2022 will test our political processes, our priorities and our people

Welcome to the annual holiday break for Christmas and New Years. Get ready for another round of politics fighting, as many have forgotten how to listen to opposing views.

Former NBC presenter Brian Williams – whose 28 years with NBC Television recently ended when he retired from “The 11th Hour” – delivered a dark message on his last show.

He said his greatest concern was “for my country”.

“The darkness on the outskirts of town has spread to neighborhoods, communities, now appearing at the local bar and bowling alley, school board and grocery store, and it needs to be recognized and responded to,” did he declare.

Jim Martin for the camera

Speaking of the January 6 uprising, he said they “decided to burn everything down with us inside. It should scare you as much as an aging volunteer firefighter.

Our country must not implode from within because of political differences.

We must again make an America in which there is hope and respect, and less pursuit of raw political power. We recently reminded the world of our capabilities through our development and high-speed distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

We must recognize that if we are to survive as a republic for another 100 years and beyond, our government institutions must be purified and revitalized.

If you think the United States and the world aren’t in turmoil, then you’re not paying attention.

Political polarization may have reached an irreversible tipping point. A lot of people avoid watching or listening to the news because it is so painful, at a time when we need everyone to stay informed.

There is another way of looking at it. There are a lot of people out there who seek to continue with good deeds, sane politics, and a philosophy of sharing, but we’ll talk about that later.

Why you should be very worried

Our democracy is under attack from within by national terrorists, the same far-right groups that invaded the United States Capitol on January 6. Some state legislatures began to restrict the rights of voters by passing heinous bills.

The Supreme Court can vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, please some people and panic others.

There is an impasse in Washington, DC, with the two parties having almost equal representation. This makes it difficult to pass laws, delaying the implementation of new programs designed to help Americans.

Rooted racism never seems to weaken, no matter how much anti-racist legislation we try to pass. Sadly, some 150 years after the end of the Civil War, it is a sad truth that too many people cannot overcome their unwarranted prejudices.

The pandemic appears to be getting worse. Professional and university matches are again canceled or delayed. And it doesn’t help that so many people are stubborn, refusing to get vaccinated, which would do so much to eradicate the disease.

More than 40 million Americans suffer from a mental health problem: depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, extreme paranoia, or other illnesses. Many struggle to find and pay for treatment.

“About half a million people in Colorado are not getting the mental health care they need,” Andrew Romanoff, longtime former state lawmaker who is president and CEO, told ColoradoBiz. from Mental Health Colorado. “In Colorado and across the country, we’re not doing enough early intervention.”

The spread of opioids and other dangerous drugs is an American plague. Thousands of people across the country have died from these drugs, and they have hit small communities particularly hard.

In Boulder County, there have been at least 19 confirmed deaths associated with fentanyl overdoses in the past nine months. As of Dec. 9, fentanyl overdoses had killed 624 people in Colorado in 2021. That’s an average of 56 per month or nearly two people per day.

Lack of child care has led many mothers to stay at home to care for their children. Meanwhile, businesses of all sizes are struggling desperately to find good employees.

Russia and China, not content with just breaking into U.S. social media to spread divisive lies, are also slamming their sabers. China is determined to take Taiwan; Russia could invade Ukraine. Will the United States defend these distant nations? Have we not finally withdrawn from Afghanistan after 20 years of futility?

Crime is increasing in many cities and towns across the United States.

Why you should have hope

The US economy is strong, leading the world in terms of economic growth. The unemployment rate is near an all-time low. There is a commitment to improve the social benefits of workers, in particular the conditions of wages and employment.

We have a new appreciation for people who work on the front lines of the US economy, such as truck drivers, hospital workers, fast food workers, hotel and restaurant workers, day care workers. and others. We learn that we are all in the same boat.

The United States, for the first time in 20 years, is not involved in a war.

People are joining together to fight the scourge of opiates and other dangerous and addictive drugs.

There has been a leap in awareness of climate change and what we need to do to stop it.

Millions of Americans volunteer for many activities, from helping out in our schools, coaching a Little League team, hosting an overseas student, delivering food for the meals on wheels, doing good deeds in the United States and around the world, serving on important boards of directors. in towns and cities, and much more.

A recent poll credited Americans for their help, such as being kind to strangers, recycling, picking up neighborhood trash, donating money to charities, volunteering, donating to food banks and shelters, paying to the next (for example, to a cafe or grocery store) and the blood donation.

Americans are generous; the international Giving Tuesday fundraiser on December 7 raised an estimated $ 2.7 billion in the United States alone.

The year 2022 will test America – challenging our political processes and priority setting, and testing our people. I think later historians will ask, ‘What did you do in 2022? “

Hope we can say we did what we could and didn’t miss the test.

We should become a united nation again, not a nation of competing tribes and classes. It is up to all of us to do this.

Jim Martin can be reached at [email protected]

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