by Joe Courter
This month brings us to within a year of a very pivotal election. We can all see that the road ahead has a lot of problems. It gets hard to prioritize what to do, and can be overwhelming to contemplate.
An overriding worry for many of us is climate change, but the impact of our human activity manifests in so many ways, from weather patterns to mass migrations, ocean rise to the breakdown of cultural mores as social media trumps science and knowledge. This is exemplified by extreme polarization and the rise of authoritarian leaders in many nations.
What are the fundamental things that need to be addressed? Can we stop global warming and climate change? No, it is in motion, but we can make alterations in how we live and how we use our finite resources for the sake of future generations, and thus mitigate its impact. This country’s energy policy is insane, especially the natural gas industry, This is a finite resource, increasingly harder to obtain without ecological damage, yet we are exporting it like mad, just so mega corporations can make money! Energy priorities need to change.
The war industry of this country must be confronted. Much of our country’s expenditures goes to the Pentagon, and to building weaponry, which is then sold to other countries, depleting their treasuries and in many cases wreaking havoc. (see Yemen, Afghanistan, etc). The military as solution increases suffering and migrations all over the world. And it does not work, unless the goal is destabilization and weakening of those victims of our weapons. That money needs to be reallocated to human needs.
Women must be granted autonomy over their bodies and the rights to education and equality. The scourge of entrenched male supremacy needs to be fought around the globe. Access to family planning would create smaller healthy families. Harnessing women’s brain power and organizational skills would help men and women live better. Paying better wages and recognizing the need for universal healthcare adds to better living standards, and less desperate people trapped in poverty. And good grief: value comprehensive education and acknowledge white supremacy while you are at it.
Election integrity must be supported and prioritized, both here and abroad. Social media, corporate dominated mass media, and the de-emphasis of civic responsibility undermines democratic, representative government. Especially here in the USA there is an active attempt to thwart democracy, measures to suppress voting must be exposed and rolled back. Voter suppression and dark money are producing a virtual coup d’e’tat by greed driven corporate interests. Unless we can unify and get more progressives into Congress, no legislation to address any of the above is possible.
Locally, the mad rush of development must slow down. A line must be drawn, and S. Main Street (see page 1) seems like a good place to do it. GRU providing energy to UF an important aspect for the future, and that will be coming into play in a year or two, and would help our City owned utility thrive, yet the climate at City Hall has sunk to such depths who would want to go near negotiating a deal to wean them (UF) off Duke Energy?
Going to a strong mayor and expanded commission a few years ago may have been a bad idea, but here we are. Also be aware that in fall of 2022 there will be four vacancies up for election on the City Commission. Elections matter.
And speaking of 2022 elections, to turn out Kat Cammack in District 3 would be wonderful. And statewide Senator Rubio and Governor DeSantis are both up for re election and dumping them would be sweet and appreciated nationally. Can we do it?
It will take organizing both locally and statewide to overcome gerrymandering and a state Democratic party with a less than stellar track record in recent elections.
Remember; DeSantis just barely won. The votes are out there. Fundamentally it comes down to getting out the votes, and getting the votes counted!