Archived Opinion

Knife fights over deck chairs

Knife fights over deck chairs

To the Editor:

The world as we know it is changing dramatically. We have entered the era of the polycrisis in which a cluster of related global and local risks with compounding effects are having unprecedented effect — greater than the sum of the individual risks.  

We are barreling toward both climate and democracy collapse. We are imbedded in wars and wars over wars and it is unclear which nations, terrorist groups, financiers or parties are pulling the strings. For all the good artificial intelligence can offer humanity, we are witnessing its use to drive agendas with falsehoods and biases on repeat.  

Dictatorships globally are on the rise. Billionaires can decide if a country gets wi-fi or how the Supreme Court will take a decision. At home, 16% of American children are living in poverty, 44 million people in the U.S. are food insecure, workers cannot make ends meet on low wages, there is a housing crisis, and our young people are falling behind in education while suffering depression, anxiety and fear. We have lost the plot.  

And in North Carolina? Our leaders are busy plotting ways to never lose an election again, getting permission to decide what goes on record and what does not, and formulating a shadow police to do their bidding. Our leaders are distracting us with fear mongering over the non-starter issues such as taking away gas stoves or legalizing marijuana while they are in fact taking away our reproductive and voting rights and making it legal to hate or hurt anyone who does not agree, believe, orient or look like them.  

And, we are paying them handsomely to do this, our taxes pay their salaries and insurance that the rest of us can’t afford or access while they are bolstering their wallets with big money from lobbyists. They ignore what the population at large needs and the views they express. They are not representing North Carolinians. They are representing themselves.

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Our state leaders are in no way prepared for the polycrisis we are confronted by. They have moved beyond rearranging the deck chairs and have resorted to knife fights over the deck chairs on the Titanic. The ship is sinking, and worse still they are exacerbating the situation or pretending it is not happening. We need leaders who are critical thinkers, who will rise up and see further, change the discourse, have foresight and the political will to make a difference. We need people who will be creative in solution finding, work for the values our country was founded upon, and build bridges among and be inspired by the diversity of our population, not seeking to pull us apart, and will work towards our success in our livelihoods, education, experience and well-being.  

North Carolinians, we have to do our part. We must find and support those leaders who will put the knives away, stop trampling on our fellow passengers and/or become leaders ourselves and get busy with distributing the life vests. 

Constance Neely

Macon County

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