Awareness + Action = Change.
What is the role of government? Think big picture for a minute, like how your day progresses from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep. Do you like roads and schools and laws or are you pining for the caveman days when your only worries were food, shelter and maybe a smart, smokeshow cavewoman to share your short life with.
Government should help. Especially our American government, which was founded on freedom and liberty and justice for all. Unfortunately when the constitution was written, races were not equal and many framers owned slaves. Should we question the entire constitution then? Maybe, but there is a better way.
We cannot change the past. Right, we all get that, society must move forward, always playing the long game while reacting to the short game. #MeToo has led to a better society more aware of the treatment of women. Awareness + Action = Change. It empowered a group who had been marginalized and taken advantage of. If someone is now offended by a phrase like “smokeshow cavewoman” they feel comfortable reacting publicly to change the narrative. Will I stop using the phrase? Maybe, but maybe I will try and convince you that it is meant as a compliment to women, which it is. Bottom line, if women are offended, it goes.
Black Lives Matter will also lead to a better society once we get over all this hate. Again, we cannot change the past but because Awareness + Action = Change we are finally on the right path. The BLM change is messy and requires sacrifice but once we unify behind a leader who understands hopefully the result will move us forward.
But Awareness might mean we do not all agree on the solution. Unity will require leadership that works to bring us together not tear us apart and unity means that we might not get exactly what we want but we will get what we need (Thanks Mick).
The fourth of July was always my favorite holiday. As a kid I would save up my allowance for months then ride my little banana seat Schwinn bike around Modesto collecting all the firework flyers then creating a list of the best explosive-for-the-money deals. Moving to Sonoma where the fourth was a huge deal was a happy transition for my grown self; parades, salami toss, pool parties, huge fireworks display, etc. I knew no better, ignorance was bliss.
None of that went down this year because of corona realities but also because I read Fredrick Douglass’s’ “The meaning of July Fourth for the Negro.” Combine that with our leader who makes shocking and offensive gestures daily and you have a recipe for a no-pride fourth.
But I love America. I missed putting up the flag and celebrating the birth of a great country. I want to emerge from this period in history smarter and prepared for the future. I want to love the flag again and be proud of what it stands for.
In 117 days we will put the lid back on the sewer having survived four years of complete governmental mayhem. We will still have problems, we will still have different opinions, we will still have a country with many dividers and haters and we may still be wearing masks but hopefully we will have learned some lessons and will be moving in the right direction.
But let’s get back to the original question of what is the role of government. I believe it is similar to the role of the administration in schools, to help the teachers help the students, same team, and same goal. But without unity the message gets lost and the role becomes muddled. An administrator who is in it for personal gain, always worried about keeping her job, is not as effective as one who works with and supports the teachers.
Similarly a politician always worried about reelection will not focus on the real goal of the job which should be to better the society she serves. This crisis has created a simple way to determine who is in it for the profit and who is in it for the people. Who is creating policies for the future and who is creating photo opportunities.
We should expect more from government, the virus has taught us that. We should expect our leaders to lead and help us through this time of chaos and uncertainty. To make rules that benefit all people and to change those rules when they don’t.
Make America proud again.