Elections

Letters to the Editor

Dear Democrats: The Road Less Traveled Needs Paving

12984b79ac6c002a4926_Letter_to_the_Editor_logo.jpg
12984b79ac6c002a4926_Letter_to_the_Editor_logo.jpg

Dear Democrats: The Road Less Traveled Needs Paving
 
On November 8th, many voters entering the voting booth will be checking the box for who they dislike the least. Sadly, our political culture is now defined more by what we oppose. This election will mark the end of a unique, if not historic campaign season punctuated by demagoguery and hate filled speeches by one candidate, and the culmination of a long and controversial public career by the other. 
 
The pollution inhaled by our electorate from the Trumpian strain of identity politics and his alarming ignorance will take several election cycles to disinfect. As importantly, the Democrats must continue to rebuild with new, non-establishment, forward thinking candidates who are not lifetime political careerists, and who they intuitively trust.
 
Sign Up for E-News

This change should not occur by moving to the left or right but by moving towards a new practicality that embraces fiscal imperatives critical to our economic survival. With these economic imperatives come moral imperatives, and together they define our country's soul. 

The Practical Democrat knows that numbers and analysis matter, that balanced budgets should be a common goal not a practice in ideological finger pointing. This will also necessitate a painful reallocation and even a possible reduction in our budgets which will be critical as the times and circumstances of our state and country change. 

Practical Democrats need to be evidence based and transparent to the electorate. The NJ state pension system is a case in point. The underlying assumptions of the number of years remaining before our teachers face a crisis are misleading, and, in fact, mathematically wrong. Simply put, the expected returns of the portfolio against the real liabilities (pensions) to be paid to retirees is untenable and unsustainable. In short the teachers' pension system will be bankrupt in ten years -- it's called unfunded liabilities. This is a crisis happening in real time, and our teachers need full transparency with immediate solutions. 
 
The Practical Democrat concedes that there are unnecessary programs, duplicative programs, inefficiencies, mismanagement, and fraud in our federal, state and local governments.  Should our Congressman and Congresswomen receive the best free healthcare in the world as their constituents struggle with monthly payments on theirs, and our veterans fight another battle for the services they deserve?


 
The Practical Democrat will make sure no student receives his/her college diploma burdened by an inordinate amount of debt. We should begin by making all state and private tuition payments tax deductible for every parent or guardian immediately, and freeze that same tuition for at least three years. In addition, our commitment to education must include every student. The new American College of Building Arts in South Carolina, which is the first school in the United States to offer a bachelor's degree in traditional building trades, is the kind of innovation that we must seek.
 
Our distant wars, fought mostly by our underclass, should never be entered into without clearly articulating the threat to our homeland and the financial burden these unjustified endeavors place on future generations. Finally, we should demand a detailed explanation of the endgame after we decide to take out a country's strongman leaving a political vacuum. Certainly, our soldiers deserve that.
 
Over half of all those who’ve died in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are under the age of 24 with little or no college, and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, reports that black veterans are more likely than their white counterparts to be unemployed upon returning. 

FDR summarized it: "War is young men dying and old men talking." 
 
This Practical Democrat will embrace our changing demographics, yet understand that the thirty-year year plight of the shrinking middle class exposes our Millennials to a shrinking economic pie where our savings are smaller and our debts larger. This is unacceptable. We can't only listen to those who have achieved financial success, - it diminishes our history and what we, as Americans, truly stand for. 

Our disenfranchised citizens must be brought into the 21st century including all women who, sadly, are still paid less than their male counterparts. This will mean a judicious and proactive line by line budget review of spending on everything from our failing war on drugs to defense. It will also mean solving our country's mass incarceration crisis where six million people are under correctional supervision at huge costs to society.
 
The Practical Democrat will not attempt to pull up the drawbridge on technology, or overly tax and vilify successful entrepreneurs and the newly rich. The Practical Democrat will expose those who deny science to fit a political narrative - whether about global warming, technical progress, or globalization. 
 
No doubt technical progress is, over time, the bedrock of our rising prosperity and lengthening life spans, but it is now being questioned due to the prolonged aftermath of the Great Recession. Our representatives must stop using this transition as a bogeyman for protectionism and xenophobia. 
 
If we truly believe that our moral and economic obligation is to our children's children, we must all commit to rebuilding a middle-class economy. We need to restore their hope. Mark Twain puts it simply: "Plan for the future, because that's where you are going to spend the rest of your life."
 
George Lucaci
First Vice Chair of Summit Municipal Democratic Committee

 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Brunswick

FBI Agent Charged with Photographing a Woman in a Store Dressing Room

July 20, 2018

MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ - When a woman was changing in a dressing room of an Edison clothing store, she did know that she was being photographed against her will by a federal officer.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief Thomas Bryan of the Edison Police Department said today that a FBI Special Agent has been charged with illegally photographing a 22-year woman in a dressing ...

Prosecutor: FBI Agent Took Improper Photos of Woman in Dressing Room

NEW BRUNSWICK,NJ  - An FBI agent was arrested and charged with illegally photographing a 22-year-old woman in a dressing room, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said today.

The agent, Danuel Brown, 30, of Piscataway, was arrested was Thursday and charged with a single count of fourth-degree invasion of privacy for allegedly using his cell phone to take pictures of the woman while ...

East Brunswick's Ethan Reiss Saves the History of Who We Are

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - To some people, lists of names and pictures of locations just create a jumble of information and a confusing mass of facts.  To Ethan Reiss, a historian from East Brunswick who is working to keep facts alive, these bits and pieces come together to form a picture of who we are based on who we were in the past.

Reiss, the administrator of the popular "You Know ...

East Brunswick Council Candidates Respond to Mayor Cohen’s Comments in Recent TapInto Article

July 18, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ- Councilwoman Camille Clark and Council Candidates Curt Philipczak and Dhar Khona released the following statement in response to Mayor Cohen:

“While the TAP article and the Mayor focus on the semantics in differentiating between the phrases and terms “Redevelopment Zone” and “other” new construction, the end product is the same.  Simply ...

Learn How to “Ace The Interview” at the East Brunswick Public Library

EAST BRUNSWICK—Looking for a new job? East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) is here to help. The library offers a special program called “Acing the Interview” on Saturday, July 21 at 10:30 am, which is designed to help jobseekers.

“Acing the Interview” focuses on what many feel is the most stressful part of the job search process: the ...

Learn About Food Preservation at the East Brunswick Public Library

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—East Brunswick Public Library and the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission are presenting the special program “Food Preservation 101” at the library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) on Wednesday, August 1 at 7:00 pm.

“Food Preservation 101” covers the basics of food preservation. The program is led by Shailja Mathur and ...

East Brunswick Public Library Hosts "An Olde-Time Summer Band Concert"

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) is more than just books. On Sunday, July 15 at 2:00 pm, the library hosts a special concert featuring the Central Jersey Wind Ensemble.

Titled “An Old Time Summer Band Concert,” the concert is a sponsored by the Friends of the Library. The Central Jersey Wind Ensemble will perform a variety of ...

East Brunswick Public Library Hosts Special Health Day

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and East Brunswick Public Library are teaming up to host a special evening of health programs at the library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) on Wednesday, July 11.

Horizon will be providing blood pressure and blood sugar screenings in the library from 7:00 to 8:00 pm.

The program “Brain Games – Keep ...

People I've Known and Been: Little by Little by Rich Little

People I've Known and Been: Little by Little by Rich Little (Dog Ear Publishing, 2015)

 

Rich Little is a national treasure; a living encyclopedia of movie stars, comedians, and former presidents all wrapped into one dynamic package. Recently, my husband and I had the good fortune to see Little perform at the Tropicana in Las Vegas, where he has been doing his uncanny ...

Lucia, Lucia by Adriani Trigiani

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2003)

 

If a summer romance novel is what you are craving to read as you sit by the pool or beach, Adriana Trigiani's Lucia, Lucia is a perfect choice. Set in 1950 New York City, the novel is about a young woman, Lucia Sartori, who is determined to have a career and be able to support herself, an unusual choice for a girl who was ...

To Our Current and Future Representatives

July 17, 2018

To Our Current and Future Representatives - Wherever They May Be:

We can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. 

We cannot fall prey to fear, ignorance and anger when we  have been historically driven by freedom and justice. 

We must have the courage and will to fight hate, bigotry and prejudice. 

We must not wake up to what we hoped was a bad dream and ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...