Overtures to Trump Voters
Pramila Jayapal says “we must pay attention to why more than 74 million people voted to reelect Trump” [“Biden’s First 100 Days: Congress,” Jan. 11/18]. Trump sponsored huge tax cuts for the rich, attempted to gut the Affordable Care Act, denied the existence of climate change, appointed three very conservative Supreme Court justices, savagely disparaged the Black Lives Matter movement, and brought white supremacy back into the political mainstream. His presidency was a rejection of virtually every value that Representative Jayapal advocates. Democrats need to face up to the fact that a progressive agenda does not pay attention to Trump voters. We should not make overtures to them at all if they are going to be empty ones.
Paging the Surgeon General
Gregg Gonsalves did not mention in “A New Deal for Public Health” that the US surgeon general has been MIA throughout the Covid-19 pandemic [Jan. 11/18]. Once the head of a mighty corps, as when polio was eradicated, today the surgeon general is apparently a purely symbolic position. We seem to be depending mainly on CVS and Walgreens to carry out the massive vaccination program we currently need.
I find Joanna Wuest’s article on mutual aid puzzling yet illustrative [“Mutual Aid Can’t Do It Alone,” Dec. 28, 2020/Jan. 4, 2021]. Puzzling because I always saw progressive government as an expression of mutual aid. In the United States, we had a progressive-minded government for only a few decades, maybe from Franklin Roosevelt through Richard Nixon. In the meantime, we must do for ourselves. The suggestion that time spent helping your neighbors would be better spent lobbying for a more progressive government is in opposition to lived experience.
Seeing the Work
Re “Now the Real Work Begins” by Jane McAlevey [Nov. 30/Dec. 7, 2020]: While I fully agree with the article about the need to radically transform the Democratic Party, the title and cover picture of Rosie the Riveter, the iconic character who worked in a weapons factory, occlude all the work that women have been doing forever—raising children, taking care of people’s everyday needs, and caring for the sick—which has now resulted in much loss of life for those same women to Covid-19.
I will really miss Eric Alterman’s column [“The Liberal Media,” Jan. 11/18]. I am a longtime subscriber in the UK. His column was the first I would read to find out the latest on the US media.