“Hate and intolerance have dominated the narrative – this is a turning point”

“Hate and intolerance have dominated the narrative – this is a turning point”

In the run-up to the most important election for generations, we ask women voters how they feel about the choice that lies ahead. 

Jeanna Deswert is a midwife and reproductive rights advocate from Texas who has worked on refugee camps in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. She is currently volunteering in Ecuador.

The past four years have been a backslide, a complete political regression where hate, intolerance, and extremism have dominated the American narrative. The upcoming presidential election represents a critical turning point, not only for American citizens but for the United States’ position as a global leader. If the current president is re-elected, the political climate of the United States will continue to destabilize and reinforce ideas of intolerance. The neoliberal trends that have driven US politics in recent years will persist. I feel deeply concerned for the future of the United States and the magnitude of this election weighs heavily.  

The most important issues for American citizens in this election center on social justice, police reform, immigration, healthcare, economy, and national security. These issues remain divisive and have shifted in support of corporate and elitist interests instead of the interests of the individual or the people of America. Social justice is a concept that overarches many key policy issues yet is not adequately integrated into any of them.  

The most critical issue that needs to be addressed by the next president is restoring public trust in the system of governance. There is a significant lack of transparency with the current administration, and it does not represent or support the interests of the American people.  

There is no true reform happening that is in the interest or benefit of the people. It is almost exclusively for the benefit of the top 1% and deep pocketed corporations at the expense of the general public. The next president needs to restore faith in our government, increase transparency, and target the antiquated systems and institutions that keep American citizens in a position of disadvantage. All of this must be done through a framework of social justice. 

This year, mass protests erupted across the nation in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, calling for systemic change and police reform. The voices of the people were loud and clear yet nothing is changing. We are still fighting the fights we were led to believe ended with the Civil Rights movement. Nothing is changing and people are acutely aware of this.

The next presidential administration must acknowledge the institutional and systemic racism that pervades our government at the federal, state, and local levels. It must acknowledge the existing policies in place that reinforce racism. Government policy must be constructed through the lens of social justice in order to truly dismantle and restore our system of governance.  

I want more accountability to the American people and less toward the underlying corporatocracy. I want a President who is truly for the people, and one who will dismantle our fractured system of governance.

Read more from Jeanne on NADJA here. Her first book, about her experiences as a volunteer midwife on refugee camps is out now. Visit her website JD Midwifery for more information.

Featured image America vector created by pikisuperstar – www.freepik.com

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