Today, for the first time, my husband turned to me and said, “Perhaps we should look for a house in Canada.” That’s because we’re actively looking for a house in Philadelphia, and considering giving up our Shore house because of all the mental and physical care it requires. And, if we’re going to move at all, he was feeling the potential need for a more solid move for future sanity, which is what any move should ultimately be about ever.
My Millenials had voiced the same concern after the last presidential election, but this was the first time my husband had come to that point. My response: “No. If anything we get more centrally situated, more politically involved, and fight from within.”
Mind you, I’m not being brave. I’m being practical. I am a huge believer in preventative health care, having always taken vitamins, put my family on various eating regimes, and am always studying holistic health care even while under duress taking Lipitor. Yes, I believe in modern medical care, but I also believe our pharmaceutical industry is too commercially based, our health care too disease oriented and our society too sedentary to be truly health oriented.
Yes, I’m that type of liberal.
This week, with the U.S. stock market rollercoastering, many pundits reverberated the quote: “When America Sneezes….” The original quote is attributed to ex-Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, father of the current Prime Minister, who actually said, “When the elephant sneezes, everyone catches a cold,” and he was clear the elephant meant the United States. He often referred to his U.S. neighbor as the elephant, an attribution perhaps more apt today with the Republican hold on all three branches of government. We have truly become elephantised.
So what does Preventative Political Care look like? The answer is simple: A robust and functioning democracy. That requires:
- All eligible Americans registering to vote.
- All registered voters participating in most if not all elections.
- All Americans away from home or immobile learning about absentee ballot rules in their home states.
- All Americans staying self-educated on American history and principles rather than relying on pundits of various persuasions.
- All Americans doing at least one more thing than just voting. Options range from donating to a cause or political candidate, writing letters to congressional representatives, writing Letters to the Editor of home town papers, actively engaging with other ordinary citizens spreading incorrect information.
- Attend School Board meetings and fight for civics classes to be reinstated and funded.
Sure you can run for office and do the big things, but without the little things like registering to vote, the foundation will not hold. It is the basic things that form the foundation of our democratic society. Sadly, here are some facts that show how the foundation has cracked.
- In 2016, at east 20 million eligible voters were not registered to vote.
- It has a half-century, or not since 1968, that 60% of voting-age adults voted.
- In 2016, only 14% of eligible voters cast ballots for either Trump or Clinton, potentially not only showing a desire for other non-party supported candidates, but also not voting in primaries at all.
On the positive side, according Pew Research, the U.S. has hit an all-time high of 200 million registered voters. As we go into the 2018 mid-terms, opportunities abound for Little Hinge actions in addition to those above from volunteering to help register voters to spreading registration forms far and wide where people can get greater access to them.
This is an awful flu season. I don’t intend to catch it even though did not get a flu shot. I will work on getting 8 hours of sleep to stay rested and strong, will pay attention to my nutritional intake, and will take vitamins not only to not catch cold, but also to not catch authoritarianism. I hope you’ll practice preventative care with me as I have a much better chance of staying healthy if you, too, wash your hands, don’t sneeze, and get active.