Remember in November

If you vowed to “remember in November,” now is the time.

Remember legislators who let people die rather than support “Obamacare” in any shape or form.  Candidates who continue to insist on an “Idaho plan” after years of failure to come up with one. Those who insist that healthcare is a privilege reserved for those who can pay for it. Those who would rather get high scores from the Idaho Freedom Foundation than listen to their constituents.

Remember legislators’ mule-headed denials of global warming and their attempts to censor our science classes.  Storms tear apart eastern communities–flatten them and close schools for week after week. Wildfires attack our western lands, longer and more destructive than ever before, threatening more lives and homes,  Remember that for some toeing the Republican line, insisting that businesses should operate free of regulation is more important than the lives and health of the poor.

Remember the lukewarm support of–and outright attacks on–our public schools. The repeated attempts to force teachers to be obedient cogs in machines and the failure to acknowledge them as caring and hard-working mentors of Idaho’s students. Remember those who hide behind claims that Idaho devotes a high percent of its state revenue to public schools without acknowledging their support for the myriad tax cuts that have kept those revenues low.

Remember the attempts to divert more and more the state money to charter and private schools.

Remember the failure to restore pre-recession funding that has left our colleges and universities depending on increased tuition rates to maintain programs and recruit faculty.

Remember the failure to join other western states in recognizing that the federal minimum wage is not enough to support family life. And the efforts to weaken unions so substandard wages become the norm.

Remember the threats to our public lands. Legislators may claim they believe state control would be better than federal, but they know private ownership is the likely outcome.

Remember the support for oil companies seeking to drill in our suburbs. Landowners seldom own the mineral rights underneath their lawns, and legislators have taken away the right of cities and counties to pass regulations that might protect neighborhoods.

And remember the big picture, that Idaho’s problems are repeated in states across the country.

Remember the claims that a huge Federal tax cut would stimulate the economy enough to restore lost tax revenue–despite the evidence of 30 years of tax cuts that have driven our national debt to astronomical levels.

Remember the claims that the tax cuts would benefit everyone, not just the rich–despite the fact that wages have remained stagnant during 30 years of tax cuts.

Remember the failure of our Congress to come up with any semblance of an immigration plan. They’ve made criminals of diary and construction managers by not providing for legal immigrant labor.  Yet, year after year, Congress fails to act.

Remember those who’ve failed to stand up for young people toeing the line in the DACA program. When the President said revise this law or lose it, Congress failed to act.

And remember hundreds of scared immigrant children in cages. And grieve for the 500 children who have not been returned to their parents.

Remember–and act. Look past the name-calling and fear-mongering. Look at what candidates have done and who they’ve set out to please.

Vote knowing the future of our democracy depends on it.

Note this editorial by Judy Ferro published by Idaho Press – 2018

 

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