#IVITEB – I voted in this election because…
10, #11 & #12: Racism, Healthcare & the USA’s Standing in the World
I voted in this election because… the people of this nation must attack systemic racism, address healthcare challenges and rebuild the USA’s standing in the world.
Between the two presidential tickets, only one offered any hope for leadership needed to make progress, or at least stop the backsliding, on any of these issues.
The #IVITEB Series
I published the first of the #IVITEB posts – “The Climate Crisis” – on October 9 with the intention of pushing out a 12-post series prior to Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020. I managed to get to #9, “Not Better Off. Not by a Long Shot.”
Which means there’s unfinished business.
Three crucial issues didn’t make it to publication prior to the election. Each deserved a post of its own, but this will have to suffice. I’m going to highlight them here, with “I’M VOTING in this election because…” adjusted to “I VOTED in this election because….”
#10 – Racism
If I had been numbering the #IVITEB posts based on order of importance, this would have been #2. The only reason it would not have been first is because I believe the issue that made #1 on my list – “The Climate Crisis” – is truly an existential threat to the future of the human race.
It’s taken me so long to write about racism, despite the importance of addressing it somehow, because I am a middle-aged white guy. I’m not one of the middle-aged white guys who believes himself superior because he is white, but I’m still part of the guilty cohort in the white privilege, racism construct.
Therefore, I’m probably one of the least qualified to write about racism in the United States.
But I do believe – strongly – in equality and equity for all. No matter what.
Books are written about systemic racism in the United States of America. It’s real, it’s held generations of black, indigenous and other people of color down, it’s raped and killed them for centuries, and it continues to negatively impact them every single day in ways that I – as a middle-aged white guy – will never be able to fully understand.
But I know this – it’s wrong, and something needs to be done about it. Immediately.
I’ll do what I can to help.
#11 – Healthcare
What the fuck, USA?
I mean, really.
And, yes, the expletive is necessary. That’s how ridiculous, horrible and absolutely unnecessary the situation is for U.S. citizens when it comes to healthcare.
We are the only developed nation in the world where people are forced to fight through serious financial struggles due to medical bills. Many go bankrupt. Others have to choose between their health and putting food on the table or a roof over their children’s heads.
Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and so many others are right. We need universal healthcare for all Americans. Immediately if not sooner. Nothing short of that is acceptable.
I don’t hold out much hope for achieving it with the new administration, considering President-Elect Joe Biden’s opposition to Medicare for All. But if we hold the line now we’ll have a better chance of getting there later. In the meantime, perhaps we can either protect or reinstate portions of the Affordable Care Act if the Supreme Court strikes some or all of it down this coming week. We shall see.
I’ll do what I can to help.
#12 – The USA’s Standing in the World
As a rule, I don’t expend a lot of time or energy on what other people think, but these past four years the collapse of our nation’s reputation in the world, the abdication of our leadership role on so many issues, including human rights, and the fact that we’ve lost the trust of our allies around the world – all of this has been especially egregious.
I’ll admit it – I am, and have been for four years, absolutely embarrassed. I lost the pride I used to have in being a U.S. citizen. I mean, c’mon – it’s humiliating to have someone who is either a moron, a tyrant or both at the helm of one’s country, especially when that country is supposed the be the “shining city on the hill.”
Not only that, but, in the words of Fintan O’Toole, a columnist for The Irish Times, “The world has loved, hated and envied the US. Now, for the first time, we pity it.”
I do not like that feeling. I like even less the fact that the current administration’s actions and failures to act have given the world good reason for their pity.
Furthermore – sadly but understandably – our allies are hesitant to trust us anymore. That’s according to Foreign Affairs. And, as an example, CNN found that “There is considerable uncertainty both in Paris and Berlin as to just how much the United States can be trusted anymore.”
The election of Biden and Harris isn’t necessarily going to fully restore the pride I once felt in my Americanism; I’ve seen, heard and learned too much this year for that. But when the 2020 election was called for Biden-Harris Saturday, nations around the world celebrated – the church bells tolled in Paris and there were fireworks in London. If they can hope, I guess I can, too.
It will take a while, many years perhaps, but if we do things right, my hope is we can re-earn some of the world’s respect.
I’ll do what I can to help.
That’s Why I Voted
So, there they are, the last three reasons of my planned dozen for why I voted in the 2020 election. You can check out the other nine with the links above.
And how about you? There are hundreds of really great reasons people voted, and I’d like to share yours. Please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.