Oh my what a week. Not that I’m surprised. I mean, 2022 has been a ton of crazy from the get go. And now, when we look at the hubbub in the south, we wonder, what has Florida done now? A state notable for its high poverty rate, disastrous infrastructure, and abysmal salaries for teachers and all those we praised as essential workers just 24 months ago. Snowbirds flock there on their measly social security or atrocious pensions to eke out their last days with some sunshine and air conditioning just to avoid income tax, (no blame at all– you have all my best hopes for better days and sunsets). Of course I can’t discredit the extraordinary Florida juicy oranges which fuel my soul during the coldest of months AND the most aquamarine ocean this side of the Mediterranean. But politics? Nope. DeSantis is rude, wrong, and just too arrogant for me, from how he talks to teens to what he says about them. Can you disagree? Eye to eye, can you really?
What I know for sure is that gay is here to stay. Regardless of what that puffy politician places into law, today’s kiddos are reaching out clear to the heavens and beyond to so much more for themselves. Their love isn’t going to be halted, regardless of what DeSantis signs, they will live their truth. They never knew the closet and they will not be closed back into one. Stonewall will be tame compared to what Gen Z will demand.
Next up? While not strictly Science, but certainly common sense, is the immediate attack on President Biden for the rising gas prices. Ask anyone savvy about this problem, and they will explain the overwhelming challenges with supply and demand due to the disruptions due to the pandemic as the real cause of the high price at the pump. Russia’s war with Ukraine has added to this problem but blaming Biden is just another attempt to discredit him and doesn’t hold up when reviewed by those who follow the trends in commerce.
Somewhere in the last 24 months too many Americans have become experts in what we truly know nothing about. They flood their social media feeds with reposts denouncing prominent economists, scientists, and medical experts. Somehow, suddenly, or at least due to all this time sequestered in place, people assume if their collar is white, they are not to be trusted. The same suspicion is directed to career teachers who are now likened to propagandists ready to indoctrinate students into the cult of having a broad mindset. Instead of a populous grateful that esteemed professionals spent years researching in a lab, reading in a library or studying economic trends, they are discounted and replaced with a YouTube video created by anyone with a vendetta.
Which brings me to war. In my view, an ignoble occupation even in the best of intentions. Can we ever justify making civilians targets? Can any government ever recover from their complicity from doing that unspeakable act? Sure, it’s quite easy to point to Putin and call him the unhinged despot that he is, but how far back do we have to travel to find an US President who showered praise on him? Only a few days actually. We all need to stop the war machine. I can’t see a way towards that vision, but if we start with that hope, perhaps it will be slightly more possible.
So yes, carry on. Never easy when people who have lost their reason are in charge of signing bills or overseeing nuclear weapons, but as I face my classroom of eager and hopeful teens, I think, we must all look forward with faith. Tomorrow students in my high school plan to walk out in protest. Not because they are being swayed by politics or public opinion but because they are tired of all the bullshit and lies being fed to them from those very sources. They don’t want our permission either. I don’t know if they can wrestle change away from those who hold such power but I sure hope they do. Their vision is one I can sign on to.