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What Would Nellis Say?

The Advent of 2024 - January 2024

The Advent of 2024


With the advent of 2024, the American people are confronted with making choices about who we’ve become and who we want to be. It is the responsibility of every citizen to understand the perils and challenges we face before casting ballots in November. Every vote will be tallied to determine whether we continue with this grand experiment in democracy or accept the restrictions and divisions that have become the hallmarks of Republican authoritarianism.


Looking back on all that has transpired since the elections of 2020, each party has adopted distinct and completely opposite philosophies. The right wants to tell you what you can’t do and the left intends to protect your right to be who you are. 


Despite inheriting a nation that was shut down by the Covid 19 epidemic that killed more than a million of our citizens, crippled the economy, and expanded the divisions in our society, great strides were made during the first two years of the Biden administration.


Recovering from the economic effects of the pandemic, inflation is now below 3%, unemployment is at a fifty-year low, wages are increasing faster than inflation, the FED has indicated that they will begin cutting interest rates, and real GDP increased by 4.9% last quarter. Republicans are complaining that country is suffering “terrible” financial conditions but the facts prove that there was never a point under the Trump administration when the national economy had this vibrancy or momentum.


To pull the economy out of Trump’s slump, The American Rescue Plan provided supplemental payments to families, the unemployed, child tax credits, small business loans, and grants for state educational agencies. The bi-partisan Infrastructure Bill will provide $1 trillion over the next decade to repair long-neglected roads, bridges, railways, and airports, bring high-speed internet to rural communities, and improve our dilapidated power grid.


The Inflation Reduction Act will reduce greenhouse emissions, promote clean energy technologies, fund the modernization of aging out-of-date technologies, hiring of new agents and desperately needed office personnel for the IRS (have you tried to call the IRS with questions about your taxes or refunds?) The bill put a $2000 annual cap on out of pocket prescription drug costs for seniors, forced the pharmaceutical companies to negotiate more reasonable prescription prices for those insured by Medicare, and lowered the cost of insulin from $350 to $35.00!


While Ted Cruz and his radical chums publicly celebrated the defeat of the initial vote on the Pact Act, the Democrats passed legislation to provide medical treatment for veterans returning from our Middle East conflicts, who are suffering from cancers and lung ailments resulting from exposure to the fumes inhaled from equipment being incinerated in firepits.


That legislation also provided pardons for federal prisoners convicted and incarcerated for minor marijuana possession, clamped down on Robocalls, tightened restrictions of Ghost Guns and stabilizers, expanded background checks for certain types of weapons, invested in violence prevention programs, established June 19th as the Juneteenth Nation Independence Day commemorating the last community to receive official notification of the end of slavery in Galveston, Texas in 1865…long after the Civil War ended.


In January of 2023, the Republicans reclaimed a slim majority in the House of Representatives and have stymied all legislation since they took the gavel, passing a mere 23 bills out of more than 475 proposed, wasted months arm-twisting Rep. McCarthy’s bid for the Speakership and initiated multiple groundless investigations into Joe Biden (at the behest of our former twice-impeached president Trump who is also facing 91 felony indictments for insurrection and fraud) which have exposed no facts to back up their allegations of corruption. 


They’ve made a lot of noise, made a show of ridiculous allegations, and failed to provide documents or witnesses to back up their claims. There can be no doubt that House Republican leaders’ priority is preventing any meaningful legislation from being debated, let alone put up for a vote. Using incompetency as a shield, the current caucus has no intention of governing or working for the citizens who elected them.


The white supremacist wing of the party has wrested control of legislatures, governorships, mayor’s offices, city councils, and school boards in many of the red states from Florida to Montana. Laws are being passed restricting the rights of women to receive an abortion for any reason (defining those medical procedures as “murder”), banning medical care for transgender people, gerrymandering polling district boundaries to sew up extremist super-majorities in legislative bodies, removing polling places in minority neighborhoods and purging non-white voters from the rolls. 


These same activists initiated a nationwide campaign to purge books that they claim to be objectionable (think stories about the minority experience or the LGBTQ community) from school libraries and rewriting our history textbooks to eliminate any references to the horrors committed by white men who instituted the slave trade that led to the Civil War, murdered millions during the Holocaust, and forced entire tribes of Eastern Native Americans to march across the Trail of Tears to reservations in the barren wastelands of the west.


The two major parties in this country have diverged in philosophies, methods, and goals. Today’s Republican Party is run by white nationalists who are intent  on returning our society to the 1850’s, when white men owned their women and their slaves and the wealthiest citizens lorded over everyone else. 


We are seeing the destruction of the equilibrium that has provided opportunity for the least among us to rise up to establish themselves as valued citizens in our society. The top five percent owns more than everything held by the other ninety-five percent. The power of the richest few to control the future of the nation has never been more evident or irrational and they have every intention of using their position to dominate the rest of society for the foreseeable future.


The Democrats offer progress in building and maintaining the foundations of our way of life for everyone, not just the gilded few. They give voice to our ambitions and our grievances. While they might squabble amongst themselves, they are willing to negotiate and comprise to find rational solutions to the problems that we face together as a people.


There are only two choices in the coming elections. There is no middle ground, no white knight on a charging stallion who is going to ride out of the sunset to save us from ourselves. We, all of us, have to make a decision about whether we are willing to give up a democracy that protects the rights and privileges we’ve come to expect and enjoy, the freedoms to be who we want to be, to love who we want to love, and to prosper through our own initiative…or to join together to fight for the future of the nation. 


The vote in November will determine whether we will continue as a diverse and united people or bow to extremism and subjugation. Take the time to become informed before you cast your vote because, if we as a people elect the wrong candidates, it could be generations before we have that opportunity again.

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