A MICROCOSM OF WHAT WE'VE BECOME
The painful story of East Palestine
I spent the day this past Tuesday in East Palestine, Ohio.
The stories I heard were the tip of the iceberg, as person after person told me of the trauma of the train derailment, their chemical poisoning from benzine and vinyl chloride, the irresponsible handling of the aftermath, Norfolk Southern’s callous disregard for human life, and the company’s continued insults added to injury with each new layer of refusal to care - to take responsibility for the needs of people whose lives were devastated by this totally preventable disaster.
I heard from people unable to return to their homes, living in hotels, told that nothing in their home is safe to touch, their symptoms recurring, watching their animals die, official obfuscation and gaslighting and fear that is at this point their cruel new normal.
All of this because one multibillion dollar company refused to update its brake system, listen to it workers, provide for safety, clean up its mess, or operate before during and after this disaster with even a modicum of social responsibility or ethics.
And it gets worse. Neither the local government nor state government nor federal government nor EPA is really helping anyone now.
Those agencies accuse one another (and Norfolk Southern) and fight with one another and file lawsuits against each other, but no one - apparently no one from officialdom - is acting with any level of deeply responsible reaction to the calamity that has befallen these people’s lives. I heard over and over from people desperate for answers, “I wrote this office, that government official, this agency for help….and I never heard anything back.”
What a tragic embodiment of America today, as huge corporate forces run roughshod over the health and well-being of people, animals, and planet - and government, for the most part, throws up its hands and basically aids in the cover-up.
East Palestine’s story is not just about a train derailment. It’s about the derailment of people’s lives. It’s about the derailment of our societal values and the derailment of our institutions. Something huge and important has indeed gone off the rails.
I want to be president because I want to stand up to all this. No president has a magic wand, nor should he or she. But I have a voice, I have an understanding of what’s happening in this country, and I have a heart that would not allow me to rest for one minute until I knew everything possible was done to help the people of East Palestine.
It’s worth noting here, of course, how many “qualified” politicians are doing absolutely nothing for them.
No American citizen, in no American town, should ever be treated like a “sacrifice zone.” The poison in East Palestine’s air, water, and ground is unacceptable. And millions of other people throughout this country, while they might not have experienced an emergency like East Palestine, nevertheless also endure full time toxic contamination of their environment due to corporate greed and malfeasance.
When I am president, all that will stop. (People used to say to President Harry Truman, “Give ‘em hell, Harry.” Me, they won’t even have to tell…)
Please join me in this campaign to fundamentally alter the relationship between the US government and the corporate powers that now hold Washington in their grip. It’s not just Norfolk Southern. It’s not just railroad companies. It’s insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies and Big Ag and Big Food and Big Chem and gun manufacturers and Big Oil and defense contractors and banks and everyone else who with the undue influence of their money and power are running roughshod over our country. It’s an entire matrix of corporate tyranny, and I saw in East Palestine what it does to people’s lives.
I doubt any of this is anything you don’t already know. Enough of us know now what is happening in this country. But it’s time to go beyond just knowing; it’s time to act.
And as president, I will. Thank you for all you are doing to help make it happen.
(If everyone who is reading this were to send even one dollar, then it would be a marvelous day for our fundraising efforts. Whatever you can do, please donate. I appreciate it more deeply than I can say.)
Marianne, I pray you keep your strength since your voice is the only one on the national stage that deeply, truly takes ethics and responsibility to heart. Too many within the top circles look the other way, and are too frightened to rock the boat necessary for transformation because they chiefly are only concerned about their own wellbeing. They are missing the joy of collaboration and cooperation to evolve our society to a happier place. It's tragic.
Meanwhile, I watch and marvel at your bravery. I intend to keep using my communications and research skills to bolster your every step to bring a new order to America: one that's just, moral, and thrivable for all people and sentient beings on sweet Earth. I have begun volunteering for you in Minnesota, and I will continue to help the best way I can. My heart goes with you on your quest. Keep safe. Love and peace to you, Joan Halgren
We need a Green Democratic Revolution...and we need to make happen FAST! Instead of these moronic Trump rallies, let’s create our own gatherings of people for progressive change.