Election Day is Only Days Away

October 27, 2020

The future of our planet and our human family is at stake.

ggresham_520_feat.jpgAs I write this, our country has suffered more than seven million Covid-19 cases and more than 200,000 deaths—far more than any other country. A University of Washington study estimates that, with winter impending and declining public vigilance, we may surpass 400,000 fatalities by the end of the year.

Now consider this: Canada, with strict public health protocols in place, has had a total of 140,000 cases and 9,000 deaths. It’s true that the United States has a much larger population than Canada. But China, which has four times as many people as the United States, has had only 85,000 cases and 4,700 deaths. The United States averages over 1,000 deaths a day, every day, for months. France has 30 deaths in a day; Germany, only nine. Simply put, Donald Trump has been criminally negligent. Because of his lies, denials and failure to lead, he is responsible for tens of thousands of American deaths—many more than were killed in the Korean, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined. He should be imprisoned. We voters can’t do that. But we can remove Trump from office on November 3.

Eight months into the pandemic, we still have no national policy on masks, on sheltering in place, on any of the public health measures that scores of other countries have used to control the coronavirus. And now we are entering flu season, winter, and what most experts expect will be a second even bigger wave of COVID- 19. Who but we healthcare workers will be expected to be on the front lines providing care, comfort, support and expertise to what will likely be millions of additional patients? We must win the election on November 3 and drive Trump out of office. The future of our human family and our planet are at stake.

Aside from the pandemic, the climate crisis is also becoming catastrophic. Droughts are more severe. Rivers are flooding. Sea levels are rising. Much of this country’s west is ablaze. Trump simply rejects the reality that the climate crisis is upending our world and, if unaddressed, will spell the end of human civilization as we know it. We are also in the midst of an insanely active hurricane season: in late September there were five storm systems active in the Atlantic, and the Weather Service had already used every name on this year’s list except one. Six of the 20 largest wildfires in California’s history have burned this year, and the fire season is just getting underway. The wildfires have followed a catastrophic heat wave that fits well within a longstanding trend.

This election is essentially a choice between the possibility of a habitable planet and the certainty of an uninhabitable one. We all know this guy will not do a damned thing about environmental threats as long as he lives. And he won’t be around to see the worst of the consequences. But our children and grandchildren will. Trump has completely corrupted our immigration system, the Justice Department, and the Department of Education with white supremacists, while stacking our federal courts— including the Supreme Court—with ultra-rightwing bigots. He gives encouragement to heavily armed gangs of racist thugs. U.S. democracy cannot simply survive another four years of Trump in the White House.

Every indication is that Donald Trump will try to steal this election. He has already attacked early voting and crippled the postal system’s ability to deliver mail ballots in a timely fashion. He has said he will not accept the results if he is not the declared winner and has also talked about declaring martial law. He has said that he will call upon “his” judges to declare him the victor.

We must block Trump’s ability to make that power grab by turning out in overwhelming numbers to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. I am appealing to you, sisters and brothers, VOTE! Most states allow early voting, so you don’t even have to wait for November 3. Please take advantage of early voting if you can. And if that’s not possible, absolutely make sure to vote on Election Day.

Each of you, even if you are not eligible to vote, can volunteer to get out the vote. Please talk to your co-workers. Call your adult family members, your friends, your neighbors, the folks with whom you worship to make sure they also vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. If you have friends and family in other states, please call them, too. And urge them to vote and also take back the United States Senate by electing the Democratic candidates.

Everything we hold dear is at stake. I have full confidence in your willingness and ability to do your part in these next days to secure our country, our planet, and our children’s future.

- 1199 Magazine - September / October 2020