Where politics is personal not partisan

Make America Great Again – Or At Least Make It Lead-Free

Child Drinking Water
Make America Great Again - Or At Least Make It Lead-Free

This installment of Politics and Princesses explores campaign promises, and priorities. Are we better than this as a nation?

We have been hearing president-elect Donald Trump’s mantra for some time now, and I doubt it will be going away anytime soon. Mr. Trump has made a lot of promises under this slogan, 76 of them in fact. Feel free to brief yourself here, if you are not up to speed on the many promises of our new leader. Mr. Trump has vowed to build a “free” wall separating The United States and Mexico, defund Planned Parenthood, prosecute Ms. Clinton, ban an entire race from entering this country, and repair our “third-world” looking roads and airports, just to name a few of his vows.

Speaking of “third-world,” can we take a gander at what is still happening in Flint, Michigan.

They. Have. No. Water.

For over a year and a half the government has been aware of high lead content looming in the city’s drinking water supply. Five hundred days of government knowledge, yet as of today 43% of Flint homes are still testing positive for lead. Last time I checked, water is a basic human need. The people of Flint, Michigan continue to live without access to clean water or water that will not cause significant neurological damage or behavioral disorders.

Lead poisoning! The effects of lead poisoning are nothing if not severe. According to the Agency For Toxic Substances and Disease Registry lead poisoning can cause:

  • ataxia
  • coma
  • convulsions
  • death
  • hyperirritability
  • stupor

The above symptoms pertain to very high levels of exposure. If your child is exposed to lower levels of lead poisoning, (BLLs ranging from 40 to 120 µg/dL,) they may experience the following:

  • decreased libido
  • depression/mood changes, headache
  • diminished cognitive performance
  • diminished hand dexterity
  • diminished reaction time
  • diminished visual motor performance
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • forgetfulness
  • impaired concentration
  • impotence
  • increased nervousness
  • irritability
  • lethargy
  • malaise
  • paresthesia
  • reduced IQ scores
  • weakness
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Still not good. We are talking about an entire population of children, the future, having any given combination of the above due to first-world governmental neglect. This affected generation of children happens to be a really special generation to me considering I have four young kids at home. The affected are their peers.

To make matters even more personal, my beautiful children were born in Flint, Michigan.

Our best friends lived in Flint, Michigan. Our children were raised alongside their children. We spent nearly every day at their cute bungalow enjoying our little families.

We prepared formula using the water that flowed through the Flint faucets…often.

Had we not moved due to a job transfer my girls could have easily and unknowingly suffered from neurological and behavioral damage due to being poisoned by Flint’s water supply.

Please excuse me if I can not quite wrap my head around the lofty promises made by the Trump administration just yet. I am still trying to figure out why mothers are having to trudge through the freezing cold right now to lug cases of bottled water back to their homes so that their kids have a fighting chance at a life without lead poisoning. Do you know who else has to walk across horrific climate conditions just for access to clean water? The people in remote parts of Africa and citizens living in war torn countries all over the Earth.

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But we are America.

Who can justify spending millions of dollars jazzing up the U.S. airports while this American city is functioning as if it is a third-world country? It’s not exactly like the citizens of Flint didn’t have some serious issues to contend with before they were gifted with lead-laced drinking water though. The median household income in Flint, Michigan hovers around $44,000, far less than the average household income for the United States. For years the city has ranked in the top 3…for most dangerous city in America. To say that Flint, Michigan has had its share of problems over the past few decades would be a drastic understatement, and now they are under a state of emergency due to the lack of safe water.

The saying goes, “Charity Starts At Home.” For about 100,000 American citizens Flint is home. Of course, not all of Flint, Michigan’s problems can be simply or quickly solved as they are complex and deeply woven into a number of failures and struggles. That said, let’s start the long haul back to life in the first-world by giving these folks the basic necessities of life that America prides itself on being able to supply its people with. Let’s start with safe drinking water.

Go ahead and make America great again…

But first lets help Flint, Michigan drink water again, then we can move on to building fancy airports and slick roadways.

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Kristin McCarthy
About Kristin McCarthy 24 Articles
The proud mama of four little darling girls in devil's horns. After receiving a Masters degree in Special Education and teaching for a number of years I "retired" in order to stay home with the kids and devote my life to the wonders of domesticity. Somewhere in between scrubbing floors and cooking food that no one will eat I found my way into writing. When I am not busy folding laundry, vacuuming up dog hair and toys and keeping the kids alive I can be found writing on my snarky little blog Four Princesses and The Cheese or for other publications that are kind enough to tolerate me such as Red Tricycle, Suburban Misfit Mom, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Blunt Moms and BonBon Break.

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