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Letter: A time for nation-building

I read Thomas Friedman's op-ed in the New York Times recently that really made sense to me.

He said that Barack Obama got so far because many voters felt he could be the leader of an American renewal. Most voters know that we need nation-building at home now -- not in Iraq, not Afghanistan, but in America.

The Republicans want to make this election about who is tough enough to stand up to Russia or bin Laden. But, wrote Friedman, it has to be about who is strong enough, focused enough, creative and unifying enough to rebuild America.

Most of us know how much there is to do. Our infrastructure -- remember the bridge, please -- our roads, our education, and most of all our health care system. Lots of repair work, and that will make jobs, lots of jobs.

We need a president who will nominate persons in regulatory positions, like environment, for example, who are not picked from the oil companies. The present system, the Bush-Cheney system, has picked foxes to be in charge of the henhouse. Or political cronies with no expertise, like in the case of Katrina.

We need someone with a vision for a better, more just and equal America. There is a barrier to cross, as racism, I fear, is still rampant. I can only pray that we are up to saying no to the GOP use of race-baiting techniques as used so frequently in the past. McCain knows well what his own party did to him in the 2000 South Carolina primary.