Where do we go from here America? We’re at the end of the reign of Bush, and many are hoping that somehow a new era for America and the world can begin. Republicanism has run its course and run us into a ditch. Democrats have a thin, thin majority in Congress, so they’re having a hard time getting anything done over the obstructive tactics of the Republicans. But we’re also left with the question of what the Democrats would do if they could do what they want to do. It’s not clear.
Get us out of Iraq? OK, then what for the mess that’s the Middle East, and its consequent issue of terrorism? What about the multiple humanitarian disasters that is Africa? How do we relate to the emerging mega-economies of China and India? What about the environment and energy policy? These are not only domestic issues but tie heavily into foreign policy. Can we shape new policies for Latin America that neither ignores nor exploits? What about corporate dominance of America and its new aristocracy of executives living obscenely exploitive life styles? What about how gratuitous selfishness, materialism and sex-violence-and shallow-sensationalism media are twisting our culture? Democrats offer no clear voices. What about healthcare? Democrats seem to think they are bold to offer universal insurance, a plan to expand the mess we have now. I have a hard time being enthusiastic about any candidate that doesn’t embrace the common sense of a single-payer universal healthcare system.
Democrats and America lack a vision into the future. Specifically of worry to progressives is that the Democrats, who are supposed to represent progressives, are lacking an inspiring vision. They remain the party of bureaucratic pluralism, mumbling and bumbling, lacking clarity of focus, ineffective at countering Republican slanders. They are still completely supportive of an America owned by corporations (as evidenced by their universal health insurance plans) and that just won’t cut it.
While America continues to struggle with the disaster that is the wave-the-flag, sell America to corporations, fundamentalist religion influenced politics of the Nixon to Bush Republican era, an inspirational progressive counter-point is needed, and the old tired radical politics of the 60’s and 70’s won’t work anymore. Leftists angrily marching in the streets (or blogging the internet) cannot be the progressive politics of the 21st Century. America needs an inspiring vision of harmony between all people, Nature and the economy. We need a real peace and consciousness movement that finds its inspiration not in Abbey Hoffman or Huey Newton, but in Martin Luther King, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.
A new cultural revolution is needed. A revolution of consciousness evolution where our sense of who we are expands, getting bigger and bigger until it includes everyone and the planet itself. The old radical style was still us against them. It now has to be “One planet, one people, one future.” We must really give peace a chance, and peace is not about being anti-war – or anti-corporations, anti-establishment or anti-anything, while still standing as a firm force in protection from the harm done by un-evolved selfish and belligerent consciousnesses. It is about embracing everyone, no group favored over any other, all given a stake and a level of security that ends poverty and want. This new vision has to be spiritual in its understanding that love, fairness, compassion and oneness need to be the foundation for any secular/political action. Think about it, then meditate on it. If it resonates for you, then start the challenging practice of bringing your own life in line with these principles. One person at a time, this consciousness evolution can become a revolution – in the streets, if necessary – but embodying peace, compassion and fairness for all, inviting the country and the world to join.