By Nancy Churchill
A Progressive Visionary
According to the Mayan calendar, the world ended Dec. 21, 2012. Well, we’re still here, but perhaps we have the power to end some of our world, beginning now, if only we will. I’ve compiled a list for starters.
We can, and will, end the world of more children slaughtered needlessly because Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association (NRA) thinks the answer to guns is more guns, and the Second Amendment prohibits us from banning assault weapons. Nonsense. It’s not up to him. And if millions of people must take their shoes off in airports every day because once a guy with a shoe bomb tried unsuccessfully to blow up an airplane, we can ban assault weapons without violating the Second Amendment.
We can, and will, end the world of austerity as a way out of our economic crisis, enriching plutocrats on the backs of the poor, the elderly and the middle class. There are better ways out of this mess than exchanging cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans’ benefits, and many other social programs, for greater tax cuts for the wealthy.
We can, and will, end this world of plutocrats that aim to shrink government, not to drown it in a bathtub, but to put it in its pocket. We will no longer call earned benefits “entitlements.” We are, indeed, entitled to them, because we earned them, but they are not “government spending” — they are “investments in America” by us, the taxpayers. And we will end exploitative deregulation that deprives the public of its rightful protection.
We can, and will, end the upward distribution of wealth that crushes unions and stagnates wages. We will demand the right to organize for fairer wages and benefits in exchange for our work, and reveal “Right to Work” laws for what they are: the right to work for less and less.
We can, and will, end the world of unelected corporate government, of voter suppression and Citizens United, where voters are disenfranchised by the thousands, and secret money from unnamed, even prohibited, sources can buy our elections. We will have federal election reform.
We can, and will, end the world of fossil fuels, end its death grip on our energy policies, because the life of our planet is more important than Big Oil profit.
We can, and will, end the world of global warming, because doing nothing will be the end of us all, and none is so blind as he who will not see it.
We will end the world as we know it; out with the old, in with the new. We can, and will, adopt a new vision for our world, and lay its foundation on such principles, to paraphrase our founders’ Declaration of Independence, and organize its powers in such form as will seem to us most likely to affect our safety and happiness. Because we know, regarding assault weapons, stolen elections, corporate government, plutocracy, austerity, fossil fuels and global warming, our world is unsustainable.
Highlights of Nancy Churchill’s life are growing up in Congo, Africa, until she was 15, racing stock cars as an adult from 1976 until 2001, and writing as a liberal political junkie since the early ’90s. She lives in Oregon, Ill.
From the Jan. 2-8, 2013, issue