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Move over, Hester: Speaker Mikey's in town...

Remember Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Puritan society in his novel, The Scarlet Letter?  Poor Hester Prynne violated the laws of the church, which meant that she broke society’s laws, too.  At the beginning of the novel, the reader joins Hester as she leaves the safety of the town prison and makes her way back into the society that jailed her.  Reading the book for the first time in the 11th grade, I had a hard time understanding how, in a free society, the religion of one group could also form its judicial system.  That makes the laws of God the same thing as the laws of man.   Separation of church and state was also an 11th grade U.S. history lesson, so we students figured no more Hesters could be jailed for breaking the laws of her religion .  Or so we thought.  We fought a war 250 years ago to separate the colonies from a king who was not only ruler of the government but leader of the church.  A quick walk through British history shows what a mess that ideal leads to:  remember Henry VIII

American Exceptionalism - Crisis By Choice

Twenty minutes of the evening news or a quick scan of your phone’s news feed reveals 2023 as a year of global disasters. And it’s only May.

Ukraine continues to be the victim of a senseless war, with its people dealing with death, starvation, lack of water, and an infrastructure that has been shattered by Putin.

Haiti and Burkina Faso face gang and vigilante violence due to instability in their country’s government.

Somalia, Ethiopia, and Sudan are facing food shortages and massive hunger because of climate change, excessive drought, and civil conflict.

This is only a partial list of the top 20 countries in crisis that the International Rescue Committee compiles each year. Many other countries around the globe are dealing with hunger, lack of health care, poor government control, drought, and civil war - all brought about by factors out of citizens’ hands.

But here in America, we make our own disasters.

Because of the calamitous and ignorant leadership from the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene, our country could default on our debt, leaving not only the U.S. but the world in economic crisis - all for no particular reason. This has never been done before, but we’ve never seen a party quite like the Republican Party in control of the House of Representatives. And it’s simply a choice they may make, not one foist upon them like war or drought or environmental change.

And speaking of climate change, since the Republican party has secured a majority in the House, it has tried to obliterate all gains made by the Biden Administration to stave off the imminent global warming crisis - and all the damage to the earth that goes with it. In fact, Virginia Republicans have tried to sabotage the Virginia Clean Economy Act, the state version of the national Inflation Reduction Act. Sure, we have fires, floods, and winds that damage and kill in this country, but when we have the chance to pass substantial legislation to reduce the global warming trend, Republicans choose not to.

Although the countries listed above are facing massive health care issues, most are a result of extreme poverty. Americans, however, choose to have them. The Dobbs decision (and I stress the word decision, because this was a choice by the far right Supreme Court) has already caused health care issues for women due to deliberately vague laws, violently rabid “right to life” advocates, and a blind eye cast to medicine and science. We also have the means and ability to offer universal health care to all citizens, something that most economists believe would be cost effective in the long run. But the Republican party chooses not to and would, in fact, dismantle Obama care if allowed to follow their own misguided beliefs.

We also have a work crew sitting on our southern border, ready to man businesses, restaurants, and farms that are screaming for more labor. This would bolster our economy and provide a better life for those seeking asylum in this country, while reducing prices driven by inflation. This includes food prices. It would also eliminate the need to employ children to bolster the current labor crisis. But the Republican party chooses to harangue the Biden administration about its lack of policy while offering no solution of its own to expedite legal immigration. It also chose to get in the way of Biden’s day one immigration reform plan, with help from the far right Supreme Court.

Being invaded by a super power, living through record-breaking drought, and dealing on a daily basis with violence are not personal choices by people who live in undeveloped or vulnerable countries. Electing politicians who promote global warming, economic disaster, and health care for the few is a choice some people make in this country every time they vote.

So while we all still (for the most part) have the right to vote, we need to be sure we don’t elect climate deniers, election deniers, health care deniers, and economic disaster deniers. We need to educate ourselves on each candidate’s beliefs and intentions, before he or she is elected. Then, we need to choose politicians that will promote a better life, environment, and economy for all.

If we don’t, we might find our country listed on the International Rescue Committee’s crisis list in the very near future. And that will be by choice.

###

FYI, Delegate Ellen Campbell, the MAGA candidate for Delegate district 36, and Delegate Chris Head, MAGA candidate for Senate 3, both voted to sabotage Virginia Clean Economy Act environmental regulations by supporting HB 1378.  This bill prevents the roll out of clean cars and promotes air pollution and greenhouse gasses.

Do something and anything to help us win both houses of the Virginia General Assembly and put a stop to MAGA and Youngkin:

Speak your mind and push back against the lies and hate and stand up for justice and fairness
Volunteer - volunteer@staunton-democrats.care
Contact me if you need ideas !  info@staunton-democrats.care





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