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Be a good citizen: Be informed

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Years ago I taught civics to ninth graders in Detroit, Mich.  It was a Democratic town, so my students only heard that side.  Though I also was a Democrat, I often found myself arguing the Republican side so my students would have some other perspectives.

At that time Johnson was running against Goldwater for president, and my students were saying, "You can't vote for Goldwater - he's going to bomb North Vietnam!"

Johnson won the election and a month after his inauguration he was bombing North Vietnam.  My students said nothing!  I said to them, "If it was wrong for Goldwater to bomb North Vietnam, it also has to be wrong for Johnson to do it - why are you silent?  An action isn't right or wrong based on who is doing it!" 

Unfortunately, in today's political climate people are also bullheadedly arguing right and wrong from the standpoint of which party is doing something.

Bush inherited a balanced budget and a $250 billion surplus from Clinton.  He promptly spent the $250 billion surplus and ran up a $1.2 trillion deficit which was handed off to Obama.  Two weeks before the Obama inaugural, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office released a report which stated, "The federal fiscal situation in 2009 will be dramatically worse than it was in 2008. CBO estimates the deficit will total $1.2 trillion, more than 2.5 times the size of last year's."  This inherited deficit is included in the current deficit, yet Obama is blamed for the entire deficit.

Remember that the TARP bailout of Wall Street, banks, AIG, Bear Stearns, etc., all happened before Obama took office.  Those who were silent for eight years while this deficit was building under Bush and yet are screaming for Obama's head now, without including these facts when looking at the current deficit, seem remarkably similar to my ninth graders.

I don't care if you're a conservative or a liberal.  I do care, however, that you be consistent and not hypocritical.

Being a good citizen means being informed, not just repeating slogans and sound bites of either party's line like my ninth graders did.

Lorelei Kraft

Park Rapids

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