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In one corner, we have Kerry; in the other, Bush (“Bush vs. Kerry,” 10/29). Between the two are the citizens of the United States and the District of Columbia. The nonprioritized issues have been dragged out, and too many life-threatening issues have been ignored. What is not boring and is disturbing are the issues that affect us, directly and indirectly, as consumers, citizens, and dream catchers for those who struggle every day to make ends meet and survive in a hostile world. If we were to believe the candidates’ responses to the issues as outlined in the article, many people in the metropolitan Washington area would merely close their doors, sit back, and have a couple of drinks, without any thought of going to the polls.

However, Washingtonians are better than that. They see something more going on in our city and around the world. They see the bars raised on employment, health insurance, health-care costs, and real estate, for the residents of the District of Columbia, suburbia, and the place called “Anywhere in America.” Nothing is cheap anymore, and everything has a price and consequence attached to it.

By the time this letter is printed, I hope and I pray that everyone will have taken time out to vote, because there is a lot at stake in Washington, D.C., and around our country. Every day our rights are being chipped away; our lives, lifestyles, liberties, and pursuits of happiness are trampled upon and slowly stripped away. This is evident by the continual decline and unavailability of health care, health insurance, employment, and resources for the disabled and disadvantaged.

Contrary to what some people think, there are individuals who want to be contributors to society and return to the traditions of togetherness, being family-oriented, and improving the quality of life in this world. However, people are being taxed to death. As consumers and taxpayers, we are forced to pay up, put out, and receive less from our government. It used to be that people were concerned about racial issues. Now they are also concerned about classism, because the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. As citizens of the District of Columbia and the United States, we desire better and are entitled to it.

The question is, Will things change after the upcoming election or will we continue to receive the crumbs from the table? Only the outcome of the election will reveal who is large and in charge. I only know one thing: I voted, and I hope you did, too. Peace.

Southwest