Archive for November, 2016

How I’m feeling

I walked into the school where I’m interning and several children were crying. The staff looked subdued. The Hispanic cleaning crew wouldn’t make eye contact with me.

Many Christians model themselves after Jesus, a man who served lepers, prostitutes, and the outcasts of society. Now they support a billionaire who mocks disabled people because of a single-minded obsession with abortion and the supreme court.

I watched the election with a black friend who fears for her own safety, that cops will act with even more impunity. I have a Muslim neighbor who thinks she can’t visit her family in Egypt because she might not be allowed back home or worse.

I have family who supported Trump. I struggle identifying with them because I’m with everything under target by Trump. I’m with queers, Black Lives Matter, Muslims, people who rely on government programs (because we all do, in one way or another), Mexicans, and radical feminists.

I’m not going to say this is like Germany in the 1930s because I can’t even consider that a possibility, but it’s a helluva lot like Germany in the 1920s when a man told a country: you’re not as great as you used to be and it’s their fault.

No checks and balances. Republicans have the senate, the house, and a majority of state governors. Get ready for Paul Ryan to slash and burn programs, replacing public schools with for-profit ventures that will fail to cultivate critical thinking.

Some people compare Trump to Andrew Jackson as if that were a good thing. Check out the Indian Removal Act  and tell me it’s a good thing.

Today was a victory for Corrections Corporation of America, a business that makes money putting people in cages.

Pence is even scarier than Trump. This is the man that tried to legalize discrimination against the LGBTQ community (to which I’m a part, by the way) and signed a law requiring funerals for fetuses. 

In more ways than one, this was a huge blow to the field of mental health.

White people, white men especially, got it good. But they feel threatened and that they don’t got it as good as they used to. These people who for years demanded that others take responsibility now display no responsibility themselves.

I spit on white supremacy. I commit to doing everything I can to dismantle my own privilege.

Fox News has poisoned the well of too many minds with fear, hatred, and misinformation. They have conditioned millions of otherwise good people to react with fear and hate when they hear the words “Benghazi” or “Islam.”

My generation is going to have to clean up this mess. This is beyond partisan politics.

The worst part is everything Trump has said and done seems vindicated. I assure you that me and people like me will never let that be the case. I’m feeling sad and motivated as hell.

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Election Day! (An argument for Clinton based on one issue, treatment for drug abuse)

We all know who is at the top of the ballot. But if you’re looking for information about who is running in your more local contests, visit ballotready.org. It’s a really neat website. Type in your address and see everything from state races to appellate judges. Who knew 9 people were running for Cook County Water Reclamation District Commissioner!?

Now back to the top of ballot. I early voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton weeks ago. If you haven’t voted yet, I really hope you vote for her, too. Especially if you’re my family in Wisconsin, a swing state. I could belabor every reason why I think it’s absolutely imperative to vote Democrat, but instead I’m going to focus on one issue that is important to me. Substance abuse. 

Trump alluded to his stance during the speech in which he announced his candidacy. He stated that Mexico is sending “drug dealers” to America. He expanded upon his position since then, arguing that the epidemic of fatal heroin overdoses is due to drugs poring over the southern border.

For those of you who know me, you know I know this topic. And let me state unequivocally: Trump is absolutely wrong.

Data suggests that 4 out 5 people addicted to heroin got started with prescription drugs prescribed by doctors. That means Trump is right if and only if 100% of doctors came illegally from Mexico, which we know isn’t true.

What is Hillary’s stance on drug abuse? It’s not perfect, but it’s a hell of a lot more grounded in reality.

On her campaign website, she uses the language of addiction being “a disease.” Calling drug misuse a medical disease instead of a moral failing or criminal problem is a huge step from the dark ages, but it is still not as progressive as I would like. We should drop the language of “disease” and describe problematic substance use as a challenge fueled by biological, psychological, and social factors (what mental health professionals call the bio-psycho-social approach). This is a huge topic for another day, but suffice it to say that this means drugs aren’t automatically addictive; according to research, drugs are more likely to be addictive when people are also struggling with isolation, other mental health challenges, financial deprivation, situational stressors, and/or other psycho-social issues. Therefore, it shouldn’t be called a “disease” as that’s too reductionist.

But that’s splitting hairs! And that aside, Clinton’s website mentions naloxone, the medication that REVERSES opiate overdoses. As I’ve previously written, naloxone is fucking important. The Chicago Recovery Alliance, an organization I volunteer for, saved almost 6,000 lives in 2014 thanks to Naloxone.

Did Trump mention naloxone on his website? No, he repeated his complaints about Mexico. 

Now, abstract this one problem- drug abuse- to every other issue in this campaign. Trump is uniquely uninformed, racist, and unhelpful for those of us trying to address serious, complex problems with serious, complex solutions. Clinton is far from perfect, and far ahead of Trump.

Hillary Clinton is imperfect, but leaning in the right direction. It’s not just the lesser of two evils. It’s a B+ compared to an F.

And if the emails or Benghazi are still bothering you, just forget it. These pale in comparison to someone who won’t release his tax returns, is on trial for fraud, and has been involved in nearly 3,500 lawsuits. 

 

I hope everyone puts country over party (or allegiance to Bernie) and votes for Hillary Clinton. Whatever the outcome, we have a lot of rebuilding to do.

 

 

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