Government can be a powerful force for good. In her book, Lead from the Outside, Stacey Abrams says, “A good government should be a tool that helps where it can and gets out of the way when it should. It must work for everyone, protect our investments, and defend the civil rights of all.”
Good government is happening every day right before our eyes.
If your doctor recommends a low sodium diet, you can go to the grocery store and read the food labels in order to make the right choices. FDA required labeling has helped people be personally responsible for their health and fight life-threatening diseases since 1994.
Recently President Biden was able to use the power of government to convince Johnson and Johnson and Merck, two rival pharmaceutical companies, to join forces and boost the supply of Covid vaccine so Americans can get back to work and school. The increased production of vaccines will benefit the entire country.
In 1956 the United States built 42,000 miles of interstate highways, an investment that gave Americans the freedom of safe, personal mobility. Today a comprehensive federal infrastructure plan that creates jobs and meets the demands of climate change could achieve what we know is possible. From FDR’s New Deal to Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System to Biden’s Build Back Better Plan, the vision of protecting our past investments and preparing for the future is within our grasp.
And most importantly, the fruits of good government must be available to everyone. Civil rights are still denied to Americans of color, LGBTQ+ and other marginalized communities, and poverty continues to waste human capital. Government can be a force for good, but government is at its best when it embraces the American ideal to provide for the common good.
Guest Blog by Sherri Masson
Sherri Masson is an activist and one of the leaders of Indivisible Huron Valley. Sherri has spent her adult life working and writing on behalf of gun violence prevention and public education and is currently active in promoting pro-democracy policy with SWIM (Statewide Indivisible Michigan).