I have four children and ten grandchildren. I am terrified they won’t have a planet to live on, and I believe the many, many climate scientists who say we may already be too late to stop the damage fossil fuels and our addiction to them have done to our climate. I also believe, as they do, that the only way to at least scale back the level of damage is to keep what remains of the fossil fuels in the ground.
My next-to-youngest grandson was born with a life-threatening heart defect. Thanks be, his parents have excellent insurance, and he’s thriving even after two surgeries in his first five months. I also know what could have been his fate had that not been the case. We have to stop making excuses and put an end to for-profit medicine, and there’s only one way to do that.
I so want to believe you really do understand how the appalling inequality of wealth in this country is literally killing people, and that despite the flood of money you’re receiving from those who are responsible for perpetuating it, you’ll turn the Democratic Party back in the direction that made us the greatest of the industrialized nations. There are at least 13 million other voters who will support you, and I truly believe they’re just the frosting.
I don’t have an Ivy League degree. Mine’s from Penn State. I rely on my Social Security to help my cab-driver husband make ends meet. I’ve lived on welfare, and I, too, have had to deal with being considered less qualified because I lacked a male genital appendage. I’ve listened to desperate callers on a human services hotline who didn’t qualify for assistance because they made too much money, and I gritted my teeth because I knew the chances I could find them the help they needed were slim. Indeed, as we speak (or write, to be accurate), I’m paying $100-plus a month for Medicare Part B because our joint income exceeded the minimum by $26.
The economy only thrives if people can afford to buy stuff. It’s as simple as that. Thanks to forty years of neoliberal nonsense, too many people no longer have enough disposable cash to do more than keep a roof overhead and food in the fridge. I own and operate a very, very small publishing company, and I’ve watched our annual revenue drop by 50% and more since 2008. I also know I’m not alone. The current austerity-obsessed policies are literally driving small business owners into the ground, and small businesses are the backbone of our national economy.
I’m delighted to hear you say you’re aware of these issues, and that you intend to do something to address them. It’s been a while since I read the policies you propose, so now that I’ve vented my rant I’ll do an update. I’m also among those working very hard to insure you have a friendlier Congress to work with.
The “public” isn’t some vast beast lying in wait. We’re just people, and most of us don’t bite. And if you want to get back those under-30 voters, that’s not going to happen through channels. They’re a smart bunch, and they’re angry and frustrated and tired of being told they just don’t understand the realities. They shouldn’t have to work to do that. Besides, they might have a broader base of knowledge of their educational process had been gutted steadily for the last four decades in the name of “accountability.” So, there’s that.