The first lesson a disaster teaches is that everything is connected. In fact, disasters … are crash courses in those connections. At moments of immense change, we see with new clarity the systems — political, economic, social, ecological — in which we are immersed as they change around us. We see what’s strong, what’s weak, what’s corrupt, what matters and what doesn’t.
In a recent article, renowned mediator and conflict resolver Kenneth Cloke identified five specific crises the United State is facing, each with its o
wn distinct set of conflicts.
A Social Crisis: Sparked by racism and police brutality, and extending to violence and discrimination against women, LGBTQIA+ people, Jewish people, Muslims, Asians, immigrants, and others.
An Economic Crisis: Sparked by the global lock-down, and extending to economic inequity, poverty, class exploitation, and prioritization of profits over people and planet
A Political Crisis: Sparked by autocracy and denials of the right to vote, and extending to gerrymandering, the Electoral College, voting by mail, and the continuation of democracy itself
A Health Crisis: Sparked by the COVID19, and extending the availability of health care for all, drug resistance, and attacks on science, disease experts, and the World Health Organization
An Ecological and Environmental Crisis: Sparked by global warming and species extinctions, and extending to air, water and soil pollution, destruction of rain forests and coral reefs, use of pesticides and fossil fuels, and ecological unsustainability
Though these crises may, on the surface, seem separate and unique, they do in fact intersect. In Cloke’s article he writes, “Through these crises and conflicts, we are rapidly approaching a point on which the future of our planet, our people, and our personal lives, will pivot. The most immediate and important of these points will be reached in November 2020, with the election of a U.S. President and members of Congress (and therefore the Supreme Court), which will profoundly impact our global future.”
Democracy is a government for and by the people. The will of the people can only be achieved when the people actively participate in democracy. That means we all must vote. The United States trails most developed countries in voter turnout. According to Pew Research, only 56 percent of the U.S. voting-age population cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election.
This November Americans will have a choice: We can vote for democracy, racial justice, economic justice, healthcare for all, and ecological justice. Or, we can sit back and allow our already weak democracy to succumb to the emerging autocracy that will choke out the will of the people and perpetuate human suffering.
It is time to make your voting plan and have your family and friends do the same.
This election will be the most important election of our lifetime. With the mass voter registration purging that is taking place across the nation, it is imperative that you check to ensure you are registered to vote. You can do that here.
There are multiple ways to register to vote; however, if you do not have online access, and/or the ability to print an application, or simply are worried about getting it turned in on time, let us know. We will figure out how to get you registered.