Can We? Confessions of an American Cultural Heretic.
I'm simply not willing to have this particular kind of hope yet. Call me a radical or a skeptic:
I don't believe in individualism, and I don't believe in the free-market--at least not the entirely free market. I don't believe in the goodwill of private industry, left to its own devices, and I don't believe in American superiority. I sure as hell don't believe in the military/industrial complex. I don't believe in private medicine, and I don't believe in your right to sue your provider. I don't believe that the way we've organized ourselves politically is the best we can do, and I don't think corporate lobbies should be allowed a place in government. I don't believe that private organizations are the best equipped to meet social needs, and I don't think that care for our neighbors is best left to the churches. I don't believe that rags to riches is really what America is about. I don't believe in patriotism and I don't believe in nationalism. I don't believe in upper classes and lower classes. I don't believe it's every man for himself. I don't believe that the homeless are lazy. I don't believe that the choice is between the environment and big business. I don't believe that change is really all about hope.
I do believe in a well-regulated and well-organized big government. I believe that taxation can provide better funding for our social support system than tithes. I believe that we have to finally get pragmatic. I believe that America is in no place to claim the title "greatest nation in the world". I believe in well-regulated, government organized and run healthcare systems, transportation and housing infrastructures, student loan programs, and universal public education. (I believe in doing away with private education all together). I believe that we're all in this together. I believe that social oppression is real. I believe that the privileged have a responsibility to the unprivileged. I believe in high taxes. I believe that a non-military solution can be found to almost every problem. I believe that minorities are still getting screwed. I believe that we don't usually change until someone makes us. I believe that we spend twice as much on healthcare as any other country, but get worse outcomes than every other developed nation and several third world countries. I believe that 45 million Americans can't afford to go to the doctor when they get sick or injured. I believe that America has to stop comparing itself to dictatorships with no natural resources, and start comparing itself to countries with similar GDPs per Capita. I believe that will open some eyes. I believe in fair trade. I believe that we are in the midst of a major environmental crisis. I believe that we can figure out how to live without cars. I'm worried about our stockpile of nuclear weapons. I believe we have to take care of our neighbors, personally and nationally. I believe that we could do much better with the resources we've got.
Every candidate in the presidential race this year is a political moderate. Whoever gets elected, steps will be taken in the right direction, but I'm just not convinced that America--or our potential leaders--are really committed to change that will make a difference. Uninspired, I caucused for Hillary because in my estimation her policy moves the furthest towards pragmatism and justice, and I'll vote for Obama when he wins the nomination because he at least gives us a foundational belief that we can change things, if not policies that will really solve the problems. America, though, needs a serious wake up call, and I can't believe that we generally don't see that. We've dug ourselves into a hole, and we have to get serious about change if we're going to dig ourselves out.