You know you're growing "older" — let's make that more mature — when you find yourself uttering the things you promised you'd never say. For instance, my husband continually rants about the "hooligans" next door, while I echo my grandfather's complaints about government policy and having it in for "the man."
Now, this editorial is not intended to get into a political discussion — after all my parents read this magazine too, and we are definitely NOT on the same political page. But here's my problem: The Bush Administration has not been kind to law enforcement and it's got me seeing red. I see that our government has millions available for the War on Terror, but for the war within our borders, funding falls short.
The Bush Administration's 2009 Budget proposal guts funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant programs. Yet since these initiatives have been in effect, crime is at an all-time low and drug enforcement is more effective than it's ever been.
It compels me to ask: Do they create these budgets in a vacuum? While the bucket runneth dry aiding other countries, we seem to forget there are real problems, like the drug trade, in our own.
By turning a blind eye to the flow of narcotics in this country and solely focusing our attacks against terror on foreign soil, we overlook a very powerful fact: Drug sales fund terrorism. I mean no disrespect for our troops, whom I hold in very high regard, but if you really want to fight a War on Terror, you need to hit terrorists where it hurts — their pocketbooks. For without money — often raised through the sale of illicit substances — it becomes far more difficult to support a terror siege.
We need to fight the War on Terror on all fronts, without leaving our own country underfunded and underprotected. For doing this leaves the door wide open for "hooligans" far worse than the boys living next door to move in.