About a Revolution
new year begins as the prior one starts its fade into the
past. We look back and highlight those events deemed important,
meaningful and/or particularly strange. We look forward into
an undefined future, subjecting it to our speculations and
predictions. Will 2004 continue the ride down the path of
war, environmental degradation and petrochemical addiction
that has radically accelerated during the last three years?
Or, will there be some juncture in this destructive path where
2004 will distinguish itself from 2003 by a change in direction,
a turnaround in priorities, a reordering of what is important,
a turning point? Could this be the year?
With all due respect to the arbitrariness of the date established
in our culture as the first day of the year, the start of
a new calendar year still infuses me with a tad of hope. That
hope is based on the simple belief that things can change
for the better, particularly if enough people join together
peacefully to ensure the change occurs. Within the context
of the activities of George W. and his administration, my
start-of-the-year hope has gone from being somewhat progressive
to being outright radical: I知 hoping for a revolution.
I知 hoping for a revolution where clean air, water and soil
are not considered a commodity to sully as corporate collateral
damage, but resources that all people have a right to. A revolution
where those responsible for polluting our environment are
made to desist and pay the full cost of their noxious efforts.
A revolution where large corporations that have used the planet
as a dumping ground for toxic wastes are charged and brought
to trial for the death, disability, and environmental destruction
they致e left behind. I知 hoping for a revolution.
I知 hoping for a revolution where people reject the credibility
of those who try to rally support for wars by employing lies.
A revolution where those whose lies lead to the death and
mutilation of the battlefield are brought to justice and tried
for violating the trust of the people and world peace. I知
hoping for a revolution.
I知 hoping for a revolution where those who hide the truth
behind claims of national security are found guilty of violating
the basic tenets of an open and free democracy. A revolution
where those who hide the truth to protect their own political
futures are exposed and held accountable. I知 hoping for a
I知 hoping for a revolution where people realize that the
country with the largest arsenal of weapons of mass destruction
of all kinds is right beneath their feet. A revolution where
these weapons of mass destruction are subject to monitoring,
disarmament and destruction. A revolution where the billions
of dollars invested in mass death is reinvested in removing
these hideous weapons from the environment. I知 hoping for
I知 hoping for a revolution where the government puts more
effort into providing protection of its people against the
threat of influenza than against smallpox. A revolution where
public health efforts are directed at real public-health threats
that directly impact the nation痴 health. A revolution where
the last remains of smallpox and other potential biological
weapons are destroyed for the benefit of all peoples on this
planet. I知 hoping for a revolution.
I知 hoping for a revolution where the needs of everyday people
for employment at meaningful jobs that pay a living wage take
precedence over satisfying the greed of multi-millionaire
CEOs who cut jobs and ship work to cheap foreign labor while
keeping their golden parachutes packed and ready. A revolution
where workplace safety and affordable healthcare benefits
are seen as necessary components of a responsible working
environment. I知 hoping for a revolution.
I知 hoping for a revolution where healthcare is seen as a
birthright, where it is available, accessible and affordable
for those who need it. A revolution that creates a healthcare
system that sees our health as intricately tied to our environment.
A revolution that sees health not as a source of profit, but
as a measure of social well-being. I知 hoping for a revolution.
I知 hoping for a revolution where the massive grid of the
electrical system is replaced with small-scale environmentally
benign home- and community-based energy-generating systems
that cannot be blacked out by sagging power lines in Ohio.
A revolution where huge corporate-energy monopolies are stripped
of their power, where people are actively part of their home-energy
production and conservation efforts, where windmills and solar
cell arrays sprout like mushrooms across the land. I知 hoping
for a revolution.
I知 hoping for a revolution where gas-guzzling cars, trucks
and SUVs will be replaced by vehicles that average 50 or more
miles per gallon. A revolution where this country finally
shakes its petrochemical addiction and comes clean with increased
energy efficiency and alternative, low- polluting fuels. A
revolution where people are encouraged to walk and bike more.
I知 hoping for a revolution.
And I知 hoping for a revolution where everyone can vote and
be assured that their votes count and are counted. A revolution
where elections are determined by issues and not slick advertising
or the size of campaign contributions. A revolution where
candidates for office have no alternative but to tell the
truth about their positions and promises. A revolution where
elections are determined by those who vote and not by the
decisions of bureaucrats who try to control those votes. I知
hoping for a revolution.
There are many more changes that I知 hoping for in my start-of-the-year
revolutionary reverie than the word limits of this column
will allow. And yes, I realize that my hopes may not coincide
with the future痴 reality. Regardless, I致e still got this
nano-bit of hope that, as this year unfolds, a growing spirit
will rise among the people of this land that calls for a change
from the dangerous path George W. has taken this country down.
The time for revolution has come, I hope.