by Kristine Howard (D-167)
Last week the Republican Convention seemed to be happening in a different dimension from the world around it. It is as good an explanation as any to help us understand why the President, the Vice-President and the other speakers at the RNC could be so oblivious to the unraveling America around them.
In their fictional world, the pandemic is behind us because of Donald Trump’s bold leadership. Black Lives Matter protesters are anarchists. Blue lives are what really matter. Our streets in the cities where “Democrat” Mayors are in charge are being over run by mob violence and must be taken back by federal troops or federal law enforcement officers. Our economy is roaring back as evidenced by a booming stock market and the creation of millions of new jobs. Climate change is a job killing hoax and deregulation is our only salvation. Donald Trump is a loving family man without a racist bone in his body.
The real world
They were not only engaging in revisionist history; they were completely in denial of the chaos that was breaking out throughout our country the very week they were hosting their alternative reality convention.
Last week during their convention, the United States reached the unenviable benchmark of 180,000 COVID – 19 deaths. Exaggerated claims about “a breakthrough treatment” and debunked new testing protocols had to be walked back by the CDC and FDA. In front of his three children, an unarmed black man was shot seven times in the back by a white police officer. During the resulting protests, a vigilante and Trump acolyte carrying an assault rifle freely wandering the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin shot and killed two unarmed protesters as they were running away from him. Back-to-back hurricanes on the Gulf Coast and raging forest fires in California were expressing Mother Nature’s opinion that climate change is not a hoax. 1.2 million more American’s claimed unemployment benefits during the week of the RNC, joining the 30 million already on the roles. And professional athletes from men and women’s basketball, major league baseball, hockey and more united in protest against police violence against black men and women, staging a historic walkout and boycott.
That all happened in just the most recent week in Donald Trump’s America. He wants us to believe the dystopian world he has wrought is somebody else’s fault and he is not the least bit responsible. Even more troubling is nearly 42% of Americans agree with him including 90% of Republican voters if the polls are to be believed.
We must stop the slide
I am not running for President yet all of this is very real and relevant to me. In the legislature, I am surrounded by Republican state representatives who think just like the man of 20,000 lies. I am running against a Republican who shares his political points of view. We don’t have to wonder what America and Pennsylvania will look like if Donald Trump is reelected and the House Republicans retain their majority. We just have to look out our window.
We must and can do something to stop the slide of our values, our well being and our county. As John Lewis said, “We must vote like our lives depend on it.”