Only courage saves democracy
Kudos to Dave Anderson for his column, “Fighting Solves Everything?” (Re: The Anderson Files, Oct. 18, 2018), in the equally courageous Boulder Weekly. Kudos for the research involved, but even more, in my opinion, for the courage to write this column. The right-wing extremists Dave writes about are dangerous to our democracy, but especially to the freedom of the press and the courageous journalists that it takes to keep a free press which a democracy requires. It is so easy to say the words democracy, freedom of the press, freedom of speech; but only courage, hard work and perseverance will make it mean anything to you and me. These right-wing groups are training to street fight, not just to frighten Anderson into writing about knitting. They intend to beat you into submission if you disagree with them.
I just read the bestseller The Death of Democracy, Hitler’s Rise to Power, by Benjamin Carter Hett. The similarities between that time, the 1920s and ’30s, and 2018 are frightening. The lies, the hatred, the cruelty of Hitler’s speeches, the encouragement of hatred of the press, and violence towards not only journalists but anyone who disagrees, the creation of a private army, his own brown shirts, all are here in Benjamin’s book and in Anderson’s column. If these present-day “brown shirts” had tried marching down any street in the U.S. wearing swastikas while the World War II vets were still alive, those swastikas would have been their lunch, and they know it. They would have thanked you, Dave Anderson. So do I.
Congress still has work to do
It’s hard to ignore that this is an election year. Everyone is thinking about what will happen in the next Congress based on what happened during the recent election. Let’s not forget that this current Congress still has three months of work to do. There are critical things on the agenda that need to be accomplished by this Congress. One of those issues is global maternal and child survival. There is a bill that is on the table which could save the lives of 5.6 million children globally. The Reach Every Mother and Child Act (S. 1730) ensures that women and children who are vulnerable of dying from preventable causes have access to available resources. I emphasize preventable because these women and children are dying from lack of vaccines, water, and food; all things which there is an abundance of. The Reach Every Mother and Child Act’s sole purpose is to, “implement policies to end preventable maternal, newborn, and child deaths globally.” This implementation would not cost money; instead, it creates a strategy which ensures that every dollar spent on global maternal and child health is saving the most lives.
As the world faces a growing refugee crisis with people fleeing their countries looking for better opportunities for their children, we have an opportunity to support a bill that will invest in building strong health infrastructure and stable foundations in other countries so families have what they need to be healthy and survive at home. The Reach Every Mother and Child Act benefits the U.S. by upholding America’s compassion and leadership across the world while contributing to greater national security. Building more stable countries leads to a safer world.
Let’s not let our urgency to get to the next senate get in the way of making a difference on issues that this senate needs to address. There are already dozens of Republican Senate and House leaders cosponsoring The Reach Every Mother and Child Act. We need Sen. Cory Gardner to cosponsor this bill immediately. We need to make sure our senator cares about the lives of 5.6 million children, especially when it requires very little effort on his part. Sen. Gardner already knows our saying, “5.6 seconds to cosponsor The Reach Every Mother and Child Act can save 5.6 million lives.”
By any standard, Donald Trump is a chauvinist, sexist, racist, capitalist pig. That he has a sizable and avid following willing to overlook his blatant boorishness speaks worlds to the grasp white identity holds still in America’s self-image. White men and their dutiful wives made America the great nation it rose to be. Brown-skinned people were but riders on the train. Despite it being 82 years since Jesse Owens, in the 1936 Olympics, first shattered the myth of Aryan superiority, with sports now exemplifying successful integration, Donald Trump has been masterful in sensing and manipulating white anxiety over lost standing and influence, particularly as evidenced by the election of Barack Obama. His early embrace of the “birther” movement and his current railings at black athletes protesting racial injustices are rallying cries to his anxious base, and here the Republican Party, ever hungry for power with gerrymandering and voter suppression, has tagged along like a ragged street gang following the neighborhood bully. Overall, it is a disturbing phenomenon.