by Edith Ferebee
by Edith Ferebee
The United States is ethnically one of the most diverse countries in the world. Most of the residents either – newly arrived or descendants of earlier immigrants – chose to come to the US (the tired, the poor, the huddled masses). The exceptions are descendants of African slaves and early on, England’s indentured servants. The varied priorities of a diverse population need reasoned, thoughtful leadership capable of fostering growth and harmony at home as well as being the standard bearer of free world. Realistically, this is no easy feat.
While economically the US is comprised of a fairly large middle class, and a small very wealthy portion of the population, poverty still exist for far too many residents (the official national poverty rate for 2015 according to the US Census Bureau is 13.5%). The middle class has experienced income stagnation during the last decade, while the 1% continues to increase their wealth. Government works best when the majority of the population can achieve a reasonable standard of living. When large disparities exist between a small wealthy group and the remaining population, a social environment of resentment and anger are an inevitable outcome. Much of the conflict and civil discord around the world is ultimately fueled by economic and social inequity. When economic and social inequities appear to favor one group over other residents we risk widening the polarization often found in other parts of the world. The disaffected vent their frustrations in destabilizing ways.
The question 2016 election voters must ask is, which candidates can facilitate not only sustainable economic growth, but social harmony and help bridge a currently polarized population. Effective leadership can set a positive tone for its citizens. This election presents voters with a choice between candidates that respect their constituency, can enable opportunities for all of its citizens to pursue their greatest achievement versus furthering the economic goals of the 1%, encouraging hate, fear-mongering and polarization. We need leadership that is respected on the world arena by their peers and who embodies the better human traits that are still admired in an ever increasing globally volatile environment.