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Friday, February 19, 2016

While Listening to Hamilton: my questions for today's politicians

“Death does not discriminate between the sinners and the saints; it takes and it takes and it takes.” Hamilton, the musical.

Dear Politicians, 

I get it, your hideous hair makes for excellent meme and any media exposure is still exposure. Fighting over who speaks better Spanish to get the Latino vote makes for good sound bites. And no one’s going to hold you accountable for lying when the masses don’t do the hard work of fact checking. And for those of us who do, it’s a matter of discerning whose pants are up in flames and whose are just sort of smoldering.

But I’m tired of all that. Here’s what I want to hear from the presidential wanna-be’s. 

I want to understand why, as a first world country, as the leader of the global world, we don’t have clean drinking water in Michigan. I want laws and accountability put in place to remedy this. I want the best healthcare for townsfolk (and children) dying of lead poisoning and legionnaires disease at the expense of their local government. 

“Death does not discriminate between the sinners and the saints; it takes and it takes and it takes.” But we discriminate. All Americans deserve clean water.

I want to know the game plan for pro-actively (too late for pre-emptively) eliminating our global carbon footprint, I want to know what geniuses you’ll put on an innovation committee who will work to restore the earth to a healthy balance before our drills, car emissions, and plastic kills it. We need NASA-like brilliance and speed applied to counteract climate change. Before we lose all the polar bears and New York City.

“Death does not discriminate between the sinners and the saints; it takes and it takes and it takes.” And it’s all our fault. 

I want to hear about the program you will implement into our judicial system so that police men and women learn about equality vs racism/sexism/homophobia. I want their job descriptions to include exhibited compassion through community service - we need to trust our cops again, and we need to believe they value human life. I want to know how you will stop them from targeting black boys.

“Death does not discriminate between the sinners and the saints; it takes and it takes and it takes.” The good guys are killing us.

I want to hear that you love women. Not on a sexual, subjective level, but on a respectful, level playing field. I want laws requiring equal pay for women. I want healthcare (including birth control) to be required for all companies employing women regardless of religious beliefs (churches don’t pay taxes, people do). I want safe sex taught in schools alongside abstinence. I want required classes for pre-teen and teenage boys teaching them to value women, exhibit healthy control their sexuality, and counteract America’s disgusting rape culture.

“Death does not discriminate between the sinners and the saints; it takes and it takes and it takes.” Our sons are raping our daughters and it’s going up on youtube. 

I want to know what your game plan is for dealing with international health threats. The Zika Virus is terrifying. And if we can’t even be nice to blacks, women and gays, can you imagine how our culture will treat people who look like they stepped out of the Beetlejuice movie? What scientists (who haven’t been assigned to climate control per my earlier question) are being assigned to deal with health crises and how will you fund their research? My god, if the Pope okayed contraceptive for Catholics to protect them from the virus, we need to take action!

“Death does not discriminate between the sinners and the saints; it takes and it takes and it takes.” And it’s taking place in our wombs.

Speaking of health threats: guns. Dear America, Obama is not coming to your house with a gun. You’re good. Dear politicians, let Americans keep their guns for hunting (even though I personally don’t like hunting), but machine guns? Really? Again, why does a global super power who has so many guns related deaths per year do so little to stop them? How will you be different? Nice words and prayer won’t fix this tragedy. Policy will. 

“Death does not discriminate between the sinners and the saints; it takes and it takes and it takes.” Guns (in the hands of toddlers, kids, teens, adults, even monkeys) kill people. Period.

One more thing that kills people: cancer. I fucking hate it. Everyone does. What doctors, researchers and scientists will you put on the Destroy Cancer Committee? America want answers. We want peace. We want freedom from this horrible disease.

“Death does not discriminate between the sinners and the saints; it takes and it takes and it takes.” And it takes. Jane Nethercut. And it takes. Jeanie Spencer. And it takes. Evelyn Broadway. And it tries to take. Bethany Chance. And it tries to take. Rob Matney. And it tries to take. Frank Drew. And it tries to take. Janet Keesee. And it tries to take…

These are just a few of the questions I have.  And I’m sure a lot of Americans have the same. And some have other concerns I haven’t even mentioned.

But the truth is, as Aaron Burr concludes by singing in the musical, Hamilton, 
“I should have known
The world was wide enough for both Hamilton and me.”

And Hilary and Cruz and Bernie and Rubio…

The world is wide enough for our diversity. Is each of these candidates a great choice? Probably not. But what I (and I hope America) wants is to hear from our politicians is how you will make us better. Not how much you hate each other.


America, we can face these terrifying issues, diseases and “isms”, together. Holding hands, brainstorming, and using innovation and creativity, we can make our world better. We can make our stories better. Because “death does not discriminate between the sinners and the saints; it takes and it takes and it takes.” But we’re a strong people. And we will take America back.

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