general: For a strong middle class and healthy families, we need a government that is strong, active and creative in dealing with our problems and planning for the future.
We need to see our government not as an enemy, but as a friendly partner, a tool for investing in the stability and strength of our middle class.
The government is our watchdog, guarding Americans against corporate predators who buy political influence and rig the system to protect their profits.
We’re America! A powerful model of freedom and democracy for the world. We need to step up and lead the world!
We need our government to step up to the challenge, and we need to be right.
— Naomi Maasberg is director of Stillwaters Environmental Learning Center. Contact her at naomi@stillwatersenviron mentalcenter.org.