Now that former VP Joe Biden has (unofficially) won the election, there are a lot of cries about healing America.
I believe they are using the wrong term. Healing generally means returning something to its previous state. That is not a good idea. Before the election we had COVID raging, as we do now. Before the election we had increased overt racism, threatened violence from right wing groups, we had voter suppression, gerrymandering, and corruption of one type or another in government at virtually every level, local, state, and federal.
Before the election there was no where in America where a minimum wage job could provide enough money to rent a two bedroom apartment without some kind of financial help from a social program. Before the election schools were underfunded and teachers underpaid. Before the election many people had stopped trusting the police, even the ones who had done nothing themselves to lose trust.
Before the election science was being ignored in favor of myth, and misinformation, and outright lies. Before the election civility, and decency, and class had been basically lost in government, and in general society. Before the election people were willing to sell out their morals for money.
Before the election global warming was basically being ignored. Big money oil, and gas, and coal were continuing to destroy the air, water, and planet with the collusion of people they were paying, allegedly including some members of the Ohio Congress.
Before the election issues like homelessness and hunger were being ignored by most Americans. Before the election more people were more concerned about who won a football game than how many people did not have health care and might die from that lack.
Before the election people could carry rifles and other long guns to the grocery store to show people how powerful they are so no one will mess with them by trying to grab the best rutabaga in the bin that they wanted.
Before the election intellectuals were viewed as dangerous snobs. Before the election many television shows required no brain cell engagement at all, in some cases having a brain cell would preclude watching them at all.
Before the election the kind of house you had, or the kind of car you drove, or the size of the diamond in your ring bought you more respect than being a decent human being and working for the good of all rather than just yourself and your family.
Before the election America was a place where the myth that you could succeed with hard work ignored the fact that some of the people working the hardest have the least. Before the election most Americans did not care about their fellow Americans unless they were just like them.
You can say we need to heal if you like. I say we need to change, we need to improve, we need to revisit the tenets the country was founded upon but has never accomplished, has never come close to obtaining. A country where the only barriers to a good life are in your own vision and degree of effort. Until we get there we need to work, reform, and re-frame, not heal.
We are not ill, we are broken. What we need is to be fixed.
Cookie Newsom is a Greene County resident and columnist.