The start of my lenten project

I know by now many of you are sick of political posts. You have made your mind up one way or the other (or just don’t give a rip either way) and are tired of seeing your social media change from LOL cat videos, recipes, and pictures of babies to a not so civil discourse about the future of this country. I get that, I really do. However, I also believe these are unprecedented times in our country. Whether we like it or not, the next few years will determine the direction, tone, and future of the United States. This is going to be my last post for some time as I am taking a break from social media to focus on loving my family and friends and try to stay mentally well. I wanted to leave one final post in hopes to let you all know why the past few months have really triggered me and caused me to post so much and to let you know that each post was done with thoughtful consideration and hope for enlightenment.

For me, there are 3 main reasons that have kept me up at night, caused me to put a lot of time and thought into what I post, and have made me feel it’s my civic duty to resist what I see as a slide towards fascism and eventual war.

1. The biggest and most important reason I am concerned is my kids, both Brady and the new baby coming. In my mind, it’s our responsibility to try and leave things better for each coming generation and that is really at risk. Now, are we now seeing the 1st generation less likely to be able to purchase a home, having more debt, having lower starting wages, and their dream retirement is fading away. In the same time as starting salaries have been stagnant or lowered, CEO compensation has raised 997%. The middle class is being squeezed out and we are heading towards a ruling class that owns everything. Couple that with climate change, the threat of war, Trump’s obsession with nuclear weapons, the growing racial tensions, religious divides, and the gutting of the public education system and I truly worry about the world I will be sending them into. I know many who voted for Trump for these exact reasons and concerns. He promised to “drain the swamp” and to “make America Great again” the problem is those were lies. He in his own words and actions has said so. I can show you plenty of research that shows that supply side (trickle down) economics doesn’t work and that deregulation has not benefited the working class. I am not sure what the answer is regarding all these economic policies, but it’s hard to see how removing regulations that are aimed at preventing another bank collapse can be helpful. I can’t see how putting people in charge of entire government divisions whose main goal in life has been to take those departments down. I really can’t see how putting a woman in charge of public education who never attending public school, never had her kids attend public school, and has spent millions of dollars to weaken public schools, can somehow fix our public schools. And switching to a for-profit model for education will not be the answer because it will create a caste system in this country.

2. The second reason I am concerned is the obsession with repealing the affordable care act (ie Obamacare) and thinking the open market is going to somehow make health insurance cheaper. 10 years ago I became deathly ill, even lost my ability to walk and had they not figured it out when they did, I would not be here today. The main reason I got into that mess was I couldn’t afford to go to the doctor, so I went to urgent care. They misdiagnosed me, sent me home, and I went septic. I ended up spending 12 days in the hospital and another month out of work. With all of that, I was lucky. I did have medical insurance and sick days built up, but even so the deductibles and max out of pocket expenses were beyond my ability to cover them, even as I was working a full time and part-time job (65 hours per week). I was blessed that the school I was working for did a fundraiser for me, donated sick time to me, and helped me out. Ever since that experience (and seeing what my cousin Brendan has gone through with his battle with ALS) I have really seen up close the problems with our medical system as it stands. It (in my opinion) is wrong that we are the only major industrial country that does not guarantee healthcare for all of its citizens. I also believe it’s criminal that people are able to profit so outrageously on the health of our sickest individuals. There is no reason that a medication would cost 200% or more in the US than other countries. For example, Nexium, the pill for heartburn costs $215 per month in the US and $42 in England, $23 in the Netherlands. In fact, A House of Representatives report found in 2014 that 10 generic drugs experienced price increases just a year prior, ranging from a 420% hike to more than 8,000%. I believe that it is wrong that we live in the richest nation in the world and yet my facebook feed if filled with go fund me fundraisers for people who can’t afford medical procedures, even with health insurance. I think there is a point where people who have a lot can give more if it is for the common good of everyone. Until we stop allowing the pharmaceutical and insurance companies pay off our representatives and stop having propaganda like universal health care would put people on “death panels” we will never have a system that actually works for all people. It is impossible to maximize profits and have it work for everyone, someone always gets screwed and it’s not those with the power or those who need it.

3. The 3rd reason is more personal and less policy related, but when I see Donald Trump as our president I see everything that is wrong with our Bully culture. My own school experience was filled with times that I was picked on, left out, and denied things by people who felt empowered to keep me down. I struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts and it was often centered on the idea that it would never get better. I finally found my voice, found my faith, and found my confidence and overcame a lot, but those feelings are still there. I became a school counselor to be an advocate for those kids who are going through similar experiences that I did. In the time since Trump has been elected, we have seen a rise in racial, sexual, and outright mean bully behavior. Just since the start of 2017, there have been 89 bomb threats, several cemetery defacements just within the Jewish community and even more amongst the Muslim communities. In our schools, we are seeing kids bullied so much online that even with all the help we have, feel there is no way out and commit suicide. This anti-PC push back has gotten to the point that people think that can say whatever they want, and why wouldn’t they feel that way, the leader of the country says and does whatever he wants and has had no consequences. The fact that he bragged about sexually assaulting women, then called it locker-room talk and still got elected really empowered those who have felt that they don’t need to be nice to everyone and treat everyone with respect. While I understand it can be a pain to police what you say and do in hopes that you don’t offend someone, while at the same time you disagree with their ideas. On the other hand also not that hard to just not say anything if you don’t have anything nice to say (you know the kindergarten rule).

If you look back through my posts, you can see most of them are my hope to educate you if you only get your news from a certain perspective, provide hope to those who lost it, and remind people (especially those who claim to follow the Christian faith) that we are called to love our fellow man. That a person’s religious preference, sexual identity, color of their skin, or socioeconomic status does not either give them more or less power. We (if we want to be the country our constitution says we are) need to come together as a nation to do what is best for all people. We need to stop pushing fear and hate of what is different, but instead, take time to learn from each other. Are there bad people in the world? Sure there are, but have blind hate out of fear does not allow us to ever heal and move forward. This country is unique because of our immigrant past. We are not one race, one religion, one ethnic background. We are a collection of people from throughout the world; it is what makes us unique, what makes us special, and what used to make us a beacon of hope. I hope that someday we can get back to that, liberty and justice for ALL. We can get back to the idea of the collective community instead of the focus on the all mighty dollar. It will take a movement, it will take resistance to hate, it will take a generation banding together to move us in the direction that is best for its citizens, not its corporations. I will continue to push on this path and if you ever want to talk more about it I would love to have dialogue, about it but for now, I am stepping away from the hate, from the fear, from the bullying. God Bless- Jeramie

Crazy just the other day my favorite blogger and writer just did a similar thing

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