Saturday, July 22, 2017
Senator Bernie Sanders
Can you make your “revolution” a bit more pronounced and definite?
We have billionaires ruling the White House (and each change in staff is going to bring in a more authoritarian bunch who will edge the country farther from democratic rule).
We have a president who is not only enamored of Vladimir Putin, but in some critical way that he is hiding from us he is also indebted to Putin.
We have a president who believes rules don’t apply to him, who is addicted to praise, attention, and to wealth as a sign of success.
We have a Congress composed almost entirely of millionaires who may mean well, but have little in common with the people they represent.
We have businesses in which CEOs earn 200 times what their low-wage employees are making.
We have a populace that does not know what democratic government means or understand the responsibilities it places on each of us.
We have rampant poverty, rampant ill health.
We have a deteriorating infrastructure and deteriorating cities.
How are we different from Russia?
How are we not becoming a mirror of Russia?
We invade countries; we topple governments; we assassinate people we dislike.
Where in all this are the ideals of the United States of America?
We have got to stop saying we are a beacon of liberty and success. We began this country with the genocide of Native Americans and built the country on the backs of slaves. We have NEVER acknowledged our horrific beginning, nor have we tried to make up the harm we did these people. And because we ignore our failures, we continue to repeat our mistakes.
We need to admit that we are a work in progress; and right now that progress has been diverted into what is fast becoming a totalitarian state.
Can we begin a political party that reflects our humility in regard to our failures, that states our determination to bring about a better system of justice and equality, that refuses to honor the rich and powerful as models of success, that begins by honoring the rights of each and every citizen to health care, education, and a decent place to live, and that regards work as something that respects the worker and shares profits equitably.
Our police officers are terrified of us. Can we begin to respect each other, stop seeing each other as enemies we have to shoot before they shoot us; can we get the NRA’s death wish out of our lives? The NRA is right to see that the only way the rich will maintain their wealth and power is to arm everyone, with the rich having amassed a stronger “military force” when the poor rise up in rebellion.
This country has done what every other attempt at democracy has done; we’ve gone off track. We have failed because we have been too self-congratulatory about minor improvements, and have not been wary enough of the tendencies of the human ego to lust after riches and power.
We’ve been so focused on individualism and individual rights that we lost sight of the fact that we have no healthy individual identity without healthy relationships. We are not stand-alone figures. We are born into a community; we develop within a community, we need community, we need the interaction within relationships of love to become fully human. What causes most humans to become anti-social is the failure to have been part of a loving community. We need to see our nation as a network of communities — people who know, respect, and care for each other. And our federal government must be an entity that confirms, enforces, and ensures that bond.
Every despotic nation has good people who go about their daily lives, working hard to care for their families, being good neighbors. That’s a picture of the United States as well. We’re not bad people; but we have failed to understand the difficulties involved in creating and sustaining good government. We’ve let money, and people with money, and people who love power step in to “take care of things” so we “don’t have to worry.”
Now those people run this country, and are hell-bent on running the world.
Can we turn things around, Senator Sanders? Is there time? Is there even the motivation to change?
genevieve beenen, sheboygan, wisconsin