Watching Governor Greg Abbott of Texas hold a press conference in Uvalde, TX made it plain that no one takes the media seriously. Abbott said that eighteen year olds in Texas have been able to buy “long guns” for the last 60 years. No journalist asked about assault rifles or the period of the ban on them (from 1994 to 2004) and mass shootings in Texas during that period. Governor Abbott and the Texas media initially after the shooting said the shooter had a handgun, it was only late in the day of primary elections that the true murder weapons were revealed. Journalists never asked Governor Abbott about the delay in identifying the weapons, or if there were a political reason for this. Abbott said the murderer had no adult record, but there was no discussion that his eighteenth birthday was only a week before the shooting. An obvious question for the Governor and legislators is whether they believe that eighteen year olds need weapons of war like assault rifles; no journalist asked about this. It is reported that most mass shootings are committed by young men between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four; if this is a fact it was never brought up by journalists. Governor Abbott said that mental health is a problem in the Uvalde, Texas area; he was not asked why he would not expand Medicaid to get more dollars from the federal government for healthcare. Journalists in America have a problem; they seem to have limited mental capacity, courage, or character. Greg Abbott, Republicans, and other politicians regularly get away with ridiculous lies, misdirection, or spin to the detriment of American institutions and citizenry. If journalists are record keepers they need to use it to ask questions that matter.
President Joe Biden is doing a good job (not great yet) in leading America to it’s traditional world leadership roles in economic, military, cultural, and geo-political affairs. Donald Trump and the Republicans root against America and democracy in their craven lust for power. President Biden looks out for average Americans in areas from healthcare, to student loans, to baby formula. Republicans talk about inflation and invaders from south of the border; real problems that require thoughtful solutions not victimization. Our problem is that we have a party that is good at attacking others, but has no solutions for anyone but themselves and their rich donors. American are at a sink or swim series of elections in 2022 and 2024. Voting for Republican talking points and anger will mean autocracy and rapid decline as climate change accelerates negative pressure on our civilization. We can approach existential challenges as the best version of ourselves, or a rats blindly eating one another alive. From all appearances President Biden believes in America, while Trump and the Republicans believe in controlling and fleecing the public. Research and vote like your life depended on it; it likely does.
Many people want to impose their will to control the lives of women without regard to the impact on their lives or desires. The people who claim control over women’s reproductive decisions say they are Pro-Life, but typically support the death penalty while being against universal health care. People claiming to be conservative and Pro-Life typically tilt toward controlling other people through fear, punishment, and assaults on dignity. We sadly live in a time where the mask of religious pretension slides off to reveal a lack of empathy, with a proverbial unfitness to judge. The conservative drive towards autocracy and tribalism is a threat to our republic. Women are the current target in the news, but there will be others if people of good will do not rise up humble Republicans. Research and act to protect democracy and dignity.
Many are wondering if America has lost it’s way in the middle of COVID, insurrection, attacks on women’s rights, civil rights, voting rights, and Climate Crisis. American media focuses on Afghanistan while American rights are under assault and citizen’s health consistently threatened. It is hard to understand what Republicans want for America besides fascism and white supremacy, while the republic is threatened with many institutions seemingly oblivious. President Biden will not be able to build a better future for America by himself, as other politicians play a political game that is based on the past rather than the future. Contact your representatives and tell them to quit playing games and plotting for their individual success over American prosperity. Krysten Sinema, Joe Manchin, and other politicians (Republican and Democrat) must be held accountable for their actions. Act, vote, and work to get America working for a brighter future.
The American Taliban has struck in Texas. Not only are masks to fight COVID a bad idea, but there should be a bounty on anyone helping a woman seeking an abortion for any reason. Grandpa rapes his 13 year old granddaughter; it doesn’t matter – don’t you dare help her. The American Taliban is not about decency, or logic, or anything but power. Selling your soul to feel good about yourself is nothing new, but we are living in a time where running away, or avoiding reality is not rational. Whether it is killing children with COVID, not allowing people to vote, denying healthcare, or trying to overthrow elections; Republicans represent a threat to democracy and decency. The evil is growing and there is no escaping what is taking place. Research and act to hold Republicans and Trumps accountable.
Is the American way of life based on fear of poverty and failure? For many people born into the right families poverty is not a possibility, but for others it is a daily threat. America is rated low for social mobility because the rich get richer and the rest remain anxious. No healthcare, universal pre-school, family leave for essential workers (or people in the gig economy) in our country. Many Americans live with the threat of missing a few checks leading to homelessness and poverty. Most school-aged children before the Biden tax plan lived in poverty. America is reputedly the richest country in the world but desperation is everywhere. Untreated mental illness leads the headlines on a daily basis. Are we going to do anything about the death and mayhem that are regular features of American life? Research, vote, and act to build a better future.
There is a constant debate in America about the right to life and the Supreme Court will be taking up the issue again. People claim that there is a right to life and it should be protected; but the same people do not support healthcare for all. An impoverished person could be forced to have children, and those same children could later die due to lack of healthcare or COVID caused by a science denying “right to lifer”. Why aren’t people who are passionate about the “right to life” not passionate about preserving the lives of the living? Do the concerns for life of the “conservative religious” end when a person is born? It seems like this is the case for the “right to life” voters. Republicans and people claiming to be conservative have trouble with ethics and details. Maybe this is why they consistently use emotional appeals to sell their ideas. The house of cards that calls itself “conservative” has gotten away with a lot in the recent past; the continued success of this unstable political movement threatens our future.
The last four years of Trump and the spillover from the hatred and malevolence that flowed from it are an ongoing threat in our lives, but there are reasons for hope. The Biden/Harris Administration and the Democrats have the opportunity to build back a better United States with the following legislative actions: 1) The COVID response will lift potentially millions of children from poverty, 2) The For the People and John Lewis Acts will strengthen our democratic systems if passed, 3) Infrastructure legislation will lead to reduced carbon emissions, safer and more accessible transportation, a more robust and resilient transmission system, lower costs for citizens and business while producing high paying jobs for Americans. 4) Raising taxes on the wealthy while maintaining lower taxes on households making less than $400,000 per year. 5) A Healthcare bill could build a system worthy of the name that will be affordable to every citizen while providing support for mental and physical health. Mental health accessibility could reduce homicides , police killings, and societal stress. The possibilities for improved living while creating a sustainable world are real reasons for hope, but so are the good paying jobs that will be created building a healthier, resilient, socially mobile, and more fair society.
The US does not have a healthcare system that is available to every citizen. The US has a healthcare marketplace that creates huge gaps of underserved people as the COVID19 pandemic has shown. We still don’t know how the pandemic developed. Was it man-made, or a typical animal to human transference? Scientist are still working to discover the origins of the pandemic and to stay ahead of variants. The United States has emerged as a weak player in handling infectious disease because of our lack of a system with equal access and protection for all citizens. An enemy could attack the US with a virus that morphs while remaining virulent. That enemy could watch the wealthy get protected through social distancing, work from home, and access to quality healthcare. The poor would be hit hard early and spread the disease which could then morph to overcome the advantages of the wealthy. Our economy and military would be rapidly overwhelmed because we have not systematically monitored and responded to threats like COVID19. America must build a first rate healthcare system that includes public health, and universal access, because the survival of the nation depends on it.
Americans need to be united and committed to a better future for the country. To achieve success we need to have an immigration system that makes sense to everyone and right now we don’t have one. Businesses do not want to accept the responsibility or cost of effectively verifying the citizenship status of employees, so they lobby Republicans to block it. Democrats want to extend citizenship to dreamers and others who have been in the country working for years to promote fairness and dignity. As our disunited country has done for several decades we create a situation that no one likes. We have done the same with healthcare, climate change, civil rights, voter rights, etc. Greed and selfishness have driven us to a dystopian reality in many ways. We have become very good at fighting to get our way while creating inequity, decay, and anger. We have moved beyond the point where we need to stop digging our national grave. It is within America’s ability to help our neighboring countries and create a just immigration system. Joe Biden has asked that we seek win-win solutions; I urge every citizen to contact their representatives about the issues to push for solutions that respect human dignity while promoting unity and justice.