It’s common knowledge that what this presidential election will come down to is “the economy”. Nothing else really matters when you’re suffering the effects of poverty, unemployment, lack of health care.
That’s the common knowledge, especially among those on the right. But here’s the truth: “the economy” isn’t the same thing to everyone. Climbing out of the current depression is necessary but not sufficient for a free and safe society. Perhaps vouchers for Medicare will save the government money. More likely they will shift money around and leave seniors in fear of there health in a way not known in most of our lifetimes.
Maybe school vouchers will help move a few kids out of a bad school. Maybe taking the money out of that school and leaving the poorest behind weakens us all and condemns another generation to poverty.
Maybe marriage equality is a back burner issue, something to worry about after we fix the deficit. Or maybe depriving millions of a basic right and of economic and personal security renders the recovery irrelevant to many.
Food, shelter, jobs are a basic need, and should be a basic right. We need a strong economy. But even with our economy at it’s strongest, there is no economic security for many. There are freedoms denied, large swathes of people left behind. It’s not just the economy, and to say so is a distraction, it reveals an myopic, privileged view of an American where, if we just get the money right all will be well.