As we enter the final weeks of the 2020 election year, many citizens are biting their nails and sitting on the edge of their seats in awe and suspense especially as it relates to the presidential race, uncertain about the outcome of the race. For many citizens, the result of this election is expected to be a political upset, a thriller that will dwarf the “who shot JR” finale in the weekly sitcom Dallas. The 2020 election has been a super charged event inundated with false and misleading information, an election that’s been led by greed, and an uncontrollable appetite to succeed, one filled with hunger and thirst to hold on to power. It is an election that portrays a prediction of things to come.
The last four years and this election year have been like none that citizens have seen or experienced before. America is reeling and rocking from the devastation of an unseen, out of control, deadly enemy called COVID 19 which has already killed over 225,000 citizens. COVID 19 is now on the uptick again, resurging and regaining more strength each day as citizens take it for granted by not following the recommended health guidelines of simply wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. While citizens may claim that they are finished with COVID 19, the virus is not finished with them. Adding to the nation’s problems is a besiege of raging wildfires in the west that have consumed millions of acres of land and property, flattening, and destroying small towns in western states. More problems are mounting because there is evidence of election interference by foreign nations. Racial unrest and tension is gripping and hovering over the nation like the plagues that descended upon Egypt in Biblical times. Racial injustice and inequality is a sin that is destroying the fabric and the very essence of the republic, a sin that it must confess and finally get on with the business of ensuring justice and fair treatment to all citizens.
The past few months of political campaigning and jockeying among candidates have put the public on a roller coaster ride. The campaigns have been quite colorful, with candidates pulling out all the stops in an effort to win the race. At the local level smear tactics are being levied against opponents. Some campaigns, at both the national and local levels, have become downright ugly and nasty. Candidates have no shame when it comes to murdering and burying their opponents politically. There are no limits to what politicians will say, do, or go to in order to remain in power or win an election. Many citizens are baffled and still trying to make sense of President Trump’s rhetoric “suburban women won’t you please like me; I saved your damn neighborhoods.” The question is what did he save them from? Does he mean that he saved them from the poor, unemployed, hungry, and forgotten people of the nation entering their living spaces?
Poor people are hurting, hungry, and suffering because of an economic meltdown, none to their doing. Food lines across the nation are expanding each day. The FBI has uncovered a terrorist plot orchestrated by vigilantes to kidnap, and kill governors and take over local governments. These hate groups are being told to stand down and stand by. There are vivid attempts to suppress voter participation, flaming and fanning efforts to pack the US Supreme Court and federal courts with hundreds of young, politically conservative Justices whose directive is to scale back years of progress and to rule in favor of cases that will make America great for the elite, major corporations and Wallstreet Because of the atmosphere and climate in which the nation finds itself, citizens have been heard to remark, “I don’t know my country anymore.” Citizens are asking a Biblical question, is there no balm in Gilead to heal a sin sick nation. Citizens are stunned at the lack of a national response to COVID 19 and the constant wrangling to demean and denounce the health experts, statements flowing from the lips and mouth of the President. “I could care less; people are tired of hearing Fauci”. What citizens are tired of hearing is that they are losing loved ones every single day. These kinds of statements and misinformation have led people to falsely believe that they do not have to subscribe to the national guidelines so we choose to go it our way! How shameful!! There are more than 71,000 reported cases of infections being reported every day and thousands of deaths daily. Please adhere to the safety guidelines established and recommended by the scientists–wear a mask and practice social distancing.
Again, please go out and vote on November 3rd. Your vote will help to determine the future direction of the nation.
Dr. Herbert Simmons, Jr. is an Associate Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, Grambling State University, former President, Grambling State University Faculty Senate and former Chair, Department of Consumer Education and Resource Management, Howard University, Washington, D.C.