I Choose The Vision
When I look into the future, I see the movie "Soylent Green" only I see it through a nightmare. Consider - China has over a billion people whose per capita income right now is over $5,000 a year. Per capita in China is growing at the rate of 9.4% per year and population is steadily increaing. Their per capita has been growing at better than 8% per year since 1975. Even a conservative projection of this curve into the future shows China's per capita surpassing that of the United States by 2031 at which time China will have a minimum of 1.4 billion people. Can you imagine the struggle for resources that will be on-going?
And this doesn't even take India into account. India's per capita income is growing at 7% per year and their population is estimated to surpass that of China by 2025. In contrast, currently, 1 billion people live on less than one dollar per day; 3 billion people live on less than two dollars per day.
My point is that any political vision for the future must take these realities into consideration. In a sense, I can understand where the Bush administration is coming from. They see these numbers and it scares the hell out of them. They want to grab all the oil and other resources they can get their hands on no matter who they have to kill or torture to do it because, to them, it must seem that this will actually save lives (of their friends and associates - or "tribe" for short) further on down the line. They are acting for the greater good of their tribe but not for the greater good of the United States or of the world.
I have examined these numbers and it has brought me to the belief that the only thing that might save us, as a civlilization, is to embrace the reality of the limited resources of the earth and seek world-wide cooperation through all possible channels to solve these global problems.
That being the case, to survive at all, we must have a government with the vision and dedication to lead the world in solving the problems of global-warming, finding an alternate for oil, and a way to deal with the poverty and despair that keeps so many of our brothers and sisters on this planet living a life that is barely above that of an abused animal. Simply turning our backs on reality is not going to cut it.
There is much talk now among Democrats about a new "vision" that will engage voters imaginations and bring them back to the Democratic ticket. Well, I say that our vision must be bigger than that. Our vision must be bigger than the Democratic Party. It must be bigger than America. It must be a vision bigger than putting man on the moon. It must be bigger than saving the environment or abolishing poverty or bringing equal rights to all - yet it must be something that encompasses all of these.
I humbly suggest that we do nothing less then elect a government that vows a dedication to save Civilization. And I'm not talking about fixing Social Security or Medicare - although this would be a by-product. Our nation, our people and our political party must become committed to this goal and our commitment must be stronger than it was when we committed to putting a man on the moon. This time, it is not our national pride that is at stake; it is, quite literally, human civilization.
We can do this and we can win. The people we are up against are tiny people with tiny profit-based motives. They have made temporary alliances with people with genuine moral beliefs by falsely claiming to hold those same moral beliefs in order to gain support. A case in point is their alignment with the Christian Right.
The Christian Right are not a bunch of fanatics to be shrugged off. They are people with very strong beliefs who care deeply for the lives of other human beings. Unfortunately, a lot of their energy has been wasted and some of their efforts misguided by zealots out to make a fast buck and gain publicity for their own nefarious purposes. It is up to us, as Progressives, to identify and clarify our vision to the Christian Right and other groups who have been splintered away from us by what they view as a lack of moral commitment.
It is up to us to convince them of our sincerity, good intentions and commitment. Words are not going to be enough. Actions always speak louder and clearer than words, so to win this each one of us must be aware of what our congressional representatives are doing and how they are voting. We must express our vision clearly to Congressmen and Senators and if their votes don't coincide with our vision then we need to get rid of them.
The Christian Right and other groups that voted with the Neo-conservatives in 2004 have a lot more in common with Progressives than they do with NeoCons. Neither Progressives nor Christians want people to be tortured, humiliated, beaten or starved. Neo-conservatives feel those evils are just necessary means to gain a profitable outcome.
This, to me, is the kind of things we must be passionately communicating. I see the reality of what our world is becoming but I have a vision of what it could be. I choose to work for the vision.