Sleep For Today, But Tomorrow We Fight
There is a lot of work to be done and a short time in which to do it. The Biden-Harris administration has promised us a lot, and we mean to hold them to it.
“Cold in the violence
After the war
Hope is a fire to keep us warm
Children of anger
Waiting for the hour
The battle is done
Oh that light, oh, is bright
Sleep for today, but tomorrow we fight”
–Tommee Proffit (2017)
The last four years have been brutal. Bone-wearingly so. More tears than we can count have been shed for people we will never meet, for policies that wounded our friends, family and neighbors, and the jeering administration at the root of it all.
The last four years have brought us Russian interference in our elections, children in cages, orders banning travelers from Muslim countries, racist parades through our city streets while POTUS called them “very fine people”, withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord and the denial of global warming itself, numerous attempts to abolish the ACA and leave millions without health care coverage, declaration that the free press is an enemy of the people, a liar-in-chief who told more than 25,000 verifiable untruths, an openly racist administration, a POTUS unopposed to bullying (despite FLOTUS’ anti-bullying campaign), a social media platform that became a vehicle for policy making, an administration filled with individuals charged with leading agencies whose best interests they did not hold dear (e.g. EPA, Department of Education), POTUS nomination of an accused sex offender to the highest judicial bench in the land, more than 350 pieces of legislation that went to die in soon-to-be Minority Leader McConnell’s legislative graveyard, claims of a fraudulent election that spawned 64 separate court orders that either denied or dismissed the frivolous lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign and his slimy attorneys, an act of domestic terrorism at our nations capitol provoked by POTUS himself, and 400,000 people who are dead as a result of the worst handling of a global pandemic that is humanly possible. There is little left to imagine as to how much worse 45’s time in office could have been. Trump was a nightmare come true.
And, then Joe Biden won and the fright created by the nightmare began to subside.
But, it is not all rainbows and sunshine going forward. There is a lot of work to be done and a short time in which to do it. The Biden-Harris administration has promised us a lot, and we mean to hold them to it.
First and foremost, we need top-level down action on the pandemic, the measures we can take personally, and collectively to protect ourselves and others. We need a leader who leads by example. Our economy has suffered greatly because of the pandemic. And, we can only fix the economy by helping people to get vaccinated, get healthy, and get back to work. The health of our country is inextricably connected to the health of our people. We cannot have one without the other.
We need significant immigration reform that gives individuals and families a genuine path to citizenship.
Our planet is desperate for authentic climate change mitigation. While you and I will be long gone before the planet dies, that does not mean we do not owe it to future generations to do what we can now to save her. We could start with teaching our children about climate change in school.
Hundreds of students die each year as a result of school shootings. Thoughts and prayers are never the answer yet that is all that we have gotten from our legislators. Common sense gun reform, that includes closing the loopholes in background checks, is needed.
After more than 400 years of racist policies of one design or another, our country still grapples with the issue of systemic racism. Especially when racist acts and words are encouraged by a hateful administration. Tied to this problem is the pipeline to prison that funnels children of color into the criminal justice system. Our criminal justice system is in need of an overhaul to eliminate policies that are racially biased. This also includes the need to give returning citizens the right to vote and have a say in the governing of their own lives.
There is so much work to be done and while having an administration that shares our values will make things easier, it does not mean that the fight is over. What it means, is that many of us will have more sympathetic ears and eyes when we write to lobby our officials on the issues that mean the most to us. Many of us, however, will not. So, we look to an administration who faces obstacles the likes of which we have never seen before and may never see again and we expect them to act in a manner that benefits the American people.
What You Can Do
Change does not come about by being comfortable. Being comfortable is in no small way what led us to this point. Unearned privilege and standing on the backs of the marginalized gave us Trump.
For four years, we held the line against the terror of a grossly neglectful administration. Now, we must harness that same energy to move our country forward along a more inclusive and humane path. That will happen if we all work together.
Rejoice today America, for tomorrow we fight.