Reinventing America

Anybody who reads my column or knows me personally is aware of how I feel about all of our being responsible citizens. This means not only voting but also taking the time to study the issues. We need to read from newspapers and magazines, and watch the news on television.

I make it a point to do this and when watching television by checking MSNBC, CNN and FOX. Nothing infuriates me more than people who complain about taxes, prices, etc. and don’t have a clue about this next election. Lately I hear more from people worried about the condition of our country and I smile. Did you vote in the last election, did you participate in any of your local party gatherings?

Perhaps you’re leaving it to the “next person?” I began voting during the FDR days as a registered Democrat. The party then was entirely different than the one that calls themselves Democrats today. Back then there was no welfare, no food stamps, no unemployment insurance, no Medicare or Medicaid. If you didn’t work, you didn’t eat. FDR began the “New Deal” and saved people’s lives, people that were hungry, people that had lost their homes.

This party’s become a “give away everything.” It’s frightening. It was because of this, when working for the Welfare Department in Fresno, I changed my affiliation to the Republican Party. However, I don’t always follow party lines. Many years from WWII days until now were easy without the major problems we see today. Jimmy Carter’s days brought ridiculous high interest rates. However, we didn’t begin to have the problems overseas we have now.

We seemingly floated through the Eisenhower years without any real worries, save the Cold War. Now we have an enemy that is probably — no it is — the most dangerous I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, ISIS. Bill Clinton did some fine things when in office working with the Republicans. However, I was absolutely furious when Bush began the war that’s cost us all those wonderful young lives.

Making a decision against sound military advice, Obama prematurely pulls our troops out of Iraq, leading an apparent victory to what appears to be defeat. Whenever I think about the election seven years ago, I shake my head in disbelief. We put into office a man with few qualifications for one simple reason, and we all know what that was. Of course as an American citizen I prayed he would be a good commander-in-chief.

Look how this turned out. We have a leader who has all but neutered our military, leaving us ridiculed in the world, and walked all over our Constitution. What makes it worse is that not only the Democratic Party but also my own Republican party has done little to hold him accountable. What I am trying to say here is that I’m an American first, and a Republican second.

It was recently disclosed that the Obama Administration is providing children born here, of illegal immigrant parents, $17,000 a year from our government, much more than what I receive in social security .I paid into social security for over 75 years. There’s also the fact that average income of our citizens is lower now than it was 10 years ago.

Yesterday I read an article in the latest AARP magazine.

Kermit Roosevelt III, whose great-great-grandfather was Theodore Roosevelt, wrote it. He speaks about my birthplace, Philadelphia, and how when his grandfather left Pennsylvania for the Dakota Territory it changed our country. It ‘s the ending of his article that brought me a sense of hope. Here’s what he said: “The birthplace of our country cannot show us the end of our story – that remains for future generations to write. But it shows us a fundamental pattern and reminds us of how far we’ve come.

“Time and again, Americans have responded to crisis and conflict by finding the seeds of opportunity, by remaking themselves into a better people. It is this process of struggle, suffering and reinvention that I see as the essence of America. Like Independence Hall itself, our country has repeatedly been torn apart and reconstituted, remaining true each time to its fundamental design. That is the promise of America, the promise that we can always be renewed.”

We’ve survived a Great Depression and far too many wars. We’ll get through all today’s problems, as awful as they all sound, by working respectfully together. In the end Republican or Democrat, we must remember we’re first and foremost Americans!

Edna Van Leuven is a Churchill County writer and columnist. She may be reached at


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