My Opinion on Where the U.S. is Now

It’s been a struggle, that’s for sure, and for both sides of the American political spectrum. Over the last few months, I’ve talked to people I know, both Republican and Democrat. The thing I noticed the most? They’re all afraid.

Many of my GOP friends are concerned, and still are, of the U.S. becoming an unchristian nation. They actually fear that the country will feel the wrath of God over birth control, LGBTQ rights, abortion, and many other things. That’s why when MAGA folk are interviewed on TV, they site Trump’s Christianity and abortion as their number one concern. They do not believe that COVID-19 is real. They don’t have any problem with the President and his administration dismantling consumer protections, environmental laws, or banking laws. He’s “a businessman” they say. He’ll get the economy on track after this fake pandemic and everything will be great, just like in 2019.

I stopped trying to point out the flaws in their arguments. It was a waste of time and just made them angry at me.

My Democratic friends are concerned that the Trump presidency and administration are leading us down the fast lane to Fascism at best and outright Nazism, at worst. All they can see is the rantings of a madman hell bent on turning the country into an autocracy, or even a dictatorship. Many told me in the days leading up to the election, that they were considering leaving the country if he won his re-election bid. They’re concern was that worldwide, many countries are going down the same path our country is on. The level of anxiety was very high. They are worried about the hundreds of children separated from their parents at the borders. They’re concerned about the state of the economy, both before the pandemic and even worse now. The loss of protections for LGBTQ people, women, and minorities is at the top of their list of worries. Loss of consumer protections, environmental laws, and banking regulations make their stomachs hurt.

In my little town, the small democratic demonstrations over the last few months have met with rude comments and clouds of truck exhaust. During the election period, vandalization of pro-Democratic candidate signs was at an all time high. People who were democratic, hid it to avoid possible attacks on themselves and their property. Yes. I live in a heavily Republican town.

The level of hate being spewed by the MAGA crowd has made Democratic newcomers to town considering selling their new homes and moving out. A shame, since I know the people of this town are much friendlier than they’ve been recently. Perhaps it’s all been an act. What to do about it?

First of all, we need to take a breath. All of us.

Secondly, we need to all move back into a fact-based, science-based world. The recent explosion of the social media site Parler, the AON news network, Fox News, and the multiple blogs, social media sites, and websites all promoting lies, racism, White Supremacy, and conspiracy theories, is a big part of the problem. Stop believing the nonsense spewing from those sites.

We need to understand that big business will not regulate itself. That theory is how the country became so polluted by the 1970’s. The banks were regulated to halt the financial meltdown of the 1920’s and the 1980’s. Remember Ralph Nader? There was a reason he championed consumer protections for products. Eliminating all of these protections only makes big business richer. It kills the rest of us.

It would also help if the name calling would stop. American Democrats are not the radical left. For the most part, they’re middle of the road conservatives, as evidenced by the Democrats choosing Joe Biden as their Presidential candidate. And democrats attacking MAGA rally attendees is not helpful either. It does not endear you to the members of the right.

If Christian values are what the GOP want, it can be done. We can stop treating people of color, LGBTQ people, women, as second-class citizens. We can let asylum seekers use the laws already on the books to request asylum. We can return children kidnapped from their parents, to their parents. Pay needs to be made fair, and at a livable wage. Medical care needs to be addressed. No one should have to choose between having a place to live and getting medical care. This all works in other countries. It should all work here as well.

As I close, I realize that an 800-word opinion piece isn’t going to change many minds. Each of us have to decide how we’re going to move forward. I’m going to do the little things I can. I’ll donate to the Thanksgiving food drive. I’ll buy some toys for the Toys for Tots drive. I’ll donate to my local food banks. I’ll continue to press my town and my county and my state to create policies and laws that help people gain economic security. What will you do?

Retired military, old as dirt, tired of all the crap. This is me, speaking up about it.

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