Writing to my elected officials has become an important part of my daily activities. After seeing the photo at the White House of the ‘celebration’ of passing The House’s very defective healthcare bill   I felt the need to share a letter  I wrote to my Senators a couple weeks ago. Three women did manage to crash the party and appear in the photo. (Our Country’s population includes 50% women and minorities account for 50% of the population.) What is wrong with this picture?

Here is the letter I sent a couple weeks ago to Senators Rubio and Nelson.

“The 1950s-thinking coming out of the White House, Senate and Congress has me very much concerned about the future of our Nation.

The 50s thinking I refer to is:

1)       We believed we could control world events with military might like we did in WWII.   This thinking was proved wrong in Korea and Vietnam and again in the Middle East.

2)       We believed we had unlimited resources.  This idea has been disproved as we continue to discover the limited resource found under the earth’s surface.

3)       Belching smoke stacks and pouring sludge into waterways was a sign of prosperity.   Smoking cigarettes, cigars and pipes was fashionable.    It was believed that smoking Marijuana would lead to using harder drugs. We have since learned the damage being done to the environment and humans living on the earth by our pollution. We learned that smoking causes lung cancer. We have learned that Marijuana has some great medicinal value.

4)       We were unaware our pollution was causing destructive climate change.  This naïve thinking has been disproved by nearly 100% of scientific research.

5)       The United States white leadership saw the Nation as a homogenous (White/Christian) collection of humankind.  This archaic thinking is proven wrong simply by walking down the street in the 21st century.

6)       In 1950, the population was 40% rural,  by 1990 the rural population had dropped to 25%.

7)       We believed industrial growth would increase for our life time while men worked their entire career in one job and their sons expected to do the same.  We believed real estate values would always be rising.   Today changes tumble over each other and we have reached many limits to growth both in industry and real estate. The average worker has at least three jobs in their career today.

8)       Women could not own a credit card.  They could not purchase a car or a house without a man’s signature. We thought a family consisted of a man and a woman who stayed home with the two and a half children. We have since discovered the talents and abilities women offer to our Nation. We also have become aware of the fact that a family can look many different ways.

9)       We believed everyone had access to a good education.   We have since learned it takes a lot of work and government involvement to provide education for everyone.

Leadership cannot effectively govern if it does not understand the time in which it lives. Leaders basing their decisions on antiquated understandings of the world in which they live cannot make decisions that improve the society in which they live.

The White House and Cabinet Secretaries (confirmed by the Senate) are doing all they can to move us back to the 50’s. Any country trying to move backward is doomed in a world moving forward faster than we can comprehend.

Stop using worn out, out dated speaking points and beliefs in your deliberations. We live in the 21st Century and we cannot turn back time. What can you do to move us forward instead of dragging us back to extinction?

Stand up to the White House and stop the destruction of the environmental protections, the movements away from international cooperation, protections for minorities, attacks on legalization of marijuana, removing of controls on financial institutions and limiting of public education funding.”

Allen Heckman MAJ, USAF, Ret

See you next time.