Nov. 11, 2017 at 1:24 p.m.
According to the American Psychological Association’s annual Stress in America, poll, 59% of Americans believe that the United States is currently undergoing the lowest point in history. That includes people who are 72 years old and over, who lived through Pearl Harbor and WWII. It also includes 59% of millennials, who largely came of age post 9/11. That’s despite that the economy is good and Wall Street is booming.
I believe it’s because we ignore the warnings of climate change, the inability to address mass shootings, and culture social issues that are resurfacing. It’s all part the culture war we ignore because it’s easier to go to our confirmation bias corner and pretend it’s the other guy’s fault.
The Roy Moore saga is a perfect example of our culture war. There are a lot of Moore supporters who will vote for him even if he is guilty, as his accusers say he is. Those supporters are backed up with “if true” responses by national Republican Senators. The GOP did not fully accept the example of Mitt Romney, who tweeted “Innocent until proven guilty is for criminal convictions, not elections. I believe Leigh Corfman. Her account is too serious to ignore. Moore is unfit for office and should step aside.” There must be something in the Alabama water that prevents their politicians from recalling important events. i. e Jeff Sessions didn’t recall many events during his hearings and now Moore says he didn’t generally remember dating teens when he was in his 30s. Sorry, but that’s something every man can remember. President Trump weighed in with his “if true” statement but I don’t pay much attention to someone who has 16 such allegations against him. I refuse to partake in “whataboutisms” because I’m not saying that it is the fault of only one political party.
I don’t know if we are at our low point but I’m familiar with the climate we are in. President Trump reminds me of a former Alabama governor, George Wallace, who used racial divisiveness to get votes and once elected decided that it was no longer cool to use outright racial overtones, so he masked it by running on the law and order platform.
Remember how our president quickly blamed Senator Schumer and his liberal diversity visa program when a Muslin terrorist killed those people in New York. President Trump is not blaming any politicians for the last two mass murders committed by Americans. The president blamed the incidents on mental illness but did not condemn one single politician for reducing funds to programs dealing with mental illness. Were it not for a 60 Minute segment, Tom Marino, the man responsible to disarming the DEA in their war against drug distributors, would have been our drug czar. I’m confident the nation’s newspapers will continue to do their investigative reporting.
I’m optimistic, perhaps to a fault but Tuesday, I saw two different events that restored my faith. The first was the huge win in Virginia because our side voted in overwhelming numbers to gain victory in a gerrymandered state. Yes, Hillary and Obama carried it but they it was always close and the GOP controlled the delegation. Not this time because our future, the millennials, stood in the pouring rain to vote. A transgender beat the homophobe who wrote the defeated “bathroom bill,” the confederate statues and immigration were not an issue but health care was. Democrats needed to flip 17 seats to take over the state house and the last count I saw, they won 14 seats and look favorably to gain at least a 50-5o split. That is what happens when people vote. Although I voted “yes” for the local school bond I was defeated by a grassroots effort to turn out their voters. I applaud them. They took a a page out of the Obama playbook: Don’t boo…vote.”
I’m not that naïve to think Tuesday night was the only springboard we needed to waltz onto victory in 2018. It’s a message that “voting” overcomes all odds like voter suppression, gerrymandered districts and as in 2006,2008, and 2012, it restores hope. Democrats still need to be something more than being anti-Trump or the other party. For example, we can add stipulations to a corporate tax cut like a recapture clause for those corporations that continue to outsource their jobs or don’t increase worker pay and benefits with their new tax savings.
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