The political winds of change are blowing hard

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 17, 2006

With the election season creeping upon us, there have been some issues brewing in my mind lately that I need to get off my chest.

I try not to use this space to spout off about my political beliefs; but, after all, this is an “Opinion” page and, as such, I would like to give my opinion on some matters of political significance.

We are on the verge of some major changes come November. Recent political scandals, the war on terrorism coupled with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan all have caused some concern for long-term politicians.

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Just last week, three-term Sen. Joe Lieberman was defeated in a primary by a newcomer politician named Ned Lamont in the Democratic primary in Connecticut.

Political powerhouses in Congress, such as Republicans Bob Ney and Tom DeLay will no longer be serving, and Congress’ overall approval rating has dipped to around a paltry 18 percent.

It’s apparent that people are not happy with the status quo.

And with good reason. Congress has tabled such important issues as health care and the minimum wage for issues such as gay marriage and tax cuts for the wealthy.

Polls taken continue to show American are overwhelmingly in favor of universal health care, similar to Canada. In a Washington Post/ABC poll, 62 percent of Americans surveyed said that they preferred a universal system that would provide coverage to everyone under a government program.

In a Kaiser poll, 72 percent of adults agreed that the government should guarantee health insurance for all citizens, even if it means repealing most of the tax cuts passed under President Bush.

What’s more, it’s obvious that the current Congress is not doing the work of its constituents, but the work of lobbiests.

Money talks, but politicians can walk.

If you’re not happy with the state of the nation, you have a voice and a chance to do something about it.

And being in Ohio, we have been front-and-center in some of the worst corruption and unethical political practices lately.

I am, frankly, sick and tired of having politicians who work only for big business and lobbiests who have the money to wine and dine them.

I also think it’s time for politicians to stop legislating morality and start working on issues that matter to most Americans.

For instance, legislators in Arkansas recently came up with a proposal to ban pregnant women from smoking as well as proposals to make it illegal for someone to smoke in a car with children.

Granted, it’s very unhealthy to smoke in the car with children. But if legislators truly cared about the unborn, instead of focusing on pregnant women who smoke, legislators should create legislation that would ensure poor mothers received proper access to pre-natal health care.

Besides, what would be next after banning pregnant women from smoking — making it illegal to eat a Quarter Pounder from McDonald’s?

I’m not trying to tell anyone how to vote. Besides, I don’t think anything I write here can change many minds.

I just think the most important thing to do is to be heard and register to vote.

The political winds of change are blowing hard, and if you want to be heard, you’ve got a voice: use it.

Don Willis is

managing editor of The Ironton Tribune. He can be reached at 740-532-1441, ext. 12 or