Every mother since the dawn of time has had to navigate society to prepare her children for what they will face in the world. Each generation has their own cross to bear, but as a mom of two I kind of wish they were growing up when I did in the 80’s and not today’s crazy environment.
The world constantly reminds us that it is dangerous and there are those who wish us harm. The other night at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester a suicide bomber blew himself up along with 22 others, mostly young girls. It makes me sick and scared and want to pull my children closer to me.
Nationally, Trump’s proposed federal budget released today outlines his priorities, namely increasing the military, cutting taxes for the richest and services like Medicare and food stamps for the poorest.
Locally, over the weekend Texas was in the news for passing some of the most discriminating legislation in modern times. Heck, it even started being called “Discrimination Sunday” on social media!
SB6 says high school transgender students have to use the bathroom of their gender at birth. Another bill allows child adoption and foster care agencies to refuse to place children with non-Christian, unmarried or gay parents due to religious objections. SB8 cuts off access to abortion after 14 weeks and forces mothers to pay burial costs for the fetus.
How do I explain to my children that there are real threats (terrorists) and imagined ones (i.e. – gay and transgender people can’t be trusted around children) and that a small group of very conservative men in government who run things can’t seem to tell the difference between the two? How can I explain why they want to punish people for being poor and take away the rights of women to have control over their own bodies?
The honest answer is that I can’t explain it, because the ultra conservative populist reasoning makes no sense to me and isn’t based on facts, just their own personal beliefs and biases.
But what I can explain is that the only way to change this is to stand up, speak up, and vote in progressives who envision a world that is inclusive.
Globally, progressives believe in keeping our country safe in a smart way, not by building some ten foot chain link wall or enacting a Muslim Ban against countries where none of the terrorists were even born, but by properly and selectively vetting people who mean to do us harm.
Progressives respect intelligence agencies like the CIA and FBI and facts versus conspiracy theories. Progressives believe in alliances with our NATO partners and when a country like Israel puts their people on the line to share intelligence with us about ISIS, our president would never share that code-word classified information with the Russians!
Nationally progressives can be pro-life without being anti-choice. The world isn’t black or white; it’s many shades of gray and the decision to become a mother (or not) is one of the most impactful choices a woman can make. We believe that only she knows what’s best for her own specific situation and her own body, not a panel of middle-aged men pretending to be holier-than-thou and passing blanket judgments that impact all women, but especially poor ones.
Let’s be frank. If you are a woman of means and decide after the 14 week mark that you want to have an abortion, you have the option to take a bus or plane ride to a different state. But if you’re poor? Where are you going to go?
Locally, the Texas legislature has been railing about defunding Planned Parenthood and changing laws to make “choice” effectively a non-choice for many women who can’t afford the travel costs to an out-of-state clinic. The government wants to effectively punish low-income women for having sex and not wanting to be a mother.
These same politicians, so concerned about the unborn, seemingly care even less should the baby actually be born. The new healthcare bill that passed the House delivers massive tax cuts to the wealthiest and cuts Medicaid from the poorest. The CBO estimated that 24 million people (including babies) will lose their health care coverage.
The Republican congress wants to eliminate essential benefits, such as maternity care. And if your baby is born with a heart condition, like Jimmy Kimmel’s was, well that’s a pre-existing condition. Good luck paying the bill.
Progressives believe in a woman’s right to choose, and if she chooses to become a mother progressives want her and her baby to have proper medical care, and food stamps too if they’re needed. Because progressives wouldn’t let a mother and her babies go hungry so the richest 1% can get an extra tax cut that they don’t even need.
But wishing for progressives to run things isn’t going to change anything, talking about it on Facebook doesn’t do anything, but if you actually contact your representatives at town halls, in their office, on the phone, by mail or online, now you are making your voice heard.
The Texas legislature ends on May 29th. Want to tell your reps what you think? Click here to find out contact information for your rep.
And if your representatives don’t listen to you, then it’s time to do absolutely everything that you can to get them out of power and get progressives in their place.
Let’s start at the local level. Of the progressive candidates identified by Marchers, 16 of them have runoff elections! Help them get the vote out. Knock on doors, donate to their cause, remind your friends and family to vote. Click here for more information: Support the June 10th runoff elections!
When our children are hurting, a kiss from mom makes everything better. Our nation is hurting now and it’s up to all of us to take action. The only way things will get better is if we put sane, competent people in power.