Viewing recent events on the Mexican border, including the teargassing of innocent children, has been a painful experience. Even worse, we are complicit in creating the situation.

Years ago I was a consultant at a drug rehabilitation program and became aware of the complexity and intensity of drug problems. At the time I became friends with Maj. Neill Franklin, now retired from the Maryland State Police. Currently he heads the Law Enforcement Action Partnership which grew out of the recognition by law enforcement personnel that the “war on drugs” was contributing to the intensification of violence.

America needs to face facts. The people who are fleeing Central America are coming to our border because of conditions to which we have heavily contributed. Our errant policies fed into the creation of the drug cartels that rule their lives. That intensification in turn has led to the corruption of the governments of their countries. As Major Franklin and other law enforcement officials are aware, our policies make us complicit.

Among other things, overly long incarceration without attention to rehabilitation or job skill development left offenders without resources. So, too often they returned to crime. Another factor in recent years has been the overprescription of opioid drugs and the pharmaceutical industry has been guilty in heavily marketing addictive substances.

Rather than owning our mistakes, we are using the people fleeing for their lives and seeking hope for their innocent children for manipulative political purposes. We fail to engage in sound planning of all kinds. As we act without compassion we are behaving in a thoroughly irresponsible way.

Presently we are supporting a war being waged by Saudi Arabia in Yemen. Tens of thousands of children have died of starvation and millions more are at risk. Rather than seeking a solution, we abet failed and inappropriate policies.

I grew up in the Republican Party and now do not recognize the validity of so-called Republicans in Congress and how they can hold their heads up. Need I mention their corruption?

The items noted above are just the tip of a frightening iceberg of abuse and failed morality.

Under the party of Trump, all I can say is that, America, the Shining City on the Hill, has gone dark. The America I knew is gone and my heart is deeply pained.

ROGER B. BURT

St. Michaels

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