US vs THEM
There was an election and “we” won.
President Biden and his administration is laser focused on solving the Covid crisis. I think this is the proper approach to our present predicament.
The pandemic has upended our society. We work differently. We educate our kids differently. We interact in our communities differently. And we view our government differently. And nothing — I repeat — nothing is ever going to be the same again. How we will live our lives two years from now is anybody’s guess. But until we reach some form of herd immunity, everybody will suffer.
The government has been getting a terrible reputation over the last 40 years. I have always found this a bit odd, taking into account the fact that the government manages a huge percentage of the economy. We take for granted that the government manages our law enforcement and judicial system, our military forces, most citizen’s retirement income, research and development of new technologies while managing a huge amount of our physical land and the health care for our veterans and the indigent and many others. That’s the short list. I could go on for days about what the government does for you.
I think the government has been doing a miserable job of managing the Covid crisis. The previous administration had no leadership at the top and left the states to develop 50 separate systems for dealing with the pandemic. Some states did pretty well (thanks Governor Mills) and others did considerably poorer (looking at you, Governor Noem of South Dakota). Now, President Biden has brought a talented and experienced team to DC and is asking you to support his plan to beat the virus. All citizens will benefit from an eradication of the virus. It will lift all boats. The economy will restart. Kids will go back to school. We will all get to go to a concert or a wedding or go back to church together.
Yes, it’s a lot of money. I, for one, think they should lower the threshold by which one is ineligible for a stimulus check. I don’t need a third stimulus check. I didn’t need the first two. My church and our local symphony and theater company did need my support, which they got thanks to my government check. But those living on the edge of poverty do need it and they need it now.
So why do you think we are gearing up for a mano-on-mano floor fight in the Senate between the tax raising, socialist Democrats and the government hating, racist Republicans? Honestly, I have no idea. When did everything become a zero-sum game? I don’t know. For that matter, when did it become a game?
I want the gang of 16 to cut a deal. I want Biden to accept some serious modifications to his bill and I want the changes to be celebrated by everyone as a victory for us all.
What changes? I don’t know. Nobody will ever know if they don’t get in a room together and discuss it in a serious way.
Some say it started with Gingrich. Others say it was the Hastert Rule. In 2009, the economy was in the tank and the government passed a stimulus bill that was tame compared to what we have already spent on Covid. Not a single Republican member of the House voted for the stimulus. Only three Republican Senators voted for it. We then spent 8 years in which one side of the aisle tried to sabotage the other side of the aisle, causing the “slowest recovery in history”. Sound familiar? It was repeated ad nauseum in the 2016 election cycle.
We are in the same place right now.
We have a choice. We can work together to overcome our challenges. Email your congressperson and both your senators. Don’t tell me you know they will vote the way you want. Write them anyway. It’s important.
I want Biden to hand a signing pen to Mitch McConnell. Wouldn’t that be something? “Thanks Mitch. Couldn’t have done it without you”.
I want one of the things that will never be the same after Covid to be politics. I want the government to get the credit for all that is does well. I want my senator to grow a spine and actually vote her conscience every once in a while. I also want OAC to sit down in her seat for a while. I want to rebuild, reconcile and recover from this Covid trauma. I believed the young lady when she said we could emerge diverse, battered and yet beautiful. Because there is no THEM. There is only US.
I want to be brave enough to see the light.
I pray we can all be so brave.