By David T. Valentin
With the Politico leak of the supposed Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe V. Wade, it seems all but inevitable that many other Supreme Court decisions will be overturned in the following years. Two steps forward and two steps backwards it seems.
In the past hours, I’ve been thinking about the state of The United States and whether its government has done any investment into its future. Or, at least, a future worth living in.
Government turns to its young voters and tells us that we are fighting for the soul of the nation and that this election is the one that will make our break the country—that this is the election that will usher us into a new era of progressive politics that will better the material wealth of its people. And yet, every promise given is a promise failed and all while doing mental gymnastics to justify why our elected officials cannot provide to us what they promised even asking us for what the younger generations—and the future generations—might need to succeed.
We tell our elected officials to give us livable wages, affordable housing, improvement on our infrastructure and a greener future. And yet, during the pandemic wages remained stagnant, the government gave us $2,000 in aid after two years into the pandemic. And yet, housing prices continue to soar all across the country. And yet, our infrastructure continues to deteriorate and oil drilling permits increase.
If we cannot give universal healthcare to our citizens during a pandemic, when can we then? If we cannot promise our citizens a basic human right like housing now, when can we then? If we cannot promise a livable Earth for future generations now, well, we won’t ever be able to promise it later.
Older generations stand around astounded at the lack of patriotism in younger generations, asking us “Why can’t you be proud of your country?” I ask them then, “When will you give us something to be proud of?”
If our politics and government cannot protect the most vulnerable of our communities, then what the hell is the point of all this? What the hell is the point of upholding these systems if we cannot benefit from them, protect each other with them? That, in the end, by the stroke of a pen, can just... disappear. What faith should we have in our government if our sense of safety with the protections they promise to us are so fleeting and temporal?
If five justices of the Supreme Court can suddenly wipe away decades of popular public policies in a matter of seconds, how then can anyone look future generations in the eyes and tell them to vote because their voice, their vote, actually matters after only five people, with proper majority vote, can take away decades of protection?
Our future and all these systems are not sustainable, unless the point of these systems, these policies, are to keep us in a perpetual state of disarray and bickering. In that case, I applaud those in power because they’ve done a great job at doing just that—keeping us on a treadmill of the same constant cultural wars to distract us from the reality that our material wealth is not improving, that the state of our institutions is in decline, and our faith in these institutions is wearing thin.