Internally, this nation is in a state of severe and apparently unrelenting crisis. Many multi-faceted and exceedingly complex problems confront us as a nation and as a people. Apparently, the national leadership has effectively commandeered the functions of government in order to further its goal to more fully corporatize the public sector that ideally belongs to all the people. A significant aspect of this approach is to undermine the social safety net and disregard the absolute necessity of sustaining the Commons – those basic services and commodities that are essential for living such as a health care system accessible to everyone, a sustainable natural environment including clean air and water, adequate nutrition and shelter and an excellent and vibrant public education system. In place of those policies that ensure the maintenance of the Commons – a vital role for government to play – we are witnessing the development of an anarchic system in which profitability is the guiding principle and the acquisition of wealth the fundamental goal.
This nation has embraced an economic system effectively devoid of human compassion and has fully engaged public policies that extol the absolute primacy of profit. By necessity, this worldview disregards the input of the scientific community especially in the arena of the natural environment and the daunting impact of climate change.
In order to garner support for this approach, the current government relies upon reactions from supporters that touch upon deep and profound frustrations. In my mind, a common perception seems to be that many individuals feel that the country that they believe belongs to them has been taken away. The issues of race and racism that has plagued this nation since its inception are not far from the surface. Ironically, the supporters that feel that at last they are being heard, are the ones who will most profoundly experience the onus of the policies that are being enacted supposedly on their behalf.
As a people, we seem to be entering an irrational and self-destructive era; if we continue in this direction it will prove disastrous. This nation is not alone on this path – the entire human community faces a daunting future.
In my judgment, we need to collectively re-examine what is truly important for the continued sustenance of our species and act accordingly. We need to ultimately move beyond the bounds of tribe and country and discover a new global paradigm that embraces the recognition of the essential importance of the natural environment on this our only home – planet earth. We need to recognize that the human family consists of all of us regardless of our place of origin and that our future survival depends upon this realization.
It is more than likely that the next generation will be more receptive to this message than the current one. In essence, my plea is one for sanity – for the acceptance of the primacy of reason over emotion and for the acknowledgment of the essential role of science in the making of sound public policy.