"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."- Gandhi
I can think of no more important message for our generation. In its elegant simplicity lies something that may be as close to an absolute truth as possible: If the world is to ever change, then we must be the ones who change it.
I wholeheartedly believe that the most fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans in general can be found while reading statements from both parties. As Barack Obama said in his amazing keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, "There is no Liberal America, there is no Conservative America, there is the United States of America." It is my steadfast belief that this statment embodies the lofty goals and principles of our Party.
Instead of trying to divide our country by race, religion, sexual orientation, or any number of other differences, Democrats try to ensure that all Americans are treated equally and people are treated with the dignity and respect that are innate within every human being.
I will spend the rest of my time telling you about my vision for America.
I think that the main root of the problems in our country are caused not by money itself, but rather it is the way in which politicians see it as acceptable to give tax cuts to people who make over $200,000 a year, while ignoring the poor and the middle classes who have made America the great country it is today.
The solution is simple, at least from an ideal standpoint, we as a country must stand up to the special interests and corporations that run our country. When we accomplish this, we can once again bring our government back to the people where it belongs.
We must ensure that all workers in our country are able to receive the full retirement benefits that they have earned through their hard work and dedication. We must protect their security and well being by promoting safe working conditions. We must protect workers' rights to unionize to fight for better working conditions.
We must also protect our workers' pension and retirement plans, because it is immoral for anyone who worked their whole lives to have their retirement taken away due to greed and corruption.
But we can't stop there, we must ensure that all American workers are ensured a universal living wage that is tied to inflation. We must also ensure that all Americans have the same health care that our elected officials are given. And finally, we must ensure that all of our children are given an affordable quality education that enables them to compete for the high quality jobs of the future. This is the only way to ensure that all Americans are given the financial security that they deserve.
Far from harming America, these actions would strengthen and promote our vibrant society, and help protect people from those whose greed controls their actions. This is the only moral thing to do. We should not spend more money to help those who already have enough, rather it is our moral obligation and our solemn duty to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves. That's the truly American thing to do.
SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES
In my ideal world, we are a color-blind society, where we follow Dr. King's hopes of "judging people not on the color of their skin, but on the content of their character."
This is why, Social Justice issues are tied closely to those of Economic Justice.
First practices such as Racial Profiling must be abandoned altogether. Discriminatory practices such as this, despite critics arguments to the contrary, serve to undermine the concept of Equality that must be a cornerstone of any Democracy.
I believe that the Death Penalty should be available only in extreme cases such as Treason, Terrorism, and Serial Killers, and that precluding those grave acts, no one should face death as a possible penalty. There are too many cases in which evidence shows that people are given the death penalty not because of the atrocity of their actions, but because of the color of their skin, or their lack of money to afford a fancy attorney. This is unacceptable and it is an abomination of our criminal justice system.
The most noble and lofty goal of our criminal justice system must be deterrence and rehabilitation not retribution and vengeance.
We must fight to ensure that women are given the choice of controlling their own bodies in regards to reproductive rights. Women must be allowed to make these life-altering decisions free from danger and coercion, after having been fully informed. The issue is whether or not we trust people to govern their own bodies, and also how far we want the government to go into our private lives.
We must also invest in stem cell research that might lead to cures for people who suffer from horrible diseases. It is a moral imperative that we help to alleviate their excruciating pain. We owe it the people who suffer with such pain to give them some hope for a future in which they don't have to suffer.
We must decriminalize recreational drugs, and we must drop mandatory minimums for non-violent drug offenses. All evidence shows that minorities are disproportionately affected by these laws, and that is very Un-American. We must eliminate provisions in Federal law that prevent anyone who has ever been convicted of a non-violent drug offense from receiving financial aid for college.
We must fight for common sense gun control that will help protect all Americans from gun violence. In my ideal world, there would be no guns, because there is no crime, but until that day comes, we must fight for programs such as Ballistics Fingerprinting, Gun Registration Databases, and closing Loopholes at Gun Shows, and we must renew the Assault Weapons Ban. In short we must fight to protect innocents from being slaughtered by items that have no purpose other than killing and injuring other human beings.
THE FUTURE OF OUR COUNTRY
Having said all that, I absolutely believe that our country is thegreatest country in the world. If I didn't, then I wouldn't advocate fighting for it. It is because I love my country and my fellow Americans that I ask that we all do what we can to bring about these positive changes. Fighting for our country's future is not something that we can take lightly, we must constantly be on the lookout for situations that endanger our Freedoms and our Liberties, and we must also be on the lookout for opportunities to help those less fortunate than ourselves. This is our duty as Democrats, Americans, and most importantly human beings.
If we remain vigilant, then we can make America as good and as noble a place as we possibly can, and that is something worth fighting for. Because all people are imbued with an innate dignity, we must help not only our own country, but just as importantly, we must help the impoverished and downtrodden the world over. We must ensure that they are viewed once again as human beings who deserve our generosity and our compassion.
Edmund Burke once said, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
That's my favorite quote of all time, and I for one will not stand idly by, and after reading many of the posts on this website, I take heart in knowing that I am not alone.