This is how my Sunday column begins:

If you gathered a million American mothers and asked them what the country needed, I bet this would be the consensus: More doctors, nurses and caregivers; better pay for teachers and social workers; affordable health care for everyone, including a holistic system for treating people with mental illness; and big national campaigns to reduce guns and gun violence, promote nutritious food and exercise, fund the best education system in the world, encourage young people to consider public service and shame haters into growing up and being better human beings.

That would be for starters.

I’ve been saying we need more women in public office for years. Men — mostly white men — have had their say for centuries and, while there are some great accomplishments on their record (the flush toilet, stopping Hitler, the polio vaccine) the trend of late has not been good. The gun thing, in particular, demonstrates a need for big change.

The country needs a reckoning: We have not taken care of things, and I don’t mean bridges and roads that need repair. I’m talking about the American quality of life, our human infrastructure.

We’ve regressed. For a wealthy country that considers itself exceptional, there are still too many homicides and suicides; too many health problems that contribute to an actual decline in life expectancy; and, coming out of the pandemic, too many professionals (doctors, nurses, teachers) who feel burned out and want to drop out. 

The current political climate has been poisonous to the democracy, resulting in a loss of the sense of the common good — that is, the high-minded idea that what we do for the general welfare is at least as important as what we do for ourselves and our families.

Which takes me to motherhood — the selfless instincts to protect, nurture, educate and inspire. 

There’s a shameful narrow-minded meanness in the country today, and there are too many nonsensical political battles that distract from the really important stuff that needs to be done — expansion of mental health treatment, making higher education more affordable, making housing more affordable, getting more children out of poverty, moving faster to the green energy future necessary to save the planet, fixing the immigration system, transforming the culture against guns and violence, developing a greater sense of civility and the common good.

If you could somehow wipe away partisan politics — isolate them privately and ask them what the country needs — a majority of American mothers would agree on all I’ve just listed. The country needs big mother love.

6 thoughts on “America needs Big Mother Love

  1. I agree with my whole heart! The last few years I have felt increasingly hopeless and overwhelmed by the ridiculousness of our Congress! All these problems and they are still focusing on Hunter Biden’s lab top! Give women a chance! The old adage that “Women are too emotional,” makes me laugh when you watch Jim Jordan! Thank you for always being a voice of reason. Kate Phelan

    Liked by 1 person

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