This election is a matter of life and death

Politics is about who lives and who dies. It’s always been about that, and anybody who doesn’t take it that seriously and treat it that gravely needs a reality check. All of the decisions made in local, state, and federal government determine the chances of someone’s life thriving or someone’s life ending. The decisions made by a school board, for example, to address discrimination, greatly impact the lives of those students. The decisions made by a City Council to address homelessness or drug abuse greatly impact the lives of those suffering. The decisions made by a state legislature to aid or hinder voting equity, the decisions made by a U.S. Senate to provide or not provide for the unemployed, and the decisions made by a President to treat a pandemic as a personal threat or a universal threat all determine who among us will survive.

And the person with the greatest power to determine who lives and who dies is the President of the United States. With the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve seen firsthand how the power of the Presidency determines who lives and who dies. Unfortunately, the current president seems to be adding only the latter. And for those who might be confused by some misleading political spin, the current President is Donald Trump. 

Joe Biden has not caused the 190-thousand and rising COVID deaths. Joe Biden has not stoked nationwide protests. Joe Biden has not spurred a frightening distrust of our media, our system of justice, and our election system.

The current President has caused all of that, and the current President is Donald Trump.

How lucky, then, that we have a chance, very soon, to change who the President is. 

In the meantime, since we have no help from our White House, we must do all we can to keep ourselves safe and our cities and country safe. That means wearing masks whenever we’re in public spaces or spaces with non-cohabitants. That means calling out misinformation and spreading truthful information whenever we can. That means donating time or money or food if we have the means. That means helping people understand what is at stake if we fail to take an active interest in who governs us.

Everyone has heard the line, from a parent or guardian, “You have to take responsibility for your life.”

One of the easiest, most deceptively powerful ways to do that is to vote.

Voting is our declaration of how we want to live, how we want our friends and family to live, and how we want our community to live.

People who take voting for granted are taking their lives for granted. And none of us can afford to do that, now or ever.