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Republican Convention

August 30, 1988

So now we have heard the Republican Party tell us how wonderfully prosperous the American people are. Aren't things really looking up? Perhaps it is true that there is no poverty at El Rancho del Cielo or Kennebunkport. Maybe President Reagan and Bush and the rest of us should open our eyes to what is really happening in America. Come to my town and look around.

Daily, as I take my early morning exercise through my neighborhood, I encounter street people. Men, women, old people, families with small children, the handicapped and the mentally disabled sleep in alleys, wander through the streets, beg for money, and implore me with their sad, exhausted eyes. Why, in the most prosperous nation in the world, are these people left in these circumstances? Social services have been cut, mental health budgets have been slashed, and millions have been dumped onto the streets.

Who should take care of these people and help them with their problems? Reagan wants private charities to take on the job. Churches and other groups do wonderful work, yet they are woefully underfunded. The solution is not solely the responsibility of those with enough compassion to make donations; it is a national obligation which we all share and must fund.

Where are our priorities? The Republicans push our nation to send aid to the Contras to prolong a war of their own design. Where is the "humanitarian aid" for our own citizens? Where is our humanity?

MARIE C. MILNES

Long Beach

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