In this Sept. 25, 2019, file photo, The White House is seen from the Ellipse in Washington. Credit: Carolyn Kaster / AP

While sheltering in place, I have more time to brood over what is causing me so much anxiety and sadness, which I feel the need to share. What occupies my mind are concerns about whether the virus will infect family and friends. I find myself thinking about and praying for all the people suffering from the virus and for all those courageous citizens providing services to their neighbors and countrymen/women. But my anxiety and sadness is more deeply rooted.

Over the years I have not always agreed with the White House administration decisions and policies, whether Republican or Democrat. Most citizens, having a mind of their own, may agree with this statement. Policy disagreements, fact finding, negotiations and discussions form the cornerstone of our democracy. Making informed decisions rather than blindly following a leader has always given America a leadership position in the world.

Today, I am disheartened to ponder that this is no longer how our politicians and American people conduct themselves. I find myself deeply concerned about our very democracy, for the first time in my long years.

I long for the return of truthfulness, care and respect for all humans and of our planet. I am exhausted by the divisiveness, corporate greed, blaming, vilifying, praising authoritarian regimes, denouncing many of the hard-working and loyal people — in all areas of the government and the media — who dare to ask questions and look for the truth and want to continue informing the American public.

I long for the return of an administration putting citizens first when making policy decisions.

An administration that adheres to the Constitution. One that is not constantly looking for loopholes to benefit themselves and their own agenda and to benefit contributors and their followers.

Instead of self-interest and self-promotion, I believe that some of the policies that should be reviewed and prioritized are those related to access to affordable health insurance, a living wage, environmental protection, support programs to help citizens succeed, funding for on-the-job training, access to higher education, improved access to technology, and simple and secure voting procedures. And especially, an economy that benefits all Americans, not disproportionately favors the rich.

I’m certain that I won’t agree with all the policies of any new administration. I will never blindly follow anyone. Is this what is occurring today? Are people informed or are they listening and looking at only media that is skewed with misstatements? Our busy fellow Americans are being brainwashed and fed lies daily.

I implore everyone to research and listen to all types of media and news outlets. Be committed to determine the facts. Take the time. All this matters! My one vote, will join other votes to make a difference in the next election.

I will vote Democrat and have confidence that this party will not try to destroy my beloved America and our democracy. Please join me. Your vote matters.

Gloria Zela of Bowerbank worked in finance and management for nonprofits.