As I believe with most parents, we have often told our children if they ever get into a situation in which they need an excuse to get out of the situation, or to be able to say no while saving face with friends, they can use us as the reason for saying no or refusing to participate.
We call it being the heavy. Having us to blame and having us accept the responsibility and the blame, even though we weren’t around. Such as, I can’t smoke that because my parents are very strict and they will smell it on me when I get home. They’ll take my phone forever as a consequence.
At this time in the pandemic, we don’t have a heavy. We did for a little while, governors and mayors. They took the heat for decisions that needed to be made.
For example, the governor of our state did a pretty good job in the beginning. He held daily news conferences, got a COVID-19 state dashboard up and running, brought in the national guard to help at food banks, pushed to get unemployment benefits paid as quickly as possible, and closed things down as cases went up. The only fault I could really lay at his feet was the reluctance to close school campus’. He left that decision at the feet of local school boards, although I firmly believe he should have stepped up and taken the heat instead of local school boards.
School boards did step up to be the heavy and began closing their brick and mortar buildings, switching, for the most part, to virtual learning. They, and superintendents, really stepped up as leaders to make sure learning was happening to the best of abilities at that time, and to ensure children were fed.
The one person who didn’t step up to be the heavy, the one person with the most power, was the man in the Oval Office. He ignored the science, called COVID-19 a hoax, and is now totally ignoring the fact we have a pandemic going on around us.
Then something shifted at the state and local levels.
They apparently became afraid and stopped accepting responsibility for making tough decisions, even though they were elected to make the tough decisions and to accept responsibility.
No one wants to be the heavy anymore. Elected leaders do not want to make the hard decisions. Governors are now passing the buck to mayors and school boards. Mayors are not wanting to make the tough decisions, meaning decisions that should be made to help keep us all safe and as healthy as possible aren’t being made.
School boards no longer want to make the tough, and the moral and ethical decision, to make learning virtual for the foreseeable future to keep students, teachers, and families safe, and to cancel all extracurricular activities to keep students and sponsors safe.
Where have the John Kennedy’s, the John Lewis’s, the Medger Evers’s, the Teddy Roosevelt’s, the Rosa Park’s, the Susan B. Anthony’s gone? They were leaders and they were the heavy’s. They made tough decisions, accepted responsibility, took actions, and helped move our country forward during tough times.
When did we become a country of leaders who appear to care more about their jobs, increasing their wealth, breaking their oaths to honor the Constitution and to serve the American people, who believe everyone should like them, all at the expense of our country and us citizens?
As a nation, we seem to have hit rock bottom. Hopefully we still have the wherewithal and tenacity, the grit of our Founding Fathers, to pull ourselves up from this quagmire of leaderlessness and dystopia.
Who of the Democrats, who of the trumplicans, who of any of our elected leaders, will actually stand up and do what is right and just, even if it means they are not re-elected, but it saves the country?