5 Reasons Why Bernie's Medicare For All Is Good For Skateboarding


The oldest criticism of skateboarding is the risk of injury. That risk has been normalized as an extensive and pervasive urban myth that has held sway over the psyche of billions of people. The truth is, skateboarding is less dangerous than football--by such large margins that the two can't be compared. And yet, football is championed as a grandiose and valorous legacy of the most American Americanism that was ever Made In America by Americans for Americans. In spite of decades of prohibition and vilification skateboarding has persisted as a relevant, dynamic, adaptive, and fulfilling endeavor for an ever-growing amount of people. With Bernie’s Medicare for all solution the risk of injury is greatly diminished, and the amount of potential participants goes up significantly. Let's be real: almost all of us can heal from the injuries of skateboarding, but most of us can not afford to endure the cost of those injuries in the current medical system. Who can say how many potential skaters simply can’t afford the injuries, and thus never become skateboarders? And of course, a common side effect of the potential costs of a skateboard injury is concerns over liability. Many property owners claim that they fear they’ll be sued by skateboarders. But, if there are no costs associated with injuries, then there is nothing to be liable for. Voting for Bernie and backing his medicare for all plan would force a change in society that eliminates liability for injury as a restriction on skateboarding.

One of the reasons why skateboarding is great is because it’s for everyone. There isn’t a right or wrong way to skate. Sure, the recent proliferation of electric boards, long boards, cruiser boards, “stair surfing” boards, and all sorts of other “skateboards for people who don’t skate” can be an annoyance, but deep down we all know that a stranger on a skateboard is not a stranger–no matter what kind of board they are riding. And when top quality medical care is something that’s accessible to every skateboarder, then the possibilities of skateboarding change dramatically. When everyone has access to top quality healthcare, then the poorest people are not made to risk more than the richest people in order to participate in the same activities. And in the case of skateboarding, it means that achievement and longevity no longer have any connection to financial status. Bernie’s medicare for all solution guarantees access to medical attention regardless of how much money you have. Whether people around the country set their eyes on the goal of going to the Olympics, or switch nosegrinding the local 15 stair, they can rest assured that they’ll have the support of the world’s best medical professionals if something goes wrong. 

Skateboarding is a lot of things, and it can be difficult to pin down in a conversation that tries to isolate it as a sport, or an art.  But one thing that is irrefutable regardless of how you see skateboarding, is the value of our forebears. Skateboarding is one culture where the pioneers, the innovators, the trailblazers, and OGs all still get the respect. But, many of them don’t get to skate. That’s because all that innovation came at a price. It would be impossible to begin to quantify the correlation between people getting injured, and the evolution of the sport of skateboarding, but skateboarding is most definitely amazing today because people got broke the FUCK off skateboardng 30 years ago. But what's not impossible, is qualifying how to recognize and celebrate the value of the human sacrifice that has brought us to this moment in skateboarding. The sad truth is that we can't change the past, and those living legends who have sacrificed their bodies to further skating can't be restored to skate again. But for all the living legends who are still riding, or holding out trying to pull together the funds for a  procedure to get them back on a board, this is an opportunity to show them that we recognize and value what they've given, and we are going to do what we can to give back. We can't get the money together to pay for healthcare for everyone, but it's absolutely free to cast a vote for Bernie Sanders and give our heroes the healthcare that they deserve.

But the legends aren't the only ones who benefit from Bernie’s Medicare for all. Anyone who rides a skateboard is given a lifelong opportunity. I started skating in 1994, and at that time we all accepted that you couldn't skate past your mid 20s. I'm not sure why we accepted this notion when skateboarding had us questioning everything else, but I'd imagine it's because the narrative came from within skateboarding. There were no 40 year old skaters where I grew up. Now that's normal, and with Medicare for all, the age spectrum in skateboarding will continue to widen. This is an obvious benefit for all skateboarders who face the dilemma of aging--so, that's all skaters. It's also substantially beneficial for the culture of skateboarding because it diversifies the community. It also creates lifelong participants who can enjoy a substantial connection to skateboarding for most of their time on Earth. We sometimes trivialize the nature of what we do and dismiss skateboarding as nothing more than playing with a toy. But play is priceless regardless of how it is accessed, and while we inherently profess that we don't take skateboarding too seriously, we shouldn't overlook the universal value that it generates by providing an exciting and limitless premise for play with no winner, and no end. Today I am 38, and as I get older I find it harder and harder to meet new people and incorporate fresh perspectives into my life. However, skateboarding remains an exception. Skateboarding is an amazing vehicle that has delivered me to friends of all ages and sorts, and provided myriad opportunities to broaden my perspective. As I age I recognize that skateboarding actually becomes more and more essential in my efforts to stay fit, keep my mind fresh, and remain engaged with a youthful perspective. We have always thought of skating as something for young people. But I would venture to guess that Bernie’s Medicare for all will likely usher in an era in which skateboarding proves to be a profoundly positive activity for the elderly as more and more skateboarders continue skating into their senior years.

As skateboarding continues to adapt to the changing world there have been positives and negatives, anticipated and unanticipated events, and the ceiling and floor have traded places on an ongoing basis. But in one of the lesser-expected turns of the last decade Europe has all but announced its replacement of the USA as the leader of skateboarding. In a not-so-far-off continent where skaters don't have to worry about healthcare, the industry is flourishing, the sport is diversifying, and the creativity is compounding. As skateboarding in the United States struggles with dwindling pay for pros, closing shops, core companies going out of business, a culture defined by a single publication, skyrocketing healthcare, and the fraught realities of a psychotic nation filled with guns and pills, Europe is providing us with a potent and hopeful example of what skateboarding can be in the contemporary era. We have a lot of catching up to do if we are going to cultivate a skateboard culture in the United States that rivals the harmoniously construed highs and lows of European skateboard culture. There isn’t a solution, and there isn’t even an urgency to solve something because this isn’t some kind of nationalist contest. The United States isn’t supposed to define skateboarding for the rest of the world. But we definitely shouldn’t be behind the rest of the world when it comes to skateboarding because skateboarding was invented here only 70 years ago. If skateboarding is having such a profound impact all around the world, then we as skateboarders should recognize our opportunity to contribute to strengthening skateboard culture here in the United States in an unprecedented way. By voting for Bernie, and supporting medicare for all we are acknowledging that there is an inextricable connection between healthcare and skateboarding, and we are making a choice to improve the future of skateboarding.

Zach MoldofComment