Reset the State House Clock Forward
John and I have 4 grown children between us and 9 grandchildren ranging from infant to college-age. My husband served as a US air force captain flying on F111’s, and his two eldest children served as Air Force officers, as well. I was a Navy brat, five years old when my dad finished 20 years of service. We understand US values and US history and we are concerned with the regressive movement that has co-opted our political system. We’re witnessing the erosion of long-tested American principles that strengthen democratic liberty and the happiness of personal freedoms.
Seeing legislatures around the nation presenting bill after bill to prevent women’s legal access to reproductive healthcare is incredibly disappointing. It’s a desperate stab against modernity, ignoring the facts that access to birth control and sex education lower abortion rates and keep women safe from quackery. This coordinated assault on a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her body is ideological; there is no other movement that seeks to insert the government into decisions of bodily autonomy – the most personal of civil liberties. In the live free or die state, we need to recommit to supporting the rights of individuals to decide what happens to their own bodies.
We’re having a similar rebound on racial justice. Hate crimes are up. People who have felt part of America for decades and are citizens who love this country, are being victimized because of how they look. This turning away from acceptance of cultural and religious difference is wholey unAmerican. It does not uphold our founding principles of justice, fairness and equality. We are a nation of immigrants. It is easy to sow seeds of hate by targeting ‘the other’. America’s strength and exceptionalism is rooted in the example we gave the world for how tolerance could work. Hatred cannot create a world of which our children can be proud. Living up to our creed means leaving this ugly moment in our history behind and getting back on track with rejoining the world and facing up to our real challenges.
We cannot create a bright future if we keep entrusting decisions to those whose only vision is of a past that is gone. The future may be scary, but electing representatives with good judgment, common sense, requisite intellect and personal integrity can set us on a course to making better decisions. I believe it is our duty to set an example, tackle the real issues, and stop playing politics with people’s lives.