The Man Who Sits in the Oval Office
This may be the most important election of our lives. Democracy, human rights, and workers’ rights are threatened, and even our health is on the line.
Every day seems to bring a new reveal about the man who sits in the Oval Office. On Monday, September 24th, we read about his taxes – long promised information that has been secretly guarded by him and his advisors. What did we learn?
You have, in all probability, earned less and paid more than the man who wants to sit in the Oval Office not just for four more years, but longer. You probably do not spend, and then deduct from your taxes, tens of thousands of dollars on your hair. And in all likelihood you did not pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to a family member already on your payroll in what looks to all the world like a blatant attempt to avoid paying gift taxes.
Two weeks ago, a giant on the United States Supreme Court died. She fought for gender rights, worker rights, and human rights. But before even one day had passed after her death, the man who sits in the Oval Office vowed to push through a replacement whose writings reveal she would vote against the Affordable Care Act, against workers’ rights, and against a woman’s right to choose.
Then there is COVID. The man who sits in the Oval Office recently revealed that he knew about the disease months before he acknowledged it to the American people. He played it down, he says, because he did not want to “panic” you. He pressured the executive branch of government to downplay the risks to our parents and seniors, our children and students, our neighbors and communities. Millions of Americans have contracted the disease. More than 209,000 people right here in America have already died, and the disease is surging again.
On Thursday October 1st, we learned that the president has COVID, that his some of key staff have COVID, and that he continued to go out in public when he should have been quarantined. On Friday, he was moved to Walter Reed Hospital where he was treated, not for mild symptoms of COVID, but for severe illness. On Sunday, October 4th he got into his armored car and was driven around the hospital to wave to his supporters.
What have we learned? The man in the Oval Office continues to flout rules of medical safety, to break quarantine, and to endanger the health and lives of others. And, at the same time, he tells us – flat out – that he continues his assault on the Affordable Care Act, on Medicaid, and even on Medicare and Social Security.
Democracy is in the crosshairs of a militia-stoked response to the election. The man who sits in the Oval Office used the National Guard in Washington, DC to clear peaceful protesters so that he could walk across the street and wave a Bible in the air, in front of a church he does not attend. The threat of the continued use of force against our citizens hangs heavy, and explicitly, in his tweet screams. We are not safe under his presidency, and there is historic precedent to be very, very scared about the future of our democracy.
We do not yet have a “perfect union” as envisioned in the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America. There is much work still to do with our communities under siege from health, economic and racial disparities, and with our democracy on the line. Despite the presence of COVID and despite clear attempts at voter intimidation, it is up to us to exercise the most significant right we have – to cast our ballot – between now and the 3rd of November.
In the face of these great challenges, we stand for workers, for children, seniors, families and communities. We stand for the rule of law and the rights of citizenship. We stand together for America’s future. Where do you stand?
Dr. Janice Gruendel
Stand Up for Workers - PAC