Many pundits are fond of saying that it’s not enough to run a campaign based on being against Trump. That is true, but it’s equally true that such a campaign must include opposition to Trump and the forces that have been allowed to run wild under his administration. I rise in opposition.
I rise in opposition to the pathologically wealthy people of this nation who will stop at nothing to accrue all the bounty of the world to themselves. This is the root of our problem.
The captains of industry have bought enough influence to set our armed forces to the mission of providing them cheap labor, cheap resources and captive markets, using the now worm-eaten fig-leaf of promoting democracy to fool the people.
Slavery, which is more a part of the DNA of this country than we have dared to admit, was a strictly economic proposition that depended on the ability to dehumanize people, a psychological habit that infects modern capitalism and enables it to abide the suffering of most of the people who live under its sway. Racism was taught and fostered as a means to keep workers divided against each other so they would not rise up against the abuses of their corporate taskmasters.
If you have any doubt that our system is pathological, consider climate change. These companies know what they’re doing. The wealthy are busy building bunkers and buying agricultural land in remote places in preparation of the collapse of the earth’s ecological systems and the subsequent collapse of social order.
So, we need more than just incremental adjustments. And we need more than the standard vaporous invocations of the American dream, which Ta-Nehisi Coates likened, correctly, to a phantasm rather than an aspiration. We need to wake up from the dream and see the world with fresh vision. We need to say what we want and make it happen and we must ignore the voices that say we can’t afford it, that there’s not enough money. There’s not enough money because they’re taking it all and they’re paying people to tell us that that’s the only way it can be.
What we want is simple. It’s what people have aspired to since they stood erect on the savannah, and it’s no different from what all life aspires to. We want to live in peace. We want to be safe and fed and warm and to be able to take care of each other as best we can.
With all the fantastic technology we have developed, all of the understanding and knowledge we have accumulated, why is it that these simple goals remain so elusive?
There are some who believe that there is not enough to go around and that it’s the natural order of things for the strong to dominate the weak. Not coincidentally, they withhold resources from the weak so as to maintain that balance of power.
There are many who believe that the people are not fit to govern themselves and that task is best left up to a superior class. Not coincidentally they undermine education and civic institutions such as fair elections and governance without corruption.
I rise in opposition to those forces. I rise in opposition to the idea that strife and poverty and suffering are the irremediable conditions of life. I rise in opposition to those who say we can’t afford to live with dignity as one human family on this planet. I rise in opposition to those who are destroying this planet for the sake of a pathological pursuit of obscene lucre. I rise in opposition to those who would attempt to pacify us with appeals to the pabulum of an old, timeworn and illusory American Dream.
I stand for a new vision that sees the world as it is, not through the gauzy haze of a dream. As Americans, with our great wealth, our still formidable institutions of learning and law and communication, we have the privilege and responsibility of realizing a peaceful world. But it’s not an American vision, it’s a human vision.
It’s time that we in America reach inward and bring our humanity to the fore. We have to rescue our humanity from the forces that would tell us that we don’t have enough to go around, that others are a threat to our survival, that we need more stuff to make us happy.
There is not much time. The world is crumbling beneath our feet. But as long as there is ground to stand on, I stand for our power to and skill to devise the ways to live in peace. Stand with me.