Editor’s note: This is the first in a Reimagining America series by Denise Candea
I’m vaguely disquieted right now. Worried that something will go terribly wrong in November. Not because I think Trump could actually win. For that to happen, we would need the fairy tale he keeps spinning to come true. The coronavirus would have to magically disappear so that all the service sector and leisure jobs could come roaring back and we would all feel comfortable going out to eat, shop, cruise, fly and attend concerts, movies and sports events. School and childcare would reopen. And we would get that V-shaped economic recovery that is just so much wishful thinking by Trump and Wall Street. No, that isn’t going to happen because COVID-19 is raging out of control, especially in Florida, and Trump still has no national plan for managing the pandemic or the shattered economy. The red state governors refuse to mandate shutdowns or even masks. It is going to get worse before it gets better, since increasing deaths lag increasing cases by up to four weeks.
No, what worries me is that the first wave of COVID-19 will level off, we will somehow accept this as the status quo and then the virus will peak again in the fall just as the influenza season gets underway. We will be in an even bigger crisis than we are in now. Voters will be afraid to vote in person. There will be a shortage of poll workers (usually retired people) which will reduce the number of open polling places where the lines will be unduly long. And Trump’s misleading attacks on vote by mail will call into question (by his supporters at least) the legitimacy of the process. He will proclaim it a rigged election and refuse to leave office.
Our country cannot survive another Trump term. Without having to worry about reelection (which is all he has done since he first took office), he will be unrestrained (as if he is restrained now). And although we could all just stop paying attention to each tweet, we cannot let him desecrate the norms, customs and laws of the country anymore than he already has. Because as bad as it is now, it could get so much worse.
I’m anxious about climate change. The seas keep warming and rising. Extreme weather causes massive disruption here and worldwide. Trump’s answer to climate change is to ban the actual words “climate change” on government websites and then change the rules to reduce emissions standards, gut environmental regulations, give polluters free reign and mock sustainability. The planet can’t take four more years.
I’m anxious that we will lose the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). We need this crucial legislation that covers 23 million and provides: preventative care, protections for pre-existing conditions and removes lifetime caps for every health care policy in the country. Trump just asked the Supreme Court to eliminate it. The GOP has no plan for any type of replacement. The health of the nation is at stake. In a pandemic!
And international relationships. Trump has weakened our alliances and given succor to our enemies. He has empowered and emboldened Russia and China (and North Korea and Saudi Arabia). He threatens the North American Treaty Organization (NATO) and pulls us out of treaties and trade pacts, and the World Health Organization (in a pandemic!)
And Roe v. Wade and Rainbow Rights. We cannot allow one more right wing activist justice to be approved by a lackey Republican-controlled Senate. Thanks to the Supreme Court, as of July 8, birth control coverage in health plans can now be based on an employer’s whim. Women can’t take four more years of this invasion into our reproductive rights and privacy.
And the rule of law. Trump operates as if he is the supreme leader or mob boss of the country. He has always behaved as if the laws do not apply to him. We would not recognize our country in four more years.
And racism; the penultimate social cause of our time and our nation. Trump has firmly planted himself on the wrong side of history. If we cannot make this better now, we will unravel as a country. We cannot give up on our vision for a more perfect union.
But I am also hopeful. The polls look really good, even in battleground states, like Florida. The Senate is in serious play and we will keep the House. That will give Joseph R. Biden two years to enact the kind of sweeping reform that this moment demands, before the midterms in 2022.
Biden may be singularly positioned to be exactly who we need at this moment of great upheaval: a moderate, well liked, even loved, decent human being (just ask Lindsey Graham) with more true empathy in his little finger than in the whole of the Trump organization. Biden knows how to speak so folks will listen and to listen so folks feel heard. He will surround himself with an exceptional cabinet and seek counsel from experts. He knows how to work with people from across the political spectrum. He’s as tough as nails. He has experienced the unbearable loss of a child, twice. He is a military Dad. And he has detailed plans to improve every segment of society. Trump has nothing. Hannity asked already. Biden is exactly who we need to help guide us through a national grieving and healing process.
Biden is also not the lightning rod that Hillary Clinton was to Republicans.
This moment screams out for Reimagining America. Who better to do that than the multicultural, intergenerational, colorful, boisterous, imaginative Democratic Party! Even if you are a conservative voter or lifelong Republican, we invite you to join with Democrats for this most consequential election. If you want a better country, a country to be proud of again then join us in electing Joe Biden as our President, and Allen Ellison as our Representative in Washington. Vote Blue in November!Image Credits: Charlotte County Dems Graphics