So let’s talk about some issues here in Missoula, Montana, the US and around the world.
I’d like to start by pointing out that’s it’s now been 46 days since the latest Women’s March.
That’s over six weeks ago.
I’m sorry…but what’s changed since then?
When I went down to the march here in Missoula, for instance, Indian issues were a big talking point.
But in the six weeks since those Indians got up on stage and told of their plight and how bad Indian women are treated and the poverty they have to endure…pray tell, what’s changed?
I’d say nothing.
But then…what were the goals of the women marchers? I asked this a lot, and got a lot of blowback because of it. Mostly, when asked what they were hoping to accomplish, the women I talked to seemed to think I should already know and they got offended and defensive when I said I didn’t and kept asking them.
From what I’ve read, the main goal was to keep up the momentum from last year’s march while also getting people to vote this November.
Boy…about all I can say is good luck to that.
On a related topic, it’s now been 20 days since the most recent Florida school shooting.
Just about three weeks ago.
And what change has this situation brought about?
From what I can tell, the following:
- Two companies decided to raise the age to buy a gun to 21, while one stopped selling AR-15s
- Lots of D.C. politicians have talked a lot about gun control while doing little more
- The NRA has lost a lot of corporate sponsors while seeing a renewed level of commitment from NRA members
- Trump said he’d ban bump stocks, but has done little more than that
- Gun control groups have seen drastic increases in donations
- Many people are talking about arming teachers, and whether that should be done or not
- And senators in the Florida Legislature voted to increase the gun purchase age to 21, ban bump stocks, and increase waiting times for gun purchases…though whether this will pass the Florida House is another question.
So what we see here is a lot of talk from our politicians, some action on the part of private business, and perhaps an inkling of action from just one of fifty states.
20 days, and with each passing day the drive-by media will forget, as will you. I mean…when was the last time you thought about Trump’s ‘shithole’ comments?
Americans have short memories. I think the new-found activism of those Florida high school students will prove short-lived as well.
Come November, gun control won’t even be an issue that’s discussed anymore.
Conclusion – 244 Days
That’s how long we’ve got until November 6…Election Day.
Yep, 244 days.
Sounds like a lot, but it’ll go by quick. It’s already about 90 days until the primaries.
Now, I bring this up because the first two groups mentioned – women’s marchers and high school kids that want gun control – are both focused on getting substantive change for their cause via the ballot box.
How successful will they be?
I don’t think they’ll be successful at all.
- For one thing, they don’t have a large organizational capacity, even with the non-profits and various ‘cause-groups’ that have latched onto them.
- Next, without that organizational backing they just don’t have the ability to raise large sums of money…and since we know large sums of money are the only language that politicians understand, I don’t see them making inroads against the PACs.
- Then, with little organization and hardly any money, keeping contact with your various ‘members’ becomes tough. Yeah, there’s Facebook…but we already know that Russians plan to hack the hell out of that platform to influence the 2018 elections.
- Finally, most Americans just don’t care.
Oh…they’ll say they care, but actions speak otherwise. While nearly everyone in this country will pay lip service to women marchers and school shooting victims, the truth is that we’re too damn focused on the problems in our own lives.
Whether it’s paying the rent or mortgage, finding the money for that car payment or student loan debt, or even just putting enough food on the table to get through the month without a trip to the food bank, many, many Americans have huge and glaring issues in their own lives.
Rarely are these issues discussed in any meaningful way, either by our bought-and-paid-for politicians or the drive-by media that makes so much advertising money from those politicians every two years.
Perhaps some of these groups, or even a not-so-crooked politician, might change all this.
I’m not real confident, however.
We see a lot in the news, there’s usually a big hoopla over it, and then a few days or weeks later it dies down and we move on.
We still have the better part of a year to move on, and by the time November rolls around the issues that ‘get us up in arms’ today will be so far in the rearview mirror that they won’t even be issues anymore.
Perhaps that’s an issue we should start to - you guessed it - discuss.