America is an esteemed and noble nation, filled with a splendid variety of unique citizens all sharing a love for this homeland. Yet now, more than ever, there is something bitter in the air of our country that I can’t quite name, but that I am confronted with daily. It comes in on a breeze of uncertainty and leaves a deep feeling of division. Perhaps it is the fostering of distrust of those that believe differently than us. The mental image comes to mind of us all pointing fingers at each other, our arms becoming comically entangled as we try to cast blame on the “others” for all of our present problems. Television, social media, and politicians spew hateful words and demonize those that are not on our “side”. We are shying away from each other. Separating “us” from “them”. I can feel the shifting soil beneath my feet.
We push each other away at a time when we need to be pulling one another in tightly for a comforting and encouraging embrace. We need to whisper in our neighbor’s ear, “These are tough times, dear neighbor. Let us remember that our similarities as humans run much deeper than our differences.” Don’t separate my America. Don’t make us enemies. We are capable of more than that. Our hearts can hold more than just red and blue.
Climate change knows no political orientation. It is a bipartisan issue. Rising seas will bury the political sign in your yard, whether it endorses a republican or democrat. Air pollution will kill thousands of both red and blue voters every year. Angry, violent storms that have intensified in strength and frequency will rip down houses of liberals and conservatives. We have more in common than these times have led us to believe. Most importantly, the stark reality that each and every one of our lives will reverberate with the deafening impact of climate change.
Tomorrow, millions of Americans will flock to the polls to vote in the midterm elections. Vote for who you wish, I am not writing to sway you one way or another. Instead, I write to encourage you to demand that your new state and local public servants address climate change. Because right now democracy, which is “of the people, by the people and for the people” is failing to protect the people from climate change. It is inadequately addressing the most pressing issue of our time. It is neglecting to preserve a pristine earth for our future citizens. Let us demand action. Write letters to your congressmen and women, call your mayor, and inform our president that climate change knows no boundaries.
Do not separate my America, because we are all in this battle against climate change together. We will be victorious, not with our backs against each other, but with our hands clasped tightly together.