Publisher’s Corner

JB Lester

It’s About People, Not Politics

As the snow melts and temperatures rise, there is reason for some optimism. Pandemic numbers are declining and vaccinations are slowly reaching the arms of those who want them. It has been a very tough winter as Mother Nature, angered by global climate change, has brought us the results of our irresponsible actions. We are still facing months of social isolation and distancing. Even I, who has never been confused for a social butterfly, has found my life lacking in interactions with my fellow human beings. I long for a luncheon with a friend, a round of golf with my buddies, a trip to the Missouri Botanical Garden Climatron, or watching a Cardinal baseball game from the stands. I will wear my mask for as long as it takes, but I will be happy when we can see each other smile again. I am so saddened by the 500,000 people who have lost their lives to covid-19. Especially when other countries have done so much better at keeping their death toll down. America is supposed to be exceptional, and for the most part we certainly are. But this time we have not risen to the occasion. Our government has not done their job in protecting us. And that is its primary job. We pay our taxes so the government has the resources they need to create a safe life for us. This time, our leaders let us down, and many people have suffered. We have some of the greatest minds on the planet, the financial resources and the infrastructure it takes to get the job done, and yet, we let politics get in the way. We don’t pay taxes for politics. We pay taxes for general welfare, community safety and a Constitution-protected pursuit of happiness. And in this case, we deserve a big refund on our payment. We have some new leaders in place now, perhaps that will help. But any elected official should put people before politics and science before conspiracy theories. We have led the world in innovation for decades and yet we can’t get vaccine shots in arms fast enough. We have to do better. We have to demand that politics be put at the bottom of our collective to-do list. When people need help, it doesn’t matter whether they are in a blue or red state. In fact, every state in this union is made up of people from all or no parties. So there are really no red or blue states, just red and blue politicians. If you are thinking about running for elected office, unless you come with a list of 100 things to do that will make the country a better place to live, and at least 50 of those things will be accepted in a bi-partisan fashion, think again. We don’t need another partisan politician. We need statesmen. And stateswomen. People who would gladly work on projects and programs without touting their party affiliation. People that cross the aisle as easily as they take a trip to the loo. We are faced with a deadly pandemic, climate disasters, economic destruction and domestic terrorism. And yet, we still have to have the hope that things will get better. But we need to ask more of our leaders, more of our scientists and more of our innovators. Someone recently said we are spending too much time looking backwards in order to make our big decisions, and that we need to look forward to make plans. I totally agree. Learn from the past, plan for the future. Or spend the rest of our lives playing catch up and putting out fires.

Mask Up, Save Lives  JB Lester; Publisher