With so many negative events in our lives these days, it’s not easy to sort through it all and organize it into some kind of logical treatise.  Especially when one of my advanced age whose utterances can bring a dismissal like, “Oh, don’t bother with what she has to say, old people are out of the loop and grouchy.”  And that would be true. But as I talk with younger folk, adult grandkids, and the like, I’m finding that my take on things isn’t so different from theirs; I just have more pent up frustration and more history in my memory banks. (Like I can remember the great depression of the 30’s and WWII rationing.  I’ll be you can’t!)

So, I’d like to begin by apologizing to everyone younger than I for not taking better care of the planet, the country, the government, and therefore the future.  Pollsters say that old people want VP Biden to run for president next year. Well, I’m older than most people and I don’t agree. I think Biden and Sanders have had their chance and didn’t do much better than I did in looking out for the future.  They can step aside now and help some body younger beat the Orange Clown in the White House, fix the present as best they can, and plan the future! With their sense of history and political experience those two old guys could play a vital role in assuring that two of the younger candidates win the oval office and that they tackle the national and global problems with alacrity.  They could also promote candidates for the House and Senate to insure that needed legislation can be enacted.  

How to pick the two younger candidates from such a large field? Listen carefully to  each of their plans and evaluate their experience in fulfilling their current obligations. 

I’m sure that we’ll hear lots about jobs and the economy during the political campaign. That’s important, of course, but won’t count for much if we can’t get control over the climate! If we continue to abuse our planet, we human beings may well become extinct in less than 200 years.  Yes, you read that right. Extinct. Gone. Forever. With oceans warming and plastics crowding out sea life, how long do you think we could survive? With various land creatures becoming extinct every week, how long can we last without worms to till the soil, or bees and butterflies to pollinate blooms that produce our food? 

How long can we live with frequent, fierce storms that destroy everything in sight?   We need to take drastic steps now to avoid disaster! Science tells us that in just a couple more years it will be too late and nothing can be done.  We must elect candidates who can not only win, but also candidates who will make it their number 1 priority to save the planet. Nothing else matters if the planet’s inhabitants succumb. 

Executing plans that have the prospect of changing our behavior and the behavior of people across the planet will not be popular.  People don’t like change, but change is required. People don’t like having to do without things that are convenient, but they will have to do without some things in order to survive.  It isn’t going to be easy for anyone, but it will be extremely difficult and wearing for leadership that undertakes the challenge. If we can’t recognize leaders who would be up to the task, we are all doomed, I think.  (Well, not me. I can’t live long enough to endure the hardships that will come to those who have 40 or 50 years or more in front of them.) This is serious business, folks. Time is running out.

Of course the next administration will have to also enact legislation that will make medical care more accessible and improve our educational system.  I suppose it’s too much to ask that steps be taken to end wars. But might political leaders see what can 

be done to keep US citizens and children from being killed by guns?  It really isn’t reasonable to allow so many people to be mowed down by deranged men shooting assault rifles.  There are solutions. New Zealand is saving its citizens! Why can’t we?

The political season is upon us.  Everything is at stake. Everything.  Our very lives are on the line! It’s time to pay attention to what the candidates propose, make choices about who has the best chance to win, and who will have the determination, skill, and energy to save the planet.  Then get involved with that candidate’s effort to make sure that our government takes the necessary steps from 2021 onward to insure your future and that of your progeny. It’s a matter of life and death, folks. Your life!


Elaine Parmenter