Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Theo's World

I‘m a proud first-time grandparent. Theodore Andreini was born on December 31, so he’ll be two weeks old tomorrow, and he is as cute as they come. Celebrating new life also means contemplating the future and the world that we will leave behind for new generations.

It seems to me there are two very distinct versions of the future fighting for dominance right now. One is the conservative vision and one is the progressive vision.

Conservatives will have the upper hand in Congress for the next two years, but let’s take a look into the future and see what the world would look like on Theo’s 21st birthday if Republicans maintain control of our government and enact the policies they support:
  • Climate change denial and inaction has resulted in a toxic mix of extreme and destructive weather patterns, hazardous air quality and rising seas displacing millions of people worldwide. Tens of millions of people die each year as the direct result of man-made global warming.
  • War is institutionalized and America is in a constant state of conflict in locations all around the globe. We respond to every international situation with force, and the world is fighting back. The military is given all the money it wants and more, while average citizens struggle to pay bills and feed their families.
  • Social Security and many other current government programs are privatized, providing the wealthy with all the security and health they can buy, while the vast majority of citizens have nothing to look forward to in their lives but poverty and depravation.
  • The minimum wage is abolished and millions of Americans sink into desperate poverty fighting for low paying jobs just to survive. China sends manufacturing jobs to American sweat shops.
  • All schools are privatized, and there are no national education standards. Local schools teach whatever they want, and education becomes a privilege and not a right. A college education is financially out of reach for the majority of Americans, and only the children of elite attend universities.
  • All pretenses of participatory democracy are eliminated and elections become a mere formality. Candidates are openly bought and sold by America’s elites like slaves at an auction. The Oval Office is renamed the Exxon Mobile Oval Office.
This is not the world I want to leave behind for Theo.

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