On January 6, 2021, egged on by the President of the United States of America, an insurrection took place at the US Capitol Building during the ratification of the 2020 Presidential election in favor of Joe Biden. Trump’s supporters, let in by some members of the Capitol Police, invaded the Capitol. They stormed the steps, broke out windows, destroyed artifacts, stole laptops and mail, potentially compromising national security, and literally wiped shit on the walls. Really??

The news is bombarded by these images and information. I don’t need to go into detail about everything that happened or is suggested will happen. I want to talk about how we go here. And while one could say it’s all Trump’s fault, and I will agree, a significant portion of it is, Trump is not the problem. Trump is a symptom of the problem.

The problem is, the United States is so afraid that someone will get something they didn’t earn, they didn’t deserve, that we actively fight against making life easy for anyone. We put up roadblocks to disability insurance, FMLA, sick leave; we intentionally make life hard for EVERYONE to ensure there are no freeloaders. But has this made our society better? No! I would say it most defiantly has not, indeed; it has made our lives miserable.

FMLA is where a family member can talk time off to attend to a sick child or family member. Yet, in order to use this, one must get documentation for a medical provider to confirm the employee is not a big fat liar. This puts an enormous burden on the medical provider and costs a significant amount of money to submit proof to ensure someone isn’t getting something for free. There are entire departments dedicated to completing paperwork for entities who are too afraid their employees or applicants are trying to take advantage of them and refuse to take anything at face value.

Think of all the time and money we spend to prevent the unlikely event that someone might get something they didn’t “deserve.” Why are we so worried about “owning” the other side? Why can’t we provide for all? Why do we expect everyone to share the same beliefs, overcome the same struggles, and work twice as hard as our parents to get anywhere in life?

We’ve become cogs in the corporate wheels. Union busters do everything they can to convince people that unions are not in their own best interest. They use the fact that you pay dues to the union which they believe is unfair; that you shouldn’t have to pay someone for the privilege of working. Yet, I am in a union. And the dues are nominal. I pay nothing in monthly premiums for health insurance because that is what my union negotiated. When I was married, we paid significantly more in monthly premiums to my ex’s federal employer for health insurance than I currently pay in union dues. Unions fight for rules to prevent employers from firing people on a whim. They fight for worker safety, they fight for us. This is why the powers that be want you to think unions are evil because they make sure those who do the work have a share of the profit and make a living wage.

2021 is a fresh start. Let’s hope we can push the darkness out of our political and societal landscape. Let’s lead with truth and justice rather than lies and intolerance. 2021 started with an insurrection, but let’s end it with peace.

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