Former Senator and 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee George McGovern, now 89, has just published a “Letter To President Obama” in the September issue of Harper’s Magazine, and what he wrote deserves our and the President’s attention.
McGovern, much loved by those who supported him 40 years ago, including this author, said that President Obama has faced greater economic challenge but also greater attacks from the opposing party than anyone since Franklin D. Roosevelt.
McGovern said Obama should pursue the following ideas:
1. Withdraw from Afghanistan over the next year, as no one has ever been able to overcome that nation in war, and it would save a trillion dollars or more over time.
2. Withdraw most of our troops from overseas commitments, as it is no longer necessary in the modern world to have so many troops overseas, and it would save trillions of dollars.
3. Withdraw our troops from the Islamic nations, as they see our military presence as a sign of American and Christian imperialism over their holy lands and territories.
4. Find ways to cut the defense budget over time, by getting rid of unnecessary missile systems and the returning of troops to America, with the amount on defense being cut from the present $700 billion to $500 billion and eventually to $200 billion through the use of intelligence utilized by the Department of Homeland Security.
5. Tax the wealthy the way they used to be assessed, bringing in large amounts of additional revenue to the nation.
6. Spend money on health care through nationalizing Medicare for all; providing government supported educational opportunity for all at the college level; and building high speed rail systems that will lower the energy drain and the power of oil over our lives.
While it might be argued that there is no way to pursue all of these goals in the short run, it certainly is worth consideration, although in reality the accomplishment of much of this is hard to conceive in the present political climate.
However, there is a growing feeling in this country, and even in the Republican Party, that our overseas commitments MUST be cut as we can no longer afford the kind of financial burden that we are dealing with at this time in our history.
Much of our focus must be on improving our own country which is in dire need of domestic investment at this time, and cutting of foreign commitments as long as we have good intelligence gathering, excellent military special forces, and the ability to use drones and other technology to fight the enemies we have in this world!