During the campaign for president, there has been considerable talk about the “American dream,” a concept that is often difficult to articulate in concrete terms. With the election mere days away, now is the time for the voters to decide which candidate’s vision for America’s future best matches their own definition of that dream.
Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has promised “change” so that Americans would no longer have to dream about those things that an American society should provide for all citizens. In an Obama administration, Americans would have affordable health care. The specter of hardworking Americans going bankrupt because of unmanageable medical costs would disappear.
For conservatives, the “American dream” consists of the freedom to acquire property without the interference of government regulations and tax rates so low that their wealth isn’t seriously diminished. Unfortunately, government programs for the working class cannot be financed without adequate tax revenues. The response of the conservatives is to advocate for small government and the elimination of projects for those in need.
Obama has touched a chord of national solidarity among Americans. Deep in the nation’s soul, there seems to be a desire to end ethnic and economic divisions and become one nation. Throughout the campaign, Obama has shown the judgment and the executive ability to be an effective president. His Republican opponent, John McCain, seems to be intemperate, indecisive and an advocate of policies that aid the rich. By now, it should be clear that the interests of working-class and middle-class Americans will be best served by Barack Obama as president.
Sen. John Kerry has earned the community’s support. His early endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential bid required real political courage. It is unusual for a U.S. senator to make such an endorsement in a presidential primary, and it was especially hazardous politically since Sen. Hillary Clinton had such strong support among Kerry’s constituents. Kerry went on to become an effective surrogate for Obama in the early months of the presidential campaign.
That would be enough to warrant support of Kerry, but he has also earned a 100 percent “A” rating from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for his advocacy of increasing federal student aid and increasing the minimum wage. The community should remember on Election Day that it has a friend in John Kerry.
Dianne Wilkerson has been the most productive holder of the Second Suffolk District’s seat in the state Senate since its establishment in 1972. She brought intellectual acuity and the skills of an accomplished lawyer to the office.
Her many achievements include extending the provisions of the Community Reinvestment Act to insurance companies, requiring police departments to provide racial data in an effort to combat so-called “driving while black” harassment, providing funds for witness protection to counter the “stop snitching” code, and authoring laws designed to prevent insurance redlining and predatory lending practices.
The Bay State Banner has always endorsed Wilkerson’s achievements, even though her administrative irregularities were troubling. She failed to file tax returns for several years and she violated state campaign finance laws on multiple occasions. The Banner viewed these charges as unfortunate blemishes on an otherwise productive career.
But now, Wilkerson has been arrested by the FBI and Boston police, and stands charged with the felony of extorting payment from constituents for official services. The photographic evidence in support of these charges is compelling; investigators also claim to have audio and video recordings of Wilkerson’s misdeeds. It is evident that Wilkerson has breached the public trust. Consequently, the Banner can no longer support Wilkerson for public office.