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I feel like I’ve been holding my breath, politically.
The primary was challenging. My candidate didn’t get the nomination. But once Joe Biden was named the democrat who would challenge Trump for the presidency, I got behind him 100 percent. What else could I do? Maybe there’s a little Obama juju trailing Joe. Boy, do I yearn for the days of the Obamas in the White House.
I’m still holding my breath, anxious about the outcome of the election. What will happen to our country if Trump is given another four years to bring us to our knees? I’ve personally considered leaving the country if that happens.
The values behind my politics are simple. This Sanskrit mantra pretty much encapsulates my politics:
Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinaḥ
Sarve Santu Nirāmayāḥ
Sarve Bhadrāṇi Paśyantu
Mā Kaścidduḥkha Bhāg Bhavet
This translates to:
May all beings be happy, feel comforted. May all beings be free from disease. May all beings see what is good and gracious. May no one experience pain or suffering.
What if these were guiding principles for our government?
I want policies, practices, and laws in place that make sure everyone really is comfortable, healthy, never suffering, and be able to see things in our country that are spiritually uplifting.
The current lack of these values and practices tell us that this is the most important political moment of our lifetime. Our very democracy is in the balance. I don’t know if my candidate will fully deliver, but I have to hold onto the hope that the pendulum will begin to swing back under a new administration.
These are the six core issues (in no particular order) that I believe are most important in this election, and most vital to our country’s health:
It is clear that systemic racism continues to oppress and threaten African American and Latin communities, and other communities of color. It is prevalent in education, economics, housing, healthcare, health itself, policing, and criminal justice. It is deeply embedded in our institutions and continues to scar this nation. No one is free until we are all free.
If you want to learn more about systemic racism, watch Ava DuVernay’s powerful film “13th.”
From day one of Trump’s presidency there has been a threat to women’s rights. Some of the specifics of these threats are: the dismantling of ACA birth control benefits, abortion rights, eroding equal pay, weakening Title 9 which prohibits sex discrimination in hiring, elimination of sex discrimination in health care. How can we expect a man who speaks so appallingly about women to champion the rights of women?
Roughly 20 million Americans have health insurance because of Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Trump and the Republicans have long said their goal was to “repeal and replace.” Problem is, they have nothing to replace it with. They have challenged ACA in court multiple times, but have lost each battle. With the new conservative majority of Supreme Court justices, it’s only a matter of time before ACA is struck down. The result of this is that 20 million people will lose their healthcare and preexisting conditions will, once again, not be covered.
I can’t believe there are still “climate deniers” amongst us. Trump and his cronies have been leaders in denying science and the threats to our earth. We are in a crisis and have only a few more years to make a dramatic change. If this administration continues to prop up industries that are destroying our planet, we will have no chance of recovery. I hate to imagine what a grim future we will be leaving our children.
LGBTQ+ rights advocates have hailed the former Vice President and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, as the “most pro-equality ticket in history.” By contrast, Zeke Stokes, former Vice President of GLAAD has said, “We’ve seen from Trump more than 175 attacks on our community in policy and rhetoric since he took office, and it literally started on day one when all mentions of LGBTQ people and issues were removed from the White House website.”
Need I say more?
We don’t have adequate funding for our schools. There has been a dramatic decline in school safety. Teenagers worry about gun violence in their high schools. We don’t pay our teachers enough. (I bow down to all teachers.) Focus on standardized testing has robbed our classrooms of the creative flow I believe is necessary for a proper education. There is an increase in bullying and student poverty. Our schools are overcrowded.
If our kids can make it through K to 12, they then have to assume a huge debt load to pay for college. This just isn’t right.
Your political values may not match mine, but one thing is certain. We can each have a say in what happens next if we vote.
Please, if you haven’t already voted, get out there and let your voice be heard.