by Joe Courter
Once again world events have me writing this at a moment of unknown outcomes. This one is a big one, too. Possible war. We are standing at the edge of a slippery slope. Over and over, once a war starts and soldiers are killed, it partly becomes avenging those who have died. Logic goes out the window. One of my greatest fears is irreversible decisions being made by delusional leaders, and, to be honest, fundamentalist Christians and their “End Times” beliefs, or for that matter, those who justify war and conquest with the “God is on our side” rationale. They are delusional people. And dangerous. Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail.
Moving on, this whole easy money for war, but no money for healthcare, education – you know that “general welfare” stuff – has got to be challenged. The fact is, the military part of the U.S. budget is over 50 percent. Money is there. It is madness that this is seen as normal. I can only think of one reason, that the powers that be do not want us healthy, secure and educated. Because that would put them out of their rapacious business. Why do health insurance companies oppose single payer healthcare so much? Same thing. It would mess up their good thing. Well their “good thing” is not very good for most people. Most people are just not paying enough attention, or more so, do not see a viable way to fight back against it. Well, this is 2020, and we need to see our way to start.
Naomi Klein was speaking on the NPR Ted Talks show, (https://tinyurl.com/Iguana1045) and made a point that resonated with me. Referring to the concept that we are all in our own silos of information, be it MSNBC, FOX, Pacifica, or NPR, it has become hard to find common points of reference. Different issues are emphasized, to the exclusion of others. Well, Naomi spoke about how even in major progressive organizations, there is a silo effect, too. Whether labor, environmental, anti-war, climate, social justice or civil rights, it takes funding to keep going, and part of that problem is big funders who are singularly focused, and thus their organizing work is, as well. The thing is, these issues are hugely inter-related, yet there is no one overarching movement to be seen, a coordinated campaign if you will.
Elections could bring that focus if a candidate came along that could bring all these issues together in a powerful way – that campaign could really drive a huge, huuge, voter turn-out. People need to become excited, to be hopeful, to be willing to work to get those independents and less enthusiastic voters out to the polls. Yes fear of Trump will motivate some, but Trump’s fear-mongering gets its power if there is no hopeful alternative. And a big turnout could have a huge effect down the ballot, too. Senate, House, even down to County Commissioners. Yes, I support Bernie Sanders, and I hope you will, too.
And if we get a Bernie, we will also be implementing a Green New Deal, or at least trying to. This would be a major restructuring of our out-of-whack system. Again, I refer to Naomi Klein, this time from a “Now This” short video (https://tinyurl.com/Iguana1046) about a GND. She expresses that “climate-deniers” are not the biggest problem, although frustrating for their willful ignorance. It is those dedicated to the status quo, those who want even more deregulation and this “Free Market” neo-liberal ideal to prevail. They know addressing climate change would mess up their “good thing.”
Our country has normalized a toxic system which is becoming more and more toxic for poor families, sick people and their families, and both urban people and rural people with no way out through education or employment. This is a major chance to try and start that change. If not now, when? The time is now, and it is us.
And for humanity’s sake; Please, No War on Iran!