By Irving Vinger M.D.
Lately each federal election has felt like the election of our lifetime and this one really is. On November 3rd, 2020, American citizens will exercise their right and responsibility by casting their votes in person or by mail-in ballots if we still have a functioning public postal ser-vice. Their vote will decide the President and Vice President and the Congress that will lead our federal government into the future.What is the state of our federal government? If one had to choose one word to describe it, it is chaotic. Chaos can be defined as complete disorder and confusion. Presently our world is being challenged by a virus that since January 2020 has killed over seven hundred thousand (771,000) people worldwide. The United States of America has four (4) per cent of the world’s population and yet we have killed over twenty (22) per cent of its people. Yes, we have allowed the killing of now over one hundred and seventy (170,000) Ameri-cans. That is chaos. When the oft described richest nation in the world is unable to organize adequate num-bers of tests, contact tracers and personal protective equipment (PPE) that will protect its people, that is cha-os. When the “United” States of America after seven months of being under attack by Covid-19 still has no united federal strategy to help all our people in our fifty states and territories, that is chaos. We had the fore-most center in the world for investigating and planning for infectious disease control, the Centers for Disease Control. When the guidelines, for opening our econo-mies, schools, our entertainment activities and our businesses, from the CDC are disregarded and dis-missed by most of our States and disrespected by our President and his administration, that is chaos.This chaos in our country unfortunately is not limited to our country’s response to this Pandemic. It affects eve-ry aspect of every American’s life and it did not just begin with the present Pandemic. It affects our educa-tional systems, our health care, our transportation sys-tem, our infrastructure, our jobs, our businesses, our judicial system, and our elections. Is this chaos a result of random circumstances which cannot be prevented and for which there are no easy or even difficult solu-tions? Is this chaos a result of many levels of incompe-tence in both our public and private sectors and at the leadership of our State and Federal governments? Is this chaos the objective of a purposeful strategy to un-dermine and destroy the institutions that are the funda-mental underpinnings of our democratic society and way of life?It might be satisfying to many of us to feel and believe that our President, Donald Trump, and his enablers in the Republican Party especially now in the U.S. Senate are the prime and sole cause of this chaos because of their collective incompetence and their disdain for the work of governing. One might be willing to believe that this is an outgrowth of the Republican attitude that gov-ernment is the problem and not the solution. Certainly, one can draw a decline in many of our democratic insti-tutions from the early 1980’s with economic policies that initiated income inequality and have perpetuated it with the growth of financial institutions including credit card companies that became too big to fail but failed the majority of our people. According to the World Pris-on Population List (2015) there were 10.35 million peo-ple in penal institutions worldwide and although we have only 4.4 per cent of the world population, we had 21 per cent of the world’s prisoners, 2,173,800. Our incarceration rate is six times the next closest country. By any stretch of the imagination one must conclude that we are failing our people. Thus, the United States of America had major problems before we elected our President, Donald Trump, in 2016. It is also true, that under his administration, the vast majority of Americans have lived with more complete disorder and confusion. You do not have to accept as proof the words of Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, senior advisers, that this chaos is purposeful. Measure its objective by the acts of this President. When he has most of his cabinet as acting heads of their departments not having the confir-mation process to assure their qualifications, what is his purpose? For three and one half years, President Trump and his Republican congressional enablers have worked diligently to take away health care protec-tions from Americans with pre-existing conditions. These protections had been provided to them by the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010 by Congress and the Obama administration. At the same time, he has not presented an alternative health plan which he had promised. What is the purpose of this behavior if not chaos? What are his acts against legal immigrants, acts against our environment, acts against constitution-ally required congressional oversight, acts against the rule of law, acts against our allies in NATO, acts in sup-port of foreign dictators, acts for the illegal use of our active military to build border walls and to attack peace-ful protests by Americans? They can be nothing but to achieve the purpose of creating chaos and destroying our democratic institutions.The American people have a clear choice in the 2020 general election. Continue this chaos and destroy what is left of the values and the fabric of what was an amaz-ingly successful democratic nation. The preferred choice is to put an end to this craziness and place our formerly great country, albeit with some significant problems, on the path to restore its democratic institu-tions. With your vote for Democrats Biden-Harris at the top of the ticket and for Democrats for the House and Senate and for every State and Local elected office, we can restart the building of the United States of America into the democratic country that achieves the constitu-tional potential of all its people.