Next week the midterm election will determine whether the Democratic Party maintains its tenuous hold of Congress, or the Republican Party takes over. Polls indicate that there’s a better than even chance that the Republicans will take over both bodies of Congress. And if you listen to the “person on the street” interviews on major news outlets, it will be because a huge number of voters consider “the economy” the largest single issue influencing their vote.
If voters opt for Republicans on the assumption that that party is better able to tackle economic challenges, they will have fallen for the second biggest lie in American politics.
Americans’ fascination with guns is intriguing and disturbing to most non-Americans. We note that there are about 400 million firearms in private possession in the US – more than one for each man, woman and child in the country. At least one of those guns is in the hands of Marjorie Taylor Greene, which is disturbing in its own right. We see a quasi-religious reverence to the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, which guarantees a “right to bear arms.” And as Americans “bear” those arms, they keep shooting themselves and each other in rather alarming numbers.
As I write this, Covid-19 is still killing thousands of people each day. The vaccines that will protect us are being distributed, slowly, but it will take many months before we reach any semblance of herd immunity. Meanwhile, the economy is a shambles, with unemployment among certain sectors still at a depressingly high rate, small business owners in crisis, and deficits at all levels of governments that will take a lifetime to be paid down. There’s been an attempted coup in the United States, and a successful coup in Myanmar. Climate change is continuing almost unabated. It’s all a bit much to deal with at one time.
So…..I want to talk about the use of VAR (Video assisted referee) in the adjudication of offside decisions in football (soccer). Frankly, it’s a bit of a mess.
It didn’t start with George Floyd. It didn’t end with George Floyd, either.
It wasn’t just the death of one ordinary man in a forgettable city in the Northern US that led to worldwide demonstrations and protests, and brought the issue of systemic racism into daily conversation. Rather, Floyd’s murder represented a tipping point – whereby we could either continue as-is, tacitly accepting the fact that a large segment of our society is actively discriminated against, or we could actually do something about it. And, doing something about it starts with a collective shout of “Black lives matter!”