I am deeply worried that our job shortages — really a consequence of our allowing China and other nations to grab our jobs — may risk enhancing racism in this country once again as fearful whites blame our lack of jobs on affirmative action. This has been an easy, if not too subtle sell by the Republicans organizing mobs of anxious people worried about surviving in this ever more divided nation between the super rich and the rest of us. Our NYC mayor obviously bought a third term in office by spending about $100 million on supporters. As it was, his was a relatively narrow victory against a not particularly inspiring Democratic candidate.

So where will the Republicans go now. Some seem ready to make a bit of peace over the Health Reform success which benefits so many people. But will others appeal to Tea Party types to block universal medical care as an affirmative action move? All this stuff about government running medicine now lends itself to this sort of racism. People forget that Medicare and Social Security were introduced to save the lives of people growing older without jobs or funds to support either medical care or their homes.

My college years shifted me from Republican roots to the Democratic Party. But I well remember the decency of Robert A. Taft who came out in support of affordable public housing when he was persuaded that private investment could not make such housing available to those in need. I lived in public housing with my wife while we were graduate students and saw what a vast difference it made in the lives of minority families — kids could study and feel safe in their homes from the violence of drug addicts.

The Republicans seem divided once again. They are going to have a hard sell against our much needed medical reforms which brings us now in line with every other major democracy and even little nations such as Costa Rica which has a longer life expectancy than we do! Will they revert again to the lie and smear tactics that have made their party a disgrace for decent and caring Americans? I hope not.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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