Friday, September 16, 2016

We do have a choice

I have been keeping low during the current campaign once Bernie Sanders conceded to Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.

Bernie is gone

Sadly, Bernie is gone. In a very real sense he abandoned the revolution he started. He turned his back on his principles and "joined the party line" with a fear-causing message: Trump is evil and we must do everything we can to stop his run for the presidency.

From that point on, the talk about the values and principles that we, the Bernie supporters, fought for and were excited about, ceased to exist. Our hopes and dreams for a better form of government, one based on honesty and fairness, were betrayed.

But all is not lost. As the dust settled following the collapse of the Bernie campaign, a real choice became clear. For me, the Green Party of the United States represents hope for the future. I am not sure that there is much hope for the 2016 presidential election; too much energy was used up by the Bernie movement. However, we can begin preparing for 2020, and also focus on local and state elections.

A fear-less campaign

I believe it is time to transition from political campaigns based on fear, to those based on values, principles, and clearly defined goals and plans. For the most part, the Republican and Democratic parties do not provide that platform. As soon as they are put on the spot, they revert to fear-mongering.

Why the Green Party

I am choosing the Green Party because it has the same principles/values that the Bernie campaign had. The ten values listed there are of paramount importance to our society and our planet. It is time to shift away from a "greater profit" mentality and start thinking in terms of our "common benefit."

Above All

Above all, I hope everyone participates. We need everyone to cast a vote, to voice an opinion in a cordial, respectful manner, and to listen to the opinions of others in similar fashion. Then, and only then, will we be able to have an open dialog, to negotiate and compromise, and to work together for the common good.


The Cow & The Ice Cream

In the current election cycle in the USA, and probably in many other countries, we would be well served to remember the story I received in an email today. I have copied it below.

My thoughts:

  • There is no free lunch; you cannot get something and expect it to come out of thin air. Politicians are great at making promises and not delivering them after they get elected. We must have a questioning attitude about all the promises we hear.
  • Despite what the major political parties tell us, we do have more than two choices. We do not have to settle for one or the other. For some, the Libertarian Party may be a good match. For others, the Green Party would be a great choice. I suggest that making a choice based on fear is not in our best interest. If we choose candidate A mostly because we fear or dislike candidate B, then that is not a great selection.
Here is the story I received today:

We are worried about 'the cow' when it is all about the 'Ice Cream.'

The most eye-opening civics lesson I ever had was while teaching 3rd grade this year.

The Presidential election was heating up and some of the children showed an interest.

I decided we would have an election for a class president.

We would choose our nominees. They would make a campaign speech and the class would vote.

To simplify the process, candidates were nominated by other class members.

We discussed what kinds of characteristics these students should have.

We got many nominations and from those, Jamie and Olivia were picked to run for the top spot.

The class had done a great job in their selections. Both candidates were good kids.

I thought Jamie might have an advantage because he got lots of parental support.

I had never seen Olivia's mother.

The day arrived when they were to make their speeches.

Jamie went first.

He had specific ideas about how to make our class a better place. He ended by promising to do his very best.

Everyone applauded and he sat down.

Now is was Olivia's turn to speak.

Her speech was concise. She said, "If you will vote for me, I will give you ice cream."

She sat down.

The class went wild. "Yes! Yes! We want ice cream."

She surely would say more. She did not have to.

I initiated the discussion that followed. "How did you plan to pay for the ice cream?"

She wasn't sure. But no one pursued that question. They took her at her word.

Would her parents buy it or would the class pay for it... She didn't know.

The class really didn't care. All they were thinking about was ice cream...