We are at a very critical time of the year; candidates are filing for offices all over the state. Primary elections are right around the corner and as an officer of the Lenoir County Democratic Party, I feel it is important to try and communicate to the public who we are and what we believe and where we stand on the issues.
Health care ~ the media never mentions all the good things this Health Care reform does and we have a responsibility to insure the overall health and well-being of our community. Over 40 million uninsured is unacceptable, especially in the riches country in the World. Allowing kids to stay on their parents insurance longer, providing insurance pools for those that don’t have or can’t afford health care, not allowing insurance companies to drop you because of a preexisting condition. The President did the right thing and we can't let the Right Wing diminish this important accomplishment.
Poverty ~ addressing the issue of Poverty will solve so many of the other major problems we face in this country. There are numerous social and economic factors that come into play when you start to discuss poverty; one of those factors is education.
Education ~ increasing the quality of public education is a never ending goal. That goal won’t be accomplished unless Education Funding is increased and teachers pay is increased. The Republican controlling the NC Legislature promised that their budget wouldn’t layoff teachers or cut critical programs. The Republicans in Raleigh flat out lied to the people of North Carolina. The Republicans in the Raleigh don’t care about educations or else they would have gave education the funding they needed instead they force local school boards to make drastic cuts with nothing positive to show for it. The Republicans in Raleigh are going to cut educations again and we are going to fight them as hard as we can. We will not laydown and we won’t give up! We believe in our Public School system they believe in charter schools and private schools.
Economy and Labor ~ I think everyone knows that our economy hasn’t fully recovered yet but I don’t think everyone knows why. We have to remind people that the President's Economic Reinvestment and Recovery Plan is just that, a Plan. It will take time to fully implement this plan. I'm sorry there is no quick fix.
That doesn’t mean we just sit around and do nothing like the Republicans want to do. It is my belief that we should focus on changing our Trade Policies that send jobs overseas and stop giving tax breaks to companies that set up shop overseas. I firmly believe that our economy will not fully recover until our Manufacturing Industry returns to the United States.
On the local level we need to continue to urge our County Commissioners, City and Town Councils to provide incentives for Companies to come to our community. Without Middle Class Jobs there will be No Middle Class. As it stands right now the gap between the rich and the poor is widening at an alarming rate. The only way to stop that is to find a way to bring jobs back to the United States. We need to look at our Trade Policies, tariffs and foreign economic policy issues relating to our economy (WTO, IMF) and make necessary changes.
Energy and the Environment ~ Energy independence doesn’t mean "Drill Baby Drill" it means investing in renewable sources of energy that don’t have a negative effect on the environment. Republicans would have destroyed the entire Planet for an barrel of oil. They talk about the debt our government is passing down to our children and grandchildren but what about the Planet will we hand over to our children and grandchildren? What kind of World will we be leaving for them to inherit?
Civil Rights ~ sadly racism will always exist, prejudice will always exist, hate and bigotry will always exist. Therefore there will always be a need for someone to stand up to those that would dare try to take away the rights that our ancestors fought so hard for. Abraham Lincoln, Fredrick Douglas, W.E.B Dubois, Martin Luther King Jr and many, many more devoted their lives to social change it is our obligation to continue to honor their names by picking up the torch that they carried and continue the fight. Just because we have an African American President doesn’t mean that we should stop fighting for civil rights. We want Civil Rights for all people, races, genders, age groups and sexual orientations.
Budget and Tax fairness ~ During the Clinton administration we managed to leave a Budget Surplus. During the 8 years of George Bush, they (The Republicans) managed to spend all that surplus leaving us with a huge budget deficit and they also managed to add trillions to the national debt. But the Republicans would have you believe it’s ALL President Obama's fault. Yes, we need to get back to having a balanced budget and the last President to have one was a Democrat.
Republicans talk fiscal responsibility but they don’t live it. The Republicans aren’t willing to do what is necessary to have a balanced budget. Like cuts to defense, ending tax loop holes, ending the bush tax cuts and making the super-rich pay their fair share. No, they don’t want to do any of those things. They are more concerned about what’s going on in your bedroom and who you decide you want to marry and creating faux outrage over voter fraud that basically is a not a real problem if you look at the actual cases of voter fraud. No, they don’t really care about the budget else they would have passed one in Washington DC.
Protecting & Strengthening Social Security and other Social Programs ~ in spite of the repeated attempts by the Republicans to weaken and Kill Social Security from the very beginning of the program it still is here. What needs to be done is we need to find ways to keep it going so that it will be there for us when we retire and for our children and grandchildren when they retire. We also need to strengthen Medicaid and Medicare. The Republican Party never supported these programs and never will. We can’t allow the Republican Party to strip and water these programs down any further.
Criminal justice ~ the criminal justice system is in need of a major overhaul. There are way too many people locked up for non-violent crimes. Our jails and prisons are overcrowded costing the tax payers billions of dollars. Minorities are disproportionately affected and this disparity needs to end. We need to focus on drug addiction treatment, locking up every little street level drug dealer doesn’t do anything but increase the demand for drugs because of the supply going down. Addicts will have less access to the drug and it because of the increased demand dealers will raise price forcing addicts to commit more Violent Crimes to feed their drug demand. We have a serious problem in our communities. The war on drugs hasn’t worked what it has done is destroy families and end lives. What need to do is treat this like and epidemic and try to heal people from dependency of drugs!
The Republicans have no problem telling us what they “Say” they believe. They get in front of the television, on the radio and in the newspaper and talk about fiscal responsibility, less government, less taxes but ask yourself how much of that has the Republicans in Raleigh actually accomplished? What they have done is destroy our public school system, done nothing to fix our economy and tried their best to divide this state on social issues trying to limit the rights of individuals all in the name of defending liberty. The Republicans don’t believe in Small Government they want to socially engineer the Government to work for the very few instead of the majority of the people. We believe that government is made up of the people and for the people not for the few wealthy elites. The Democratic Party will continue to be the voice of the people.
Anthony D. Hall
3rd Vice Chair Lenoir County Democratic Party
Lenoir County Health Board Member