President Barack H. Obama, after taking the oath of office for the second time, delivered a comprehensive listing of the many challenges which our nation faces today. The delivery was made in an assertive tone directed to all present at the public inauguration held last Monday, January 21, 2013. In addition to the many legislative challenges already known to most of us, President Obama included global warming and gay/lesbian marriage rights to the many issues. Every liberal issue was mentioned. No issues were overlooked. In particular, mention was made of retaining social security, Medicare, Medicaid, education and addressing immigration reform.
The most important three words repeated several times were “We the People”. The President was reminding America that the people elected him. He was going to be assertive in addressing the many issues which need to be “acted upon in our time” by Congress. While we can focus limited attention and action on each issue, President Obama was asking American citizens to become more engaged in letting their congressional representative know that their actions were being monitored. ‘Ask them how they voted? And why? The President was asking the American citizen (We, The People) to keep reminding the current elected officials that ‘We the People’ voted them into office to deal with the people’s concerns, which requires congressional action ‘in our time’.
The President indicated that social security and Medicare/Medicaid will continue because ‘We the People’ have a commitment to each other. This nation cares for those who need assistance. He asserted that budget adjustments would not be made on the backs of those who are already disadvantaged and needy. In this address, the President made effective statements that all need to support governmental programs. Citizens must tell their congressional representative that a comprehensive adjustment of taxes must be made. This adjustment of tax codes and entitlements will be very essential if a resurgence of the middle class is to occur.
What are the priorities supported by Hispanics? Foremost is the need to have a job. Many jobs could be made available quickly by approval of funding for national infrastructures which have been neglected for too long. A second priority addresses the disparities in education which currently do not provide low income communities with the same resource level as those of well-to-do communities. Another high priority is the enactment of comprehensive immigration legislation, which brings out of the shadows of our society all those millions of undocumented immigrants already residents here in America. ‘Our journey is not complete’ was a phrase used by President Obama to let all know that though progress has been made, more is needed. President Obama summarized historical adjustments already made: Slavery no longer exists; Women now have the right to vote, and gay/lesbian individuals shall have the right to marry. Progress is needed in so many areas that it requires residents to convey their preferences to their elected representative. These acts are required to achieve ‘governance by, of, and for the people’.
‘We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal’ is a historical tenant embedded in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution by our Founding Fathers. If this statement is to continue to have meaning we must change. The changes needed are to begin to provide access to the American Dream. All must have access to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’. If only a few achieve, then the rest of us are denied.How can this be achieved? All residents must communicate their expectations to elected officials who must be held accountable and responsible.In today’s environment of very fast effective communication, it is possible to send messages which inform elected officials that now is the time for them to be reasonable, to negotiate and to compromise in all matters, so that the business of ‘We the People’ is addressed first. The fallout of a system of law and order which treats us all equitably is a commerce that thrives. When all pay a fair share of taxes, our governance will happen without deficits. The distribution of goods and services to all who need supportive relief will be possible. America has the material and spiritual resources to enable life in a secure and peaceful national community.Our journey there is ‘a work in progress’, now over 200 years old. Our journey requires us all together.