Friday, September 17, 2004

The Opinion Page of the Charlotte Observer offers some friendly advice to the President:

"So far, the president's three visits to the state have not strayed beyond the rarefied air of campaigns and money. We're happy he's here, but there's much more to see in North Carolina than party loyalists and big supporters.

He might learn more from the many North Carolinians who cope daily with the effects of his foreign policy decisions and the economic shifts that have occurred under his administration.
Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg have deployed thousands of men and women. Thousands more reservists have left ordinary lives for active duty. Some have had their terms extended indefinitely. The president should spend some time visiting a family coping financially and emotionally with the absence of a father, mother, son or brother in Iraq or Afghanistan.

He should spend time, too, in the small town of Kannapolis, ground zero for the largest single manufacturing layoff in America. When textile company Pillowtex closed in 2003, some 6,000 people lost jobs -- a painful 3,650 of those jobs in Cabarrus County, right next door to Charlotte.

He might stop and sit a spell, too, with a farm family in Eastern North Carolina. Maybe he could explain his nonchalance toward a federal buyout of tobacco allotments, then help those folks decide how to make the payment on a tobacco harvester -- which can't be used for anything else -- and still transition to some other livelihood."

Truer words have never been uttered...


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