“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” – The U.S. Constitution: Preamble.
Humanity used to be inspiring. In the 90s, the future looked bright and exciting and the evolution of technology was bringing people together to share experiences with each other face-to-face. Decades later, social media evolved into a platform for mean people filled with hate (the “trolls”) to anonymously bully people outside of their group for no reason other than the fact that they disagree with one another. Most of us are just tired of hearing the same news stories with no solutions and the same clickbait clicks on YouTube. Here is a quick recap of what is frustrating and how I interpret each of these situations.
Social Security and Medicare
Social Security benefits are probably not top of mind for Millennials or Gen-Z, but take a look at your paycheck stub and check out the money that the government takes out of your paycheck. That’s for Social Security and Medicare. Personally, I interpret the statement “get rid of Social Security and Medicare” as “say goodbye to the money I’ve been legally forced (like every US citizen with a Social Security number) to contribute for Social Security and Medicare for when I retire”, which is supposed to ensure that I will have a partial income of some sort. I’m not well versed on how these work down the road, but I know money is taken out of my paycheck and it might not be there later on.
“It will be my objective to phase out Social Security, to pull it up by the roots and get rid of it,” Lee said in the video. “People who advise me politically always tell me that’s dangerous, and I tell them, in that case, it’s not worth my running. That’s why I’m doing this, to get rid of that. Medicare and Medicaid are of the same sort and need to be pulled up.” – -Senator Mike Lee of Utah
Why is legalizing marijuana a problem?
According to the National Library of Medicine, “Marijuana is superior to and has fewer side effects than prescription medications. Participants reported that marijuana was more effective for certain conditions compared to some pharmaceutical prescriptions.” We are moving in the right direction, but there are tons of misconceptions about the benefits of cannabis. Pain, anxiety, sleep, and the other symptoms that can be managed by cannabis can be found in the form of everything from tea to chocolate to pills to traditional forms of marijuana. America has an opportunity to potentially curb additions and deaths due to opioids. In my non-medical professional opinion, marijuana should be the first line of defense before moving to opioids where patients will always be at risk for addiction that can lead to heroin and then to fentanyl.
Read: Louisiana Lawmakers Approve Medical Marijuana Employment Protections For State Workers: “The fact is we have an opioid problem that gets discussed in this building all the time. We are seeing that for a lot of patients, medical cannabis is an exit strategy,” said Kevin Caldwell, MPP’s southeast legislative manager. One of the biggest benefits of all is the billions of dollars of tax revenue for the state. This tax wouldn’t be money that had to be cut from other programs. For example, “As of March 2022, states reported a combined total of $11.2 billion in tax revenue from legal, adult-use cannabis sales.”
The actions taken immediately after a mass shooting – “Thoughts and prayers”
I used to be so optimistic about being able to make changes about this one, but I’m losing hope. It seems like it has only gotten worse and feels impossible to get on the same page with “the other side”, and now my 9-year-old is learning active shooter drills at school. There have been so many of these school shootings that I can’t keep them straight. Public figures responding via tweet with “Thoughts and prayers” is starting to be one of those terms as common as “bless you” after a sneeze. Days and weeks after a gun-related tragedy, voices for gun control grow loud and are pleading for change. The “right” lacks empathy and is tied to gun lobbyists. The “left” is trying to make a ton of changes to gun legislation all at the same time as an ‘all or nothing’ way to go about it. Round and round we go.
Public safety now includes guns and not answering the front doors
I don’t feel safe anymore. Mostly because I go everywhere by myself, so I made some adjustments to how I would fight off someone. Can we go to church? Yes, but they (the bad guy) target churches. Can we take our 6-year-old’s to school? Yes, but the bad guys also target schools. Can we go to the mall or the movies? Yes, but the mall and movies have been targets as well. Back in the 50s, the women who were at home alone all day didn’t really think twice about answering the door when there was someone knocking. They were just fine opening the door to the solicitors selling vacuums or Tupperware and even knives. Today, I don’t open the door. Unless I am expecting someone, I speak through the closed door and tell them to come back later.
What are the benefits of creating laws that make others feel this society has no place for them?
Kids react to different situations based on how their parents are reacting to them. If everyone would just mind their own business, more people would feel like they are part of the communities where they live and work. Kids didn’t think anything about drag shows and probably didn’t even know what “drag” meant until it was brought to the spotlight by people trying to ban it. So the anti-drag people are creating their own problems so they can come out on top as the one who solves the problem – the very problem that they used as a scare tactic in order to appear as an effective problem solver.
I don’t know why we can’t be the role models that we want our kids to be. Congresspeople should go to their district and livestream their town halls to prove that they are doing something to make their constituents feel heard and taken care of. Baby steps are better than continuing to somehow slide back from all the hard work and progress we made over 50 years. When big things happen, people have big reactions that could shift their outlook on life. Just because we have a congressperson representing where we reside does not mean they get to do whatever they want. Congresspeople are supposed to be listening to their constituents, not falling in line behind their Washington D.C. leader just because they were told to. It doesn’t make sense to have a “fall in line” methodology. Maybe “agree to disagree” or just vote “present”, but to get voted in by promising your constituents that you care about them and then abandon everything once they are out of sight and out of mind is something that will not only be a stain on your service to the country but will be written in the history books for the Americans to read about the most hated and least qualified politicians that have ever lived. But if things keep going the way they are going, there won’t be any books to read about it anyway.
Just an opinion, based on my frustrations.
It’s hard to feel optimistic about the future. My daughter wasn’t old enough to know the world before COVID-19 and she knows how to use “Karen” properly, as do all of her elementary school friends. We all literally learned the colors of the rainbow in Pre-K and Kindergarten. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. Adults are turning this rainbow thing into such a big deal that kids can’t learn about colors in art class. The art teachers aren’t associating the rainbow colors with anything besides the fact that teaching the colors of the rainbow. It is the crazies that are introducing the concept of “rainbow flags = bad”.
I think we need to go back to the mentality that our parents, caretakers, grandparents, teachers, and everyone else taught us – if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. And treat people the way you want to be treated.
Here are a couple of caveats for this article: I’m a moderate democrat and a responsible gun owner. There are things I agree with on both sides of the aisle.