My Jan. 23 letter was a quite strongly worded condemnation of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder concerning the ongoing Flint water disaster. Yet this disaster is only a consequence of a much larger problem in our country.
Many U.S. senators, representatives, governors, state legislators, and even our local elected officials have become deaf to the needs and desires of their constituents. This is the reason we see such large numbers of people, in both parties, supporting presidential candidates who are outside of the establishment. Many are angry that government, at all levels, is often ignoring one of its most basic purposes: that of improving the lives of those in the middle and lower classes.
Governors like Rick Snyder and our own Rick Scott of Florida are obsessed with tax cuts for their big business donors and consequently they cut programs that benefit the public. I have read numerous editorials in the Bradenton Herald about cuts in education, indigent health care, mental health, and the environment that demonstrate a conscious indifference to the very people a democratic government is meant to represent.
Unfortunately we often find ourselves at the mercy of "elected officials" who are controlled by the money of their wealthy donors. And, we are frequently hamstrung by policies dictated by large corporations, ruled purely by profit, over which we have no control.
It is appropriate for us to debate the role of government in our society. But elected government officials, who control many aspects of our lives, must be beholden only to the voting public.
Let's end the current obsession with tax breaks for big business donors at the expense of needed public services. Break the cycle, by electing Democrats for the Senate, the House, Florida Legislature and local offices. Your vote is your voice.