As a mother and an activist, here’s what I’ve concluded as 2018 begins: It’s getting harder and harder to think about the future—at least in that soaring Whitney Houston fashion. You know the song: “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way…” These days, doesn’t it sound quaint and of another age?
The truth is I get breathless and sweaty thinking about what life will be like for my kids—3-year-old Madeline, 5-year-old Seamus, and 11-year-old Rosena. I can’t stop thinking about it either. I can’t stop thinking that they won’t be guaranteed clean air or clean water, that they won’t have a real health-care system to support them in bad times, even if they pay through the nose in super high taxes. They may not have functional infrastructure, even if President Trump succeeds in building a huge gilded wall on our southern border (and who knows where else). The social safety net —Medicare, Medicaid, and state assistance of various sorts—could be long gone and the sorts of nonprofit groups that try to fill all breaches a thing of the past. If they lose their jobs or get sick or are injured, what in the world will they have to fall back on, or will they even have jobs to begin with?