BY SHARON MARTIN
It’s an election year, and candidates think they can win by stoking your fears. They want you to be afraid of Muslims, the Iran nuclear deal, and godless socialists. Obama’s coming for your guns, and Mexicans are coming for your jobs.
There is, indeed, plenty to fear, but it isn’t what they’re peddling. I’m afraid that the bees will die, that the Arctic sea ice will melt and rising oceans will swallow islands. I’m afraid that women will lose their hard-earned rights to be part of the political and economic system in this country.
I’m not afraid of guns, but I’m leery of people who parade their arsenals in public.
I fear individuals who post anti-Muslim sentiments on Facebook and the mob who thinks it’s OK to publicly jeer at a woman in a hijab.
I fear politicians who promote the use of invalid test scores to stifle a kid’s spirit in their drive to kill public education.
I fear willful ignorance.
Mostly, I’m afraid a sociopath will be elected president in 2016.
On Sunday morning, one of the 2016 presidential candidates opined that we Americans have lost our standing in the world. I guess he hasn’t noticed how much our president is admired around the globe. The racists among us just can’t acknowledge that his quiet diplomacy is superior to blustering attacks.
This same deep thinker said that the United States is too tied to China, that their economic woes will hurt our economy. Duh! Every nation of the world is connected. He did have a concrete idea for dealing with China: high tariffs on goods sold to the United States would start a major depression in China.
How many starving Chinese would it take to improve our standing in the world? And this helps our economy how?
In the next breath, he had a solution to the problem of North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. I’d talk to the Chinese, he said, and tell them to do something about it.
I’m definitely afraid of this guy and his ilk.
There have been social advances in the past seven years, but it can all be undone. And we’ve only just begun. We need to address problems in the justice system that assumes a black man is dangerous and up to no good. We need to counter that idea that men or bureaucrats have power over a woman’s health choices. We need to deal with immigration in a respectful and intelligent manner.
Instead of succumbing to fear, let’s educate ourselves, check biases at the door, and get out the vote. The consequences of voter apathy are unthinkable.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer