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Article published November 24, 2012
Put on big boy pants
Susan M. Stephenson Slippery Rock Borough
The time has arrived for both political parties to put on their “big boy” pants and confront the problems facing this country. No good will be served by continuing to advance Ayn Rand’s bigoted “makers” and “takers,” for in truth our state and federal Legislatures burst at the seams with “takers.” Both Republicans and Democrats take all the plutocratic “1 Percenters’ ” money handed out via campaign donations and/or lobbyists. In exchange, they submit legislation — often written by the lobbyists — allowing their wealthy patrons to continue gorging on money made for them by the sweat of the American worker and/or cheap foreign labor. In return, the plutocrats’ legislative puppets disdainfully refer to these American workers as “takers,” because their employers have robbed them of a living wage and now are in need of government help in its varied forms. The problems confronting us are daunting enough and threaten the government, but the petty petulant politics with its accompanying venomosity exponentially increases the potential destruction of a system of government that has served as a beacon to so many oppressed peoples. Only when both sides put down their sharp sticks, leave the self-entitled bullying plutocrats on the playground, and sit together with one goal at the legislative table can resolutions be crafted. Squabbling, personal grandstanding and clinging to religious and political ideologies have no place there. All solutions must be weighed against the sole principle upon which our government lays its foundation, as specified by the Founders in the Declaration of Independence: to effect the safety and happiness of the people. Any solution that does not assure this for the vast majority of the 99 percent is not an acceptable solution. The time has arrived when Americans must expect better of their legislators and demand real changes in the culture of Washington, once the immediate problems are resolved.