When Roe v. Wade was overturned, I didn’t know about it for an hour. The verdict in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization came down around 10 a.m. EDT on a Friday in late June, while I was interviewing a woman who’d given birth in a hospital hallway because all of its delivery rooms were full. After we hung up, I had about 60 missed text messages from friends. I read the texts. Then the news. And then I went back to work. At the time, I was 24 weeks pregnant.
In the weeks since, I’ve found myself dwelling not on the immediate effects of the decision and what it means for my 2-year-old daughter’s future or even my own pregnancy, but on all the ways this country has shunted onto women the responsibility of keeping its society and economy running. I’ll fold my toddler’s onesies and think about how the US, a country in which two-thirds of mothers of young children work, has such a forceful “pro-life” movement, and yet it’s the only wealthy nation that doesn’t guarantee new moms time off work after they have a baby.
Turn on any news channel and it won’t be long before reports of the darkening clouds of war
over Ukraine comes up. US satellite images show us an estimated 100,000 Russian troops and their military hardware now sitting ominously on the border with Ukraine, as plain as day.
However, what is not so clear is what Russia’s President Putin has in mind. Saber rattling?
Invasion? Who really knows? Yet still the Biden administration continues to send troops and
other resources to Eastern Europe to bolster a Western sense of protective obligation to the
Ukraine – a non-NATO entity. Most recently, detachments of US special forces have arrived in
nearby Poland. What is the intention behind that? Again, we don’t know how that will playout.
However, what we do know is that the US spends close on a trillion dollars on its military every year. We also know that since 1945, the US has engaged itself in any number of brutal, and astronomically costly, over-seas wars. The Pentagon and the American military-industrial
complex continue with their strangle-hold over the American people and the American
economy. That trillion-dollar budget is somehow always given a free pass by the American
Establishment and most politicians, regardless of Democrat, GOP, Independent or Other.
Mention the likes of using that money for the fight against climate change, nationwide tourism recovery or implementing Universal Basic Income (UBI) and the inevitable and tedious screams of “how can we afford that?” and “that’s nothing but socialism!” bellow out across the political landscape of the US.
Put another way – war is always affordable, everything else is an unaffordable cost.
Russia and Ukraine have a long and intimate history. Their dispute is, and always will be, their dispute. In contrast, the fight against climate change is relatively new, but infinitely more
important than what does or doesn’t happen on the steps of Ukraine and Russia. That is why
AOC’s proposed Climate & Tourism Corps should be prioritized a thousand times over as opposed to yet another American military catastrophe in a far-flung land. Likewise, the entire world, including the American economy, has been turned on its head by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stimulus checks have been churned out to keep the economy going. Which is why Andrew Yang’s 2K UBI is a game-changer as the American economy increasingly becomes more technologically orientated. Month after month of UBI stimulus, completely affordable, despite what the Establishment claims, will allow for the American economy to grow and lifting tens of millions out of poverty.
So, let’s just weight that up shall we. On the one hand, a Climate & Tourism Corps, 1.5 million strong, dedicated to fighting a battle that actually needs to be fought, climate change, and 2K UBI payments to keep the post-COVID pandemic, Great Recovery, moving from strength to strength to ensure the economic well-being of all Americans. That is counterposed by the specter of yet more American dollars being poured into a historical Russo-Ukrainian conflict that really is of no concern to the overwhelming number of American people. Russia may triumph, or maybe Ukraine will. Again, who knows? And in any event, if the full effects of rampant climate change take their terrible toll upon us, who cares if Ukraine loses a fraction of its territory to Russia?
It’s not just enough for the US military to steer clear of the Ukraine, but that same military, just like the police, needs to be defunded. The American military budget, year on year, is more than the next ten countries combined spend on their military (France, the UK, Saudi Arabia, China, Russia and so on). The only country that could defeat the US militarily, is, of course, the US.
We need to, as matter of urgency, re-direct those taxpayer dollars that were destined to yet
again arrive in the coffers of the Pentagon, into the Climate & Tourism Corps and Yang’s 2K UBI. Failure to do so is both inconceivable and a dereliction of moral duty from a country that is precariously hanging on to its mantle as champion of the “free world.”
We are through with being told by the Establishment, both Democrat and GOP, what we need to be concerned with and what we shouldn’t. If we lose the battle against both climate change and economic disenfranchisement, we, not only as a country but a planet, are irreversibly done for. So then, in short, stop the Ukraine madness, defund our oh so precious military, and divert those same resources to AOC’s inspiring Climate & Tourism Corps and Yang’s brain-child of 2K UBI for all adult Americans.