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Overseas actions impact U.S. way of life

Think of the country as a bus full of passengers. One third are liberals like me. We want health care for everyone and high speed rail. One-third are Make America Great Again conservatives who want to drive off a cliff. The last third don’t really like either choice so they are sitting it out. We need that third to pay attention and get involved because the Liberals and the MAGA are too evenly matched.

Why do I say the MAGA wants to drive off a cliff? Just listen to their leader Donald Trump.

First think of the stable world we have right now. Europe has been at peace since 1945 because of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Donald Trump told a fantasy about NATO and his followers cheered as noted by the BBC.

He said “one of the presidents of a big NATO country came up to me and said, ‘Sir, (in a humble voice) if we don’t pay and we’re attacked by Russia will you still protect us?’ I said (stern voice) ‘You didn’t pay. You were delinquent. ‘He said ‘Yes, Let’s say that happened” I said ‘I will not protect you. In fact I would encourage Russia to do whatever the hell they want.'” Audience cheers.

What were people cheering about? This fantasy of NATO as a protection racket is dangerous. NATO countries are supposed to spend 2% of their GDP on their own defense, on their own military. There is no general fund to be depleted or pay into.

Did Trump’s audience not know how NATO works? Perhaps they don’t care. They just enjoy the story that someone asks for help and you offer them violence.

Trump followers will say it’s OK for him to make up these stories. They say reality does not matter. That’s why they can’t see the cliff we are headed toward. It is terrifying to me that these people are now saying (as George Orwell predicted in “1984”) Black is White. “Russia is our friend” is what the KKK chanted in Charlottsville in 2017. All my young life I campaigned for Universal Health Care. The Hawks of the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s said we couldn’t have healthcare because we needed our military budget to fight Communism. The Soviet Union was never truly Communist, meaning that everything was owned in common. It was always a repressive brutal dictatorship. Now that Putin wants to rebuild the Russian Empire you are OK with them? However much we give Ukraine right now it will be cheap compared to fighting the Russians here in the US.

We have prospered in the long peace. We have built a world of commerce. That world is threatened by war. It is incompatible with war.

The Houthis are watching their relatives in Gaza die of starvation. The Houthis are attacking what they can reach, container ships in the Gulf of Aden.

They are striking a blow against the Christian Empire, the United States. We have over 750 bases in 80 countries. Every single one of them is vulnerable to guerrilla warfare. Children are dying of thirst in Gaza.

How long before someone sabotages a water system here in the US? If their children don’t have water why should ours?

A ceasefire is the only way to calm things down. Israel is doing this with our weapons. We must cut them off.

We don’t have time for this. Anyone my age (65) who says we had winters like this when we were kids is lying or delusional. It used to be so cold Lake Erie would freeze from shore to shore. I will not see that again in my lifetime.

The Gulf Stream is weakening. In 1977 Jimmy Carter listened to the scientists. They said burning fossil fuels is causing CO2 to build up in the atmosphere. If we stop now we can keep the climate we’ve had for the last 10,000 years. If we keep on polluting in a few hundred years we will have, wildfires, melting glaciers, drought and violent storms.

In the last 50 years we have increased our fossil fuel consumption. Climate Scientists tell us we have sped up global warming. We are seeing some effects right now but it’s nothing compared to what we are going to see in the future. We need to get serious about helping people adapt to rising sea levels and dropping water tables. We are already seeing climate refugees.

We have the technology and the resources to provide for everyone.

There are machines that can pull water out of the air. Water is life. With water you can grow food. We just have to tax the rich to finance it. Elon Musk should pay the same taxes I do or maybe a one time 2% wealth tax on people with over $10 million.

Marie Tomlinson is a Fredonia resident. Send comments to editorial@observertoday.com

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