The historic elections of Nov. 3 are around the corner. Please vote. There is so much at stake, both at the national and local level.
The “normal” doesn’t exist anymore. And I am not talking about the pandemic. It’s about social normality and political decency. The surge of extreme right-wing armed gangs, promoted from the White House, is a real danger for our democracy. These groups can influence the voting process by creating fear and provoking citizens they don’t agree with. President Donald Trump called on one of these groups to watch over voting sites.
We have to come back to a basic political and social normality. And from there to work toward improving many things around us. Under current conditions, no normality is possible. Even though there is little chance to change things in certain electoral districts, it is worth trying.
We need changes aiming to eliminate the huge social disparities in the Central Valley. And for this we need new elected officials, with a more inclusive and democratic vision of our political culture.
During this political campaign, we noticed an unusual and aggressive conservative campaign accusing us as “socialists” from candidates and elected officials who don’t even know what socialism is. This propaganda isn’t just misleading but brings back the old language used to the maximum effect in the Cold War (1945–1990), during which a particular ideology—“socialism”—was demonized without even explaining what it was about.
Today, this propaganda looks even more simplistic and rabid than during the “old good times” of the Cold War and without a doubt it works well on certain social groups with whom it is difficult to argue.
This is part of a profound social and ideological division orchestrated by Trump and his allies. Our society is now divided between antagonistic groups, and nobody listens to the other. Within this context, the most benefited group is the right wing and those armed gangs ready to jump into violence.
At home, both the City and County of Fresno finally unveiled plans for using funds destined to assist residents affected by the pandemic (CARES Act funding).
The City of Fresno will use the $10.2 million it received from the federal government to assist small businesses to open to the public while keeping safety protocols. The plan includes grants for local artists who join this effort.
Fresno County, controlled by a conservative majority, and whose response to the pandemic was awful, finally distributed $3 million to the county’s small cities so they can decide how to help their residents. According to the conditions of the CARES Act, counties and cities have to implement these plans before the end of the year.
The lack of a rapid and responsible response from Fresno County to the pandemic shows the need for a change in the current leadership, which has shown little interest in residents’ well-being. And they still support “family values.” Thank goodness.