(The writer lives in Dimondale.)
Until now the most important election in my life was my first. It was 1968, and I was stationed in Thailand. Of the roughly 3,500 Americans stationed with me, about 800 voted. Thousands of lives were at stake, but the carnage continued for seven more years. Now we have lost more than 180,000 lives to a virus because of a failure of leadership at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.
Today our government and our society are under attack from the Chaos Administration. The damage being done is real. Whether it is the absolute fecklessness to stop Russia from paying bounties on the killing of members of the U.S. Armed Forces, or the deployment of a new version of the Gestapo & SS, it will take years to repair and rebuild governance based upon competence and mutual respect. That is why this election is now the most important in my life, and why I am working with, among others, a marvelous group known as the Blue Brigade.
It is a Lansing area group of women who are willing to do the grinding grass roots work of politics. Whether it is getting petitions signed, making campaign calls, raising money, or knocking on doors the Blue Brigade is there to help reasonable and rational people get elected. This year is different for reasons known to us all.
Subsequently, the Blue Brigade will motivate the electorate through a virtual VOTE Michigan Rally on September 12, 2020, that will be streamed on Facebook and YouTube. Thereafter, the rally will be available for viewing until Nov. 3. For more details visit their website at VoteMichiganRally.com.
The rally will feature Robert Reich, a former labor secretary under President Clinton; U.S. Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow; U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, State Rep. Sarah Anthony, and many more. There will be a tribute to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and to the first-line workers for keeping us safe during the pandemic. Also participating are Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and friends of Bernie Sanders. Among the many musicians involved are locals Root Doctor and singer Sunny Wilkinson.
We must all be aware that complacency in the face of such dictatorial behavior is surrender. We must not surrender to someone controlled by Putin. Recent reports demonstrate not only how he is Putin’s puppy, but also Putin’s partner, and practically Putin’s agent. What is being discussed during their numerous phone conversations? Responsible presidencies have followed the Presidential Records Act — which mandates the preservation of all presidential records. Where are the summaries of those conversations? What has been promised to Putin?
The Chaos Administration hides its behavior in “secrecy” when taking such actions as when it was extorting Ukraine while Russia was killing Ukrainians. It fires inspectors general without cause. It removes U.S. attorneys when it suits its fancy. And it “classifies” investigations into such demeaning behavior as trying to force the British to move a golf tournament to property owned by the president. The levels of corruption are many and we will be learning about them for years to come.
Each of us has a personal responsibility to stand against such a freak show. It is like a soap opera that has direct effects on our lives. I challenge every fellow citizen/voter to know as much about the workings of our government as they know about their favorite sports team. It will go a long way to getting us on the path of decency.
As a Vietnam veteran, a political scientist and a retired civil servant, I urge all of you not only to watch the VOTE Michigan Rally, but to also get your friends and family to do the same. And, of course, to vote and save our democracy from the fascists, the fools, and the crooks.