LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Politics is service, not self-service


Our country is called the United States; we should be united in our sacrifice to keep our country great. Instead, the poor are always sacrificed, either on the literal battlefield in places like Afghanistan, or on the virtual battlefield of the budget wars. But the rich don't sacrifice; they just keep getting richer.

Politicians (generally rich and white) ignore the lack of educational opportunities that keep minorities and the poor from succeeding. But they happily take campaign donations from rich individuals and giant corporations that keep increasing their profits, though not paying taxes (or hiring more workers).

Politicians also ignore the suffering and deaths of poor children who lack quality medical care. But Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers' disabled son gets the medical care he needs because she has a primo health-care plan provided by the government.

These politicians do nothing to help the poor. Instead, they keep unethically cutting the budgets for programs that give people any hope of bettering their lives. And they do nothing to end the wars that kill soldiers who only enlisted because they were desperate for a job and/or education.

Even more heartbreaking is that the Democrats, traditionally the ones who support the downtrodden, have given in to the demands of the vocal budget-cutting minority. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell got out-wrangled and out-maneuvered by tea partiers.

What triggered this tirade? The new debt ceiling agreement. It is a disaster for our country, in particular for those people who have few personal resources.

It ignored all the obvious ways to improve the budget situation -- like increasing tax revenues and ending wars -- and instead chose to make the poor pay for the sins of greedy capitalists.

I am so angry and frustrated with the selfish people who have taken over our political system just to protect their self-interests. Politics is supposed to be about helping each other, about cooperation and efficiency, not looking out for number one. Politics is service, not self-service.

Are the lessons from the Bible not resonating any more? Perhaps we need a new source for our inspiration? In the Harry Potter books, love conquers all evil and by giving up his life, Harry saved his community, including the helpless Muggles.

A little self-sacrifice, a few more tax dollars paid, and we can each be part of the solution. It's not a fantasy.

Annie Capestany
Walla Walla


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