Americans are rallying to support the Afghans who helped our country during the 20 year struggle with the Taliban. Like so many immigrants before them the Afghans provide the US an opportunity to become stronger. We need to start by taking better care of citizens already here and making sure the Biden Build Back Better agenda becomes reality (with voting rights). The new immigrants matter, but if we don’t become more effective at developing and helping all our citizens we are doomed. Our society is in a time of “all hands on deck” challenges that require us to stop throwing our people away, and lying to ourselves.
President Joe Biden is taking a lot of hits on the withdrawal from Afghanistan. What has taken place does not look good for the United States, but we do not have a fortune-teller on the payroll. The collapse of the Afghan government was a surprise to most professional military and American policy makers. We are a Burger King nation that wants to have it our way and reality does not comply with that desire. Our future will contain more devastating shocks and surprises especially if we do not attack the climate crisis aggressively. President Biden obviously made some mistakes because he could not predict the future, but we have to make sure that America stays focused on the bigger picture of voting rights, climate crisis, human dignity, and respect for work.
The United States government has a series of incredibly important issues to deal with right now that I will prioritize. 1) Planning and fighting the COVID pandemic worldwide. 2) Legislating the right of citizens to vote in free and fair elections. 3) Planning and funding infrastructure for the climate crisis. 4) Making sure no one is above the law. 5) Expanding human and healthcare infrastructure so that no American is left hopeless. The list goes on but the Afghanistan issue is front and center because the previous President betrayed the Afghan government supported by the United States, and negotiated with the Taliban behind their backs. Then the current president was surprised when the Afghan government we supported refused to fight, but made their own deals with the Taliban. We will continue to suffer humiliation as a country until we confront the evil perpetrated by the 45th president and his sycophants completely, and in full. Research and act to protect our republic and a decent future for the people of this country.
The pictures from Afghanistan are terrible and the stories are heartbreaking. As usual the 20 year story of how we got here has plenty of blame to go around. We start a war to get the person who attacked us after finding out the Taliban would protect him. The war morphed into wanting to build a modern nation to keep all terrorists from having a base in a failed state. Making other countries into the US has not worked before and did not this time. Trump negotiated a deal with the Taliban leaving the US-backed government out of the negotiations creating massive distrust. A lot of people died fighting the Taliban’s cruelty, but killing more will not solve Afghanistan’s problems. Hopefully President Biden, with help from our allies, will be able to get people out who want to go. Republican finger-pointing should be disregarded as the continued recklessness that it is, but ideas for solutions should be welcomed. Let’s remember that Afghanistan’s refugees represent an opportunity for America, and keep our eyes on the larger problems we continue to face.
Joe Manchin, Krysten Sinema and any other waffling Democrats need to make sure that they recognize the gravity of the moment. The Human Infrastructure bill and a strong version of the For the People Act need to pass the senate by any means possible. If the senate cannot confront the climate crisis, voting rights, holding Trump insurrectionists accountable, immigration, and civil rights we may be in for dictatorship. Republicans have shown they are unafraid of accountability from voters with their consistent outrageous statements and actions. This is not the time to try and change the spots on the leopard with talk of bipartisanship at all costs. This is the time to act decisively to protect democracy, decency, and human dignity. Research and act to defend your values, and I hope the evil of white supremacy is not at the top of your list.
The US Senate passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill, but the House of Representatives will not pass it until the For the People Act is presented for their vote as well. I think that Speaker Pelosi is right to take this stand because the bulk of climate crisis legislation is in the second bill. Climate Crisis is receiving a lot of attention because we are running out of time to preserve a future for human civilization as we know it. The For the People Act addresses social and scientific crisis that threaten to destroy our society. It is not socialism for our government to focus resources and energy to address existential threats. Private enterprise will be the dominate vehicle for meeting the critical challenges that we face, but government must represent people’s hope for a better society and future.
The Olympics give us all a chance to see people engaging in fair competition and being satisfied with doing their best. In America today we see many people wanting to rig situations so that they cannot lose. Some want our society to place advantage on birth in the right family, race, or class. Politicians want to set up elections so that they choose their voters and determine the winner based on party. Trump and Republican governors give pardons to criminals based on solely on politics, while daring anyone to hold them accountable for criminality and indecency. Social media shows more examples of average people seeking to shape reality to meet their desire. Denying COVID, refusing to be vaccinated or wear a mask, assaulting flight attendants after boasting of wealth and influence. Many in our society have a problem with effort being recognized and accountability being equally applied. Research and act to for a dignified, decent future where effort and humanity is recognized.
Many Republicans have the strategy of continuous lying to avoid accountability for their words and deeds. The latest example is Governor DeSantis of Florida as he avoids responsibility for adding to the misery from COVID (preventing local mask mandates for example) in his state. The strategy of lying appears to work for a large chunk of Americans; they want deceptive politicians who will carry out their desires for personal elevation and status at the expense of others. The politicians who can do this best are the biggest liars with the least morality. If America does not reject this path we will lose our republic. Research and act to stop the torrential Republican liars from twisting government power to attack democracy.
Reports of an ammunition shortage are in the news today. Why is there a shortage? Maybe there were outbreaks of COVID at the ammunition factories, or perhaps the record level of gun sales has led to more demand than supply. Americans seem to be preparing for violence with years of record gun sales and more guns than people. You have to hope that at least many of the guns are in the hands of responsible persons who are both progressive and conservative. Several politicians on the right have made veiled threats of overthrowing the government, or unleashing mobs of angry people to exact some sort of revenge for unnamed injuries. Climate change (and COVID) has many people getting ready for the breakdown of society so weapons figure into that scenario. I no longer think it is realistic to ban firearms, but I do believe that the castle doctrine can be returned as the central idea for legal gun ownership. We have a lot to be concerned about and the lack of trust in our society only feeds suspicion of each other. Research and act to develop a society of true dignity and respect for life.
Trump scandals are no surprise to anyone paying attention, but the pace of revelations about his malevolence and attempts to undermine our democracy is picking up. I hope the US justice system redeems itself and holds a high level criminal like Trump accountable. I suspect that the crime wave in US cities is related to the crime wave Trump ran in Washington. We need to make sure that the phrase “No one is above the law” is more than a platitude. Research and act to protect our republic by rejecting Republicans who enabled and still seek to protect Trump’s crime spree.