Challenges ‘inevitably unite us’

I am 34 years old, have stage 4 cancer, am on disability and was enrolledin Medicaid through the ACA expansion after getting diagnosed. Whether that is under threat with the ACA repeal, I can’t seem to get a straight answer.

In any case, I was unable to make it to recent town hall meetings to address this with our senators. But I feel compelled to write about the ACA repeal and the replacement “plan,” and broader implications of these kinds of actions.

I am in fear of losing basic services that I rely on to live, in a very immediate way. People my age and younger may not realize how close they are to real personal crisis, especially if virtually the only safety nets are taken away. But I believe there is enough popular support for these programs for that not to happen. I hope.

These seem to be programs that are hugely popular across basically all social strata besides the corporate sector. At this point, the only hope for this country resides not only in protecting the very existence of such programs, but also in truly progressive economic reforms to expand them – on this, we are united in our desperation.

Trump voters aren’t our enemy. Hillary voters aren’t our enemy. Third-party voters aren’t our enemy. Minorities and immigrants aren’t our enemy. People aren’t our enemy.

I think in business and politics, it is expedient on both sides to appeal to the public’s fears and differences. We are now getting a serious wake-up call to the potential threat of real social instability when that is put to its lowest common denominator test, on top of growing economic instability in vast swaths of the country.

But the core challenges that we urgently face now as a state, as a nation, ultimately as a world, are ones that it seems will inevitably unite us, in one way or another. It is within all of our best interest to ensure that it be as peaceful and just a union as possible.

So with that, I respectfully encourage all leaders of people to continue listening to the people. Do not give up hope in us, and we will not give up hope in you. And to the people, I say: Do not let fear divide us. Life is too short.

Nik Thompson