Okay, now the Internet connectivity is back … as in there wasn’t any Internet Connectivity for a few days … it’s time to get back up and running. And, time to get back to nagging, entreating, nagging, begging, nagging, pleading, nagging… it’s time to VOTE.
Why? Because stuff’s not changing.
There are still children who are separated from their families at our borders. The government has been told to reunite them. Has been ordered to reunite them. However, when cruelty is combined with incompetence we have a situation in which deported parents may lose their children to adoption. [NBC] There was a two year old girl called to an immigration hearing. Two years old. 2. [NYT] A five year old girl was persuaded to sign away her rights. [NewYorker] Five years old. 5.
We know what two year old children can do, the average ones are walking and pulling their toys around; they climb on furniture; they can identify objects when the objects are named for them; begins to know that objects have permanence even if they are covered by three or four layers. And we put a child such as this in an immigration hearing? Who on this planet could possibly believe this is right?
Four and five year olds? We’re usually happy if they put sentences of more than five words together, if they can correctly name at least four colors, if they can draw some basic geometric shapes, if they use future tense, if they can count ten objects, and if they can name basic common household items. And we want a five year old to understand a Flores bond? Really. Who on this planet could possibly believe this is right?
We could have comprehensive immigration policy reform coming from the Legislative branch of our Federal government, but we won’t get it as long as Republicans are content to shove show-pieces through the process which don’t address the essential cruelty and racism of current administration policy. We won’t get comprehensive immigration policy reform accomplished unless and until Republicans no longer control the Legislative branch. Period. Full. Stop.
There are still children in our elementary schools learning shelter in place procedures for school shootings. Additionally, it’s been over a year since the massacre at the Las Vegas music concert. Still there are no bans on bump stocks; we’re told to wait patiently there’s something in the works… how long does it have to be in the works? It’s been a year for crying out loud, for crying in silence, for crying on each others’ shoulders for young lives lost, church members slain, concert goers murdered, office workers killed, journalists shot and fatally wounded… However, as long as the National Rifle Association and its myrmidons in the House and Senate refuse to consider common sense gun ownership, storage, and sales laws we’ll still be crying out loud.
We won’t get rational gun safety laws enacted in this country unless and until the Republicans and their NRA (Russian money) allies are no longer able to spread fear, anxiety, and money around the electorate. Vote them out, and we can start to make sense, and we can stop crying out loud.
There are still children and families at risk of financial and physical peril for a lack of secure health care insurance coverage. And the Republicans’ answer? Let people buy junk insurance that doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions, doesn’t meet the standards of coverage for the ACA, and doesn’t protect families from medical bill bankruptcies. This isn’t the solution — this is a return to the situation that created problems for families in the first place.
There are students who are graduating from colleges and universities with crushing levels of student debt. The New York Federal Reserve has been trying to tell us for years now that student debt levels have a tangible impact on our economy. We yawn over the statistics, shiver when the statistics include someone or some family we know, and worry when the children are our own. Will they be able to make a down payment on a house by age 30? Some 60% of them may not be. Will they be able to make long term purchases for automobiles and appliances? At what borrowing rates? Are we investing in the one commodity that can truly guarantee the success of this nation in the future — our children? Right now… not so much.
We could do this, but we’ll have to stop buying in to the Republican line that children, especially other people’s children, are merely expenses, and not investments. GOP politicians would have us believe we can’t afford to educate our children — Think of the Taxes! — the reality is we can’t afford not to. We need those schools (and colleges) to educate them, those libraries to encourage them, those park and recreational facilities to help keep them healthy so we end up with a generation of educated, healthy, and productive members of the next work force. Without that, as the saying goes, “we got nothing going for us.”
So we should vote our hopes not our fears. Vote our hope for immigrant children and babies (and their families,) hope for the safety and well being of our children, hope for next generation’s productivity and wealth creation. The optimist may say he believes the elections will turn out “right.” The hopeful person understands that while “things may turn out right in the end,” the end is better achieved when hope is supported by action. Act. Vote. Change. It can start happening in 2018.