Dec 13, 2013
The American People Have Spoken: No More War Abroad, More Jobs at Home
Posted on Sep 13, 2013
By Sen. Bernie Sanders
This piece originated from the office of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
At a time of great political division in our country President Obama has found a remarkable way to unite Americans of all political persuasions—conservatives, progressives and moderates. With a loud and clear voice the overwhelming majority of the American people, across the political spectrum, are saying NO to another war in the Middle East—Syria’s bloody and complicated civil war.
There are two major reasons why the people in this country are adamantly opposed to the U.S.’s military intervention in Syria.
First, of course, is the much discussed “war weariness.” The United States has been at war in Afghanistan for 12 years, and the war in Iraq dragged on for nearly nine years. The cost of these wars has been horrendous: more than 6,700 American deaths; hundreds of thousands suffering from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder; and a financial cost of between $4 trillion to $6 trillion by the time the last war veteran receives needed care. Further, as a result of the ineptitude and dishonesty of foreign policy decisions made in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, the American people worry deeply about the unintended consequences of another military venture.
But there’s another reason why Americans are reluctant to get involved in a third Middle East war in 12 years. And that relates to the fact that Congress today has a 14 percent favorability rating and millions of Americans have absolutely no confidence that the U.S. House or Senate is even remotely concerned about their needs or views.
Year after year the American people have begged the Congress and the President to move aggressively to protect the middle class from total collapse. And, so far, their leaders have failed to act. Today, the American people are demanding action to create jobs for their kids and retirement security for their parents. They are deeply worried about the state of the economy, and they have every reason to worry. Here’s what’s going on:
The lesson to be learned from the widespread opposition to the war is that the American people standing together can make a difference. Building on that momentum, now is the time to demand that Congress create millions of decent-paying jobs repairing our crumbling roads, bridges, dams, culverts, schools and housing.
We need to end our dependence on dirty fossil fuels that are threatening the planet and move toward energy efficiency and renewable energy. We must increase the minimum wage to at least $10.10 an hour and lift millions of Americans out of poverty. We must fundamentally rewrite our trade policy so that American products, not American jobs, are our No. 1 export. We must stand up to the greed on Wall Street by breaking up too-big-to-fail banks that have done so much damage to the economy. And, we must make college affordable so that every qualified American can get the education they need to reclaim the American dream.
None of this will be easy. But the American people have proven that if they speak out, if they flood Capitol Hill with phone calls and emails, they can stop a war. Now is the time to use that same energy and passion to save the middle class.
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