I was standing on a bridge last night, ready to commit suicide over the inability of our government to actually DO anything about stuff like health care, reining in the greed of Wall St. and the Banksters, the millions of foreclosures, the increasing number of homeless resulting from that, kids going to bed hungry while CEO make 57,000 dollars an hour, the trumpeting that the recession is over while we have HUGE unemployment, the Corporate control of our government, the fact that we STILL find it necessary to kill Brown People in various locations around the world and of course....Climate Crisis. When, all of a sudden....a funny little man appeared beside me just as I was about to jump.
"Wait," he said, going completely off script, "let me show you a world without Republicanism!"
I thought for a moment and then realized that the 6 foot drop into a culvert of dirty stagnant polluted (by Republicanists) water probably wouldn't kill me...but might give me a nasty case of tetanus or e coli or something and said...."Sure, dude, like, whatever."
We walked back into a different town than the one I had left. A town designed to minimize travel by car, well planned with pleasing greenery and solar panels and brightly decorated windmills everywhere. We passed the geothermal plant, the community run, government funded, child care center/health clinic, the streets were well paved and there were no potholes.
Bright little Mom and Pop stores lined the streets with nary a Big Box store or national franchise to be found. Apparently without them, the citizens of the town were able to make a comfortable but not excessive living supplying their neighbors with goods and services instead of wearing stupid ass uniforms and working at Target Mart for just above minimum wage while all the profits were shipped to the vaults of The Ruling Class thousands of miles from our community.
The sun rose over the well funded and technologically advanced public school, and a news boy was dropping off the early edition of the local paper, the headline read 'World Peace Boring the Heck Out Of the Planet's Armies"
I looked at Clarence and he saw my raised eyebrow. "Yes, World peace!" Clarence said, "without a Foreign Policy based on extracting resources from poor countries or exploiting poor people for cheap labor, the warring nation's of the world finally ran out of excuses to kill people." He frowned. "There is still some terrorism but on a planet of six billion people ("Wait!" I exclaimed, "SIX billion people??? Clarence winked and whispered in my ear...."Birth Control and intelligent Family Planning!") there will always be malcontents that can find some reason (mostly religious extremism) to want to blow up their fellow humans. Fortunately, well regulated and monitored International Law Enforcement groups are able to contain the worst of it. After all with so many happy people in the world, the unhappy ones tend to stand out. Negotiators and moderators have replaced the bulk of armies though, and so most disputes are taken care of well before they erupt into violence."
"It worked well in the Middle East, where we finally learned that a HUGE percentage of the worlds violence actually WAS based on economic disparity. When we shifted from funding the defense industries into providing food, shelter, medicine, education, job training and infrastructure to the world's hot spots, it worked remarkably well!"
It seems the decades of education and economic equality funded by money that used to be spent on killing people ...and long denied or quashed by Republicanist lawmakers had produced an educated and informed world wide electorate, who over the decades had embraced democracy and equal civil and economic rights and peacefully overthrown or voted out most of the world's bad actors. Apparently....once voter suppression efforts by The Ruling Class had been eradicated world wide and everyone had voting rights and true access to their elected representatives....
Access that lobbyists and special interests did NOT have, thanks to the fact that every election was financed by the public, and the quaint notion of Corporate personhood had been...executed...
They no longer felt that the world was an unfair, ugly place with the deck stacked against them. It turned out that most people very much enjoyed participating in their government and communities, and were willing to work hard and sacrifice....in a FAIR system of governance
"Yes," Clarence said, the sunlight gleaming off of his nose, "it all turned around in the 1960's, when in this world, the news about Watergate broke BEFORE the 72 election and Republicans were recognized as the greedy, corrupt, War For Profit, polluting, hateful basta....folks that they were!"
He went on to tell me how under the Democrats, now lead by the ideals and idealists of the young generation of that time, truly equal civil and voting rights for ALL were strictly enforced and the electoral and financial reforms that transformed America and then the the world were enacted.
When the ecology movement sprang up in the seventies, it was embraced as not just a way to save the only planet we have, but to honor it and learn to live in harmony with it...instead of raping it's resources and the profits going to...the vaults of the Ruling Class.
As America sought peace with the Soviet Union...which lead to a new democratic socialism and economic system, the money from the peace dividend was poured into the Green Revolution and alternative energy sources took over from oil in the eighties, not just cleaning the atmosphere, but providing a new economic base for the whole planet. More labor intensive, it provided jobs for everyone that wanted to work. and since the new economy was based on an employee owned business model, everyone had plenty of incentive to succeed.
Capital was provided for new enterprises by HEAVILY regulated private institutions. They were taxed at such a high rate that they were forced to put their profits right back into circulation and into further research as well as a vast philanthropic wave to avoid the high tax rate.
That wave of philanthropy also helped to transform the poorer countries of the world, programs to provide alternative energy sources, schools, medical clinics, and vocational as well as higher education spread throughout the globe, giving every human the chance to fulfill...or ignore their potential as they wished.
Some of the greatest technical and philosophical geniuses and advances came out of countries that had been mired in poverty, starvation, political upheaval over resources and ignorance.
The world was transformed on every level. A new ethos of equality and justice swept the world....without Republicanism to hold it back through it's economic, political, and educational suppression. All of which had been designed to keep the Lower Classes subjugated, so that the Ruling Class could retain it's stranglehold on the wealth, power, and resources of the world.
The population stabilized, new technologies were embraced not repressed, and without the prevailing influence of the Republicanists....systematic raw naked greed at the expense of all others, the Human Race thrived in a peaceful prosperous and just world!
Suddenly, we were back at the bridge. Clarence looked at me with a tear in his eye and said, "Yes, we missed THAT chance. Nixon and Republicanism won, leading to Reagan and the Bushes with a stop over to impeach Clinton for being a Liberal."
"But now, now we have another chance at it! The world got a look at what nearly unfettered Republicanism has done to the planet over the last decades, and they DO NOT like it! The Republicans are destroying themselves again, and there is an amazing new generation of bright committed young people ready to change the world....if.."
"If?" I said.
"If," Clarence continued we could just get rid of the last remnants of the Republican leaders and the corrupting influence of Republicanism and Me Firstism on every aspect of society! especially the corrupting influence of greed that makes everyone have to sink down to their level!"
He looked me in the eye and asked me The Question.
"Well, son? Are you going to give in to despair and hopelessness and apathy? Or are you going to stick around and help build this new world."
I got down from that bridge, got to work.... and never looked back.