Top Stories of 2019: The State of Politics

Image: The Baltimore Sun

I (Miro) am not under the impression that anyone really wants to reminisce about the politics of 2019. From impeachment to the gutting of the Clean Power Plan and the Endangered Species, Clean Air, and Clean Water Acts, it was often a very heavy time for those of us who have dedicated our careers to ensuring the health and safety of our planet.

But for me personally, the loss of Congressman Elijah Cummings hit me most profoundly this year. He was the true moral compass of Congress and his loss felt inconceivable. I often found myself asking what we would do without him, how we would carry on in the age of Trump without the wisdom of someone so decent and dedicated to the betterment of human life?

I’ve reflected a lot on this question and I think that Mr. Cummings would say that we just have to get through it. We know what we’re fighting for (the viability of our planet), we know what we have to do (organize, make noise, and vote), and we must take the lessons he taught us and never settle. I get strength from knowing that Cummings was literally signing subpoenas on his death bed–he fought for a better future until the last minute. The fight matters, this is all for something.

Why This Matters: I know many of us are drained and disgusted by the state of politics–I feel you. But my ask of you is to fight for the things that matter. After all, and despite its many flaws, we still do live in the world’s greatest democracy and we have the power to shape the future that we want. We’re about to wade into the 2020 election frenzy and there will be many distractions and people making noise just for the sake of it. Focusing on what matters and a brighter and more equitable future is key. If you need a small affirmation to get you through it, here’s one from Elijah Cummings that really resonates with me:

Our children are the living messages we send to a future we will never see. The question is how will we send them into that future. Will we rob them of their destiny? Will we rob them of their dreams? No.”

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