We need your help desperately 

 Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have been touring the state almost nonstop the past few weeks, hoisting shots of Crown Royal and promising to change the way that government is operated.

And that’s a good thing. The last thing this country needs is a third term for George W. Bush, the man who campaigned as a uniter and who ultimately succeeded only in uniting the country against his policies.

Obama has brought enough new voters into the system that no matter how the Republicans try to rig the votes or get the Supreme Court to steal the election, it won’t work this time.

Both Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton are good and honorable public servants who would bring about much-needed change in Washington, while John McCain would bring us more of the same war, economic misery and military planes full of body bags.

Meanwhile, in Indianapolis, our economy is suffering, thousands upon thousands of people are out of work and the only solution our mayor has is to arrest all the homeless people and panhandlers.

One presumes that, given an option, the mayor would round them all up and deport them to another city, or perhaps into re-education camps where they could learn not to be poor and homeless.

Compare that with the compassion shown by Obama and Clinton, who are seeking universal health care, an elimination of tax breaks for companies who ship jobs overseas and to mandate a living wage for all Americans who are willing to work hard.

I received an e-mail by a reader a while back who chastised me for not acknowledging that the city’s economy is “booming.” Well, it may be booming if you’re already rich, but the rest of us are working harder and harder and getting deeper in debt.

The other day, I was walking on Monument Circle around 4 p.m. and saw a bearded man reach into a trash container. That’s nothing new; people have been rooting around in garbage for years because other people are so wasteful.

But instead of emerging from the trash can with a few aluminum cans or a copy of the newspaper, he proudly took out a Styrofoam container containing someone’s leftover lunch. He opened it, greedily ate the sandwich inside and then pulled out another container, also containing food.

He slurped that down as well. It made me sick to think about people so desperately hungry that they’d eat spoiled food. But our mayor, instead of expanding our homeless shelters, or maybe making our public transportation accessible to everyone so people can get to work, wants just to sweep the problem under the rug.

Therein lies the basic difference between the two parties. Conservatives want to punish the poor and redirect resources towards the rich. In the past 20 or so years, they’ve added the middle class to their hit list as well.

With property taxes killing the middle class, and good-paying jobs evaporating from the city, we’re creating one large under class, to which almost all of us belong.

Our Republican governor, who went from wrecking the federal budget to wrecking the Indiana economy, has been handing out armored cars full of cash to big corporations who agree to bring low-paying jobs to the state, thereby compounding the problem.

That’s why I’m glad that the two people in contention to be the next president are traveling throughout our state. They’ve been encountering good people who, through the ineptitude and greed of conservatives, are suffering like never before.

I gave the homeless guy a few bucks to buy a sandwich somewhere, although my own bank account is always hovering near zero. I’m sure that Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton would do the same.

Presented with the same scenario, George Bush would have spit on the man, Dick Cheney would have kicked him in the balls and John McCain would have lectured him about the virtues of tax reform. Our mayor would have had the guy hauled off in cuffs.

Our country is just a few more bad months shy of the second Great Depression and, perhaps, a civil war fought between the wealthy and the poor. The wealthy people have on their side the hordes of gun-toting, talk-radio listeners who are fooled into believing that rich people actually care about them.

Ronald Reagan espoused the virtues of small-town America while allowing big business to take over the government, ship millions of jobs overseas and fleece the Treasury for their own purposes. The Bushes have accelerated that process.

We need a president who cares about the common person. Obama and Clinton do. I’m glad they’re getting to see just how bad it’s gotten in Indiana. I’m confident they won’t let us down when they’re in the White House.n


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