Tonight my mind is focused on my sons. I can’t help but foresee the day, ten or fifteen years from now, when they come home with a homework assignment. “Interview an adult who remembers the year 2020.” What do I tell them? How do I make it clear that we came so close to losing our country? I need them to understand how fragile this experiment in Democracy truly is.
I will tell them…
In 2020, a deadly virus spread around the world. Some countries figured out how to stop it in its tracks. Others struggled to contain it. Here in the United States, we did neither. There was zero leadership. There was no nationwide mask mandate. There was no mandate that factories repurpose to create PPE. There was no federal effort to increase testing. But the absence of leadership was not the worst part.
Our president minimized the effect of the virus. He not only failed to wear a mask–he actively mocked people who wore them. He cared only about the strength of the stock market–not about the lives that were being lost. I remember when the first person in the United States died. I remember when we surpassed 10,000. I remember when we surpassed 100,000. I remember when we surpassed 200,000 dead. And still he mocked it as a hoax. But still that was not the worst part.
As the pandemic raged, the very foundation of our republic started to crumble. The President and their party stacked the courts with ideologues. They confirmed a supreme court justice a week before the election despite holding up the previous president’s nominee for eight months because “it was an election year.” He vilified fact based reporting. And facts. I will tell my sons to research the term Gaslighting, then let them know that entire teams of reporters were dedicated to keeping track of the president’s lies–surpassing 20,000 in 2020. He sent in the National Guard when peaceful protesters filled the streets in solidarity that Black Lives Matter. All this happened while the party did everything in its power to make sure not every vote would be counted–because if every voted counted, they would never win. But that was still not the worst part.
The worst part was that ten of millions of people voted for this man–in 2020. They knew he was a danger to democracy. They knew he would let a million Americans die to keep the stock market afloat. They knew he would tear the constitution to shreds to stay in power. But still they voted for him. And that is what makes republics so fragile. It is one of the most revolutionary ideas in human history–to let the people decide who leads them. But centuries of republics have taught us the same thing over and over again. We will vote for our ideals–even if that means the republic could fall.
1. Comparing Congressmen to “Babies Having a Temper Tantrums” is just plain wrong. Political rhetoric is pathetic. The 535 men and women elected to the U.S. Capitol contain some of the brightest people in the country. Even if some of them have extremist ideas, the truth is they are working hard. The problem isn’t that they “babies” or that they are “lazy.” The problem is the political format of America forces Congressmen to work for their party instead of the people who elected them.
2. The media needs to grow a spine. Nearly every news outlet I turn to right now is trying to be nonpartisan. Seriously!? The facts are facts. The Tea Party is responsible. Period. They are holding up legislation to keep the government running because “democrats won’t negotiate.” There’s one major problem with this idea. The democrats already negotiated on Obamacare—which is why the law was watered down in the first place. But it passed. The Supreme Court upheld it. The battle is over. The blame sits squarely on the Tea Party….or
3. The real blame belongs on Our Founding Fathers. Our constitution is brilliant. But its few mistakes are rather severe. One of the worst parts is the Electoral College. Due to the evolution of voting and democracy since the late 1700s, the Electoral College is dangerous. It binds us to a two-party system that is destroying us instead of evolving to a multi-party system like you see in Europe. This two party system led to the absurd rules that guide the House of Representatives, which now allow ten Tea Party members blackmail the Speaker of the House into grinding the government to a halt.
4. Representative Randy Neugebauer is either a moron or an asshole. In the year 2013, all elected officials know they need to watch what they say 24/7. That means it’s really hard to hid stupidity. Representative Neugebauer presented this stupidity in a very public manner. It is nearly impossible to finish watching that video without wanting to punch this man in the face. How dare he.
5. The Shutdown is affecting US workers overseas. I work for the Peace Corps, but this extends to every agency that works overseas—the State Department, the CDC, etc. Since you work overseas, you can’t be furloughed. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect us. Our counterparts in D.C. are furloughed—leaving many communication lines down until further notice. If this continues for more than a week, you will hear of serious consequences.
With 25 hours or so until the first polling stations close on the East Coast, we are nearing the start of the 2016 Presidential Kickoff (Just Kidding…actually, maybe not). Anyway, this has been a long and obnoxious election. In the end, I became a part of the annoying group that talked too much about the election. Sorry about that.
Tomorrow I will upload my Election Day Wish List–just something I put together every election day. But, for today, I want to spend my time with you talking about the Electoral College. I consider myself one of the fiercest opponents of this disgusting piece of law. I cringe with anger at the mere mention of its name. If you want to see the extent of my anger or just want to know more about the Electoral College, please read on: