Don’t Forget All This In November

This COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a lot of our countries weaknesses, and they absolutely cannot be overlooked ever again. From inadequate emergency preparedness to underserving the unemployed, our country’s major faults have been exposed to the entire world, and we will be completely deserving of their failures if we do not take it upon ourselves to change-- and soon. This crisis has demonstrated that not providing healthcare to every person is not acceptable anymore. The minimum wage that forces people with full-time jobs to live paycheck to paycheck is not acceptable anymore. Putting profits over people is not acceptable anymore. Our current “leadership” in the White House, in Congress, and maybe even in your own state capital, is not acceptable anymore. 


Truth is, none of these things were ever acceptable. If we don’t do everything that we can to improve our political system to benefit healthcare, job security, education, social welfare, and average Americans, then the next crisis will be just as bad, if not worse. These kinds of changes are important at the top of government, of course, but they also need to occur at the state and city level to truly cultivate the cultural movement that will make them last. 


Some Americans have a habit of voting against their own interest. Some Americans have lost touch with the fact that their elected officials work for them. Some Americans have lost faith that the federal government even cares about them anymore. All of this is understandable given our present political climate and the actors who control it, but abandoning the cause and choosing not to vote is no solution to this very serious problem. 


My ask of you is to think about how this pandemic affected your life. How did it affect your neighbor, who lost their health insurance and their job? How did it affect your grocery clerk, who couldn’t visit their family for fear that they might be infected? How did it affect your representative, who got the virus but has health insurance provided by the government? Now, how did that representative tend to your interests through funding social programs, promoting emergency preparedness, and holding leadership accountable? Did they?


This historical moment has taught us a lot about the integrity, compassion, and selflessness (or lack thereof) of our elected officials, and we would be remiss to squander the opportunity to use these lessons for good. Donald Trump and his administration have shown that they’re a dire threat to our democracy by not taking COVID-19 seriously. Mitch McConnel has shown that he’s just as evil as we suspected by unnecessarily delaying stimulus funding. Senators, House members, and aides have shown that they’re willing to capitalize at whatever cost by trading stocks before alerting the public to the possibility of a pandemic. Way too many politicians have shown that they’re more than willing to restrict voting by mail because they don’t want you to have a voice. 


Don’t let these people gaslight you in November. You know what this crisis did to you, and you know what they did in response. Don’t you dare forget this in November and pass all these systemic issues off to younger generations of Americans.