First, Staunch the Bleeding

5 mins read

An open letter to Progressives, Social Democrats, Democratic Socialists, Greens, middle-of-the-roaders and conservative Dems

Imagine for a moment that we’re the victim of a serious vehicle collision. We’re the passenger, and we’re bleeding profusely from our head smashing into the dash.

First responders arrive within minutes. 

Their top priority is getting us out of the vehicle as quickly as possible and without compounding our injuries. Their second priority is to staunch the bleeding and get us to medical professionals.

At the hospital, medical professionals assess our injuries and determine what level of care we require. It’s serious. Our skull is fractured in multiple places. The swelling around our brain is threatening our life. We need surgery immediately.

We have other issues, too, internal injuries and broken bones; one leg and a hip are in horrible shape. They address those as well, but the cracked skull and swelling take precedence. 

Surgery is a guarded success. We’ll have to wait and see, the medical professionals tell our family and friends, but for the moment we’re out of the woods.

We recover slowly. There’s a lot of physical and occupational therapy, for months. We relearn how to think, walk, talk, and behave. Finally, we’re ready to re-enter our previous lives. It’s difficult, but we’re ready for the challenges.

We were able to compete in triathlons before this, but those days are over. We find other sports, other ways to exercise. After a while we get really good at them, and soon – it’s a surprise to us, too – we’re training for competition.

Now, go back to that fateful day — November 8, 2016 — we are the United States of America. We desperately need to aid the victims, but so far we haven’t been able to get back to the scene.

Soon, we’ll be there. 

The first thing we do is staunch the bleeding. Vote Biden/Harris.

Once we’ve dealt with that most critical issue, we can focus on recovery and rehabilitation. With conviction, luck and tenacity we’ll be moving again. We will be tackling the problems and issues that were holding us back even before the day our collective skull was split open.

We all have issues that require attention as quickly as possible. We feel it in our bones.

My top three are the climate crisis, police brutality and economic inequality but there are many more. Your top three might be different but it’s likely we share frustration, consternation and anger about the majority of the issues on both our lists. We need to do something, lots of things, fast.

But first we need to stem the flow of blood.

We need to get Trump and his GOP enablers out of office.

If we don’t, we will fail to make the least bit of headway on any of the serious issues dogging us for at least the next four years or longer if Trump has his way. Not only will we fail to make progress, but we will also be going in reverse. Think environmental rollbacks, withdrawals from international pacts, and additional tax cuts for the rich. This is merely naming a few of the disasters that Trump and his enablers have wrought.

We cannot afford to regress any further. Not one step.

If we can agree on that, then surely we can agree to set aside whatever separates us for the next 56 days.

Trump is the fractured skull of the United States of America. His enablers and supporters are additional injuries to our body politic. 

Our first priority must be dealing with them.

Only then will we be able to focus on rebuilding the nation toward our higher visions.

Photo by Camilo Jimenez on Unsplash

© 2020 Martin C. Fredricks IV. To read more by Fredricks, visit his blog – IV Words.

Originally posted on
Reposted with permission
with minor edits

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Martin C. “Red” Fredricks IV is a husband, father of three, proud Fargoan (N.D.), small business owner, reader, writer and progressive. He's also the founder of the IV Words Blog ( Finally, he's a ginger; ergo the “Red.” Living blue in a deep red state is tough, but somehow, day by day, he gets by.

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