Our great country has some not-so-great features

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Not very many people admit to being part of the 99 percent of the country, but that enormous group is hurting in a lot of ways. A handful of right-wing nut jobs in Washington have all but declared war on the poor. What they don’t know, or care to know, is that there are millions of people who need a helping hand who want to work, and don’t want to beg for anything from the federal government. Some of the naysayers are racist, and others just don’t get it.

A lot of my friends and neighbors detest the political system in general. Once upon a time, candidates for office raised enough money to run respectable campaigns. Today, groups with great-sounding names spend hundreds of millions of dollars to destroy candidates who won’t adopt their agendas. Is it any wonder that we can’t get successful business leaders to run for office? Like him or not, you won’t see another Michael Bloomberg willing to run for any major office for a long time to come.

Many Americans are disgusted with a boatload of sports figures. Whether it’s basketball, baseball, football or almost any other sport, there are too many stories almost every day about drug violations, spousal abuse and a host of other sins. Once upon a time we were able to put our sports heroes on a pedestal. Today we have to wonder which one of our idols will be the next one to disappoint us.

Am I a pessimist, ready to give up on our country? Absolutely not. We are a resilient people blessed to be living in a great democracy. If you were alive during the Great Depression, then you remember a really bad time. Despite all the current ugliness, we are in for better times. I sincerely believe that.

Jerry Kremer was a state assemblyman for 23 years, and chaired the Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee for 12 years. He now heads Empire Government Strategies, a business development and legislative strategy firm. Comments about this column? JKremer@liherald.com.

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