This last political season and election was a turning point for me personally. I really couldn’t believe the things I was seeing, hearing, and reading. I was never a Trump fan, but I had no idea the depth of his depravity. As the campaigning of all candidates continued, my political views and beliefs became more clearly defined. If I’m to be honest, I attribute my recent awakening to the world around me and beyond to Bernie Sanders, as well as Thom Hartmann and the progressive movement. I joined online groups and became friends with people around the country and the world that were like minded and had knowledge or resources that I had not been aware of in the past.
I have always identified as a democrat and have voted democrat since I could vote, but now would define my political beliefs as a progressive democrat or even progressive democratic socialist. I see the world as one and our country as our community. We must care for each other, we must lift each other and provide for each other.
I can’t say that I have one issue that has made me want to be a part of the resistance. Although protecting our environment and planet for future generations is a major reason for my activism, I cannot say it is the only reason. Racism is another issue that I am passionate about, as I myself have experienced it having the last name Sanchez and having Spain and Native American ancestry. Now I have three beautiful grandchildren that are mixed with African-American ancestry. I cannot stand the thought of them being tormented, teased or looked down on based on the color of their skin, hair, or eyes. Seeing how the Republicans treated President Obama and his family and how his being our president brought racism to the forefront again is alarming.
Trump, his administration and the GOP’s agenda to gut and cut our service agencies, our social programs, our schools is to say the least frightening. My daughter is a single mother with two young children that is employed full-time, but only has access to health insurance because of the ACA. She is allowed to be on our policy until she is 26. Her children are currently receiving Medicaid. She barely makes enough to pay the $650.00 a month rent she has to pay. I don’t know what they are going to do if they repeal the ACA and gut Medicaid. Her children attend the Early Head Start and Head Start programs and if they cut these or eliminate them she will not be able to work. Then what? She is trying to find a better paying job but daycare has certain hours so she can only work daytime hours. As it is, I pick her children up everyday by the 4:30 closing. It upsets me to hear the things people say about people receiving assistance. My daughter is high school grad. She has even taken several college courses, but she has her hands full raising two children alone. Things aren’t the way she wants them to be. But working 40 hours, having two children 4 and 2 who need their mother, and limited resources doesn’t leave you with many options.
The one good thing that has come out of all of this for me is that I am more politically active than I have ever been. I wish everyone in the country would get involved or more involved. I have never been more afraid for our country and our democracy than I am now. However, I believe that if we resist, fight for our rights, get involved and stay engaged we may be able to beat the existential threat to our nation. My dream is that we put aside our differences and come together for our children, grandchildren, to protect the planet. That we have single payer healthcare, quality education, fair living wages, and a strong support system for those in need.