The Cry of Liberals

Joshua Riebel ‘20, Opinion Columnist

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This is a call not just to the establishment but to all those who cannot answer the famous question uttered by President Ronald Reagan, just like those supporters he won over back in 1980: “Ask yourself, ‘Are you better off now than you were four years ago? Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was four years ago? Is there more or less unemployment in the country than there was four years ago? Is America as respected throughout the world as it was? 

First, let’s break this down piece by piece. First, how about buying something typical like a bicycle today? Well Arnold Kamler, CEO of Kent Bikes in South Carolina, was quoted in a BBC [British Broadcast Corporation] documentary that tariffs to bike tires have been raised 36 percent to US customs (30 percent per tire). This has led to a price hike on consumers, a 20 percent sales drop, and a massive layoff of a quarter of his workers. As for the second question, well it is precarious at best. Should China at any point decide to retaliate and put equivalent tariffs on US (~25 percent), we could be looking at roughly 1,120,000 lost jobs. Third, and most damning to this administration, is America as respected through the world as it was?” America has left the Paris accords that it agreed to in 2015 prompting individual states to reaffirm their commitments, further, our president has been laughed at a UN meeting by for all intents and purpose the whole world. He has named Canada a “national security threat”. Canada! The country with perhaps the best-know reputation for politeness! Instead America has sided with Saudi Arabia during the murder of Jamal Khashoggi (refused to offer a report on his murder despite being under American protection). Additionally, he has spent his time being friendly with Kim-Jong Un and Vladimir Putin, both of whom have threatened America with nuclear missiles. They are not our allies, nor do they seek to be.  

So, what can we do about all of this? First, we need to vote in 2020. As overstated as it is, it is crucial. Third party is NOT a viable option, and as good as voting for Trump. Abstaining is the coward’s way out. Good men and women fought and died to give us the power to vote and shape the political landscape of our country, so the least we can for them is to take their sacrifice seriously. Additionally, as democrats we need to get off our ‘high horse’. We cannot necessarily wait for a ‘perfect’ candidate to come along. Time is no longer on our side. We cannot wait to rebuild our lost reputation or to release the imprisoned people from our southern border. We cannot wait to save our planet from an extinction event. Nor can we allow deceivers like Mitch McConnell, former tobacco lobbyist (and yes after we knew smoking was bad for us), to persuade us otherwise. We should not be in the process of seeing how many charges can fit inside a single impeachment trial. We should have a president with personal integrity, who respects the law, not exploits loopholes for personal gain. We should not be losing elections to a party whose pro-life platform stops at the womb. Our platform is pro-life from the moment we are born and onwards. Free healthcare for all! Free, common-core education; take guns out of the hands of criminals; empower women to make decisions about their own bodies, reduce pollution so we can breathe clean and have clean water to drink. 

Winning on this platform should not only be doable and necessary, but easy. It is the pinnacle of consistency and morality.  Instead of dreading 2020, let us make it the year when America reclaims its role of leadership throughout the world in the way we treat our citizens and our natural world rather than stockpiling weapons in fear. This is our only world, let’s not squander it through meaningless political odium.