Those cultures whose highest ideal has not had the height, or the depth, required to meet the visions and inspirations of their people, have decayed and been forgotten.
The choice that our American forefathers made was clearly a wise one. They defined that our Republic was ruled by Law, for the ideal of the well-being of man, the eternal quest for self-realization, of personal happiness. A republic under G_d, not a king, or a thing.
The choice of the founding fathers of America, the greatest of the nations on our World, was not to remain subservient to a power, or to remain subservient to abuses of power by means of money. They declared independence from taxation for the benefit of a few, and took control of their own destiny. This is the essential American legacy, that power is of the people, for the people, from the people. Our power should never be of money, for money or from money.
Our present politicians will soon have an opportunity to register their choice between money and life, to make the essential choice. The cigarette tax is now before the Congress. It will provide funds collected from smokers to pay for the health insurance of the children of the working poor. The social cost that smoking imposes on our culture is enormous.
A true measure of the damage done by cigarettes would result in a tax of at least $5.00 per pack. In my opinion, our political leadership is timid in this matter. The paltry sum of $.47 per pack is not going to reduce the numbers of smokers significantly. The tragic reality of smoking is the eventual death of the smoker. We should remain consistent with our ideals and prevent this by all means possible.
Clearly, those voters who are aware will discern that politicians who vote for the tobacco lobby are showing their obeisance to money, and those who vote for the benefit of the health of the children of the working poor, and indirectly for the future health of the cigarette smokers, are voting for life. Let it so be recorded.
May 20, 1997