Bernie has now won the New Hampshire primary! Watching Bernie Sanders debate Hilary Clinton on MSNBC just a few days before the New Hampshire primary, I couldn’t have felt prouder of Bernie. He is our best available option, even though his foreign policy, especially toward Palestine, leaves much to be desired. Some have rightly argued that it is a contradiction to be antiwar and also supportive of Bernie. But if Bernie gets elected, there is a greater chance that in the future a true antiwar socialist can get elected.
Conservatives have argued that the middle class is going to have to pay for all this “free stuff” Bernie is talking about, and if Bernie really wants to win against Hilary, he needs to take a stronger stand on ISIS. But if we want true national security, we need to bring the troops home and close down all our military bases around the world. Immediately after winning the New Hampshire primary, Bernie again stated that we can make Wall Street speculators pay for the free stuff.
Bernie is more a social democrat rather than a socialist. I read an article recently that stated that the socialist and leftist political parties are now more divided than ever as a result of Bernie Sanders’ rise to fame. But until Bernie (and popular Marxist Professor Richard D. Wolff) came along, the word “socialism” was a bad word. Moreover, you rarely heard the word “capitalism” mentioned in the mainstream media. But since you cannot talk extensively about socialism without discussing capitalism, it may be that innovative ideas will get more attention now. Change is happening, and we progressives and leftists should rejoice.
It also amazes me beyond measure that minorities still support Clinton when Sanders would serve them better. This convinces me even more that we need to take all money out of politics. In previous articles, I have argued that there is a way to equally empower the seven largest national political parties. Just abolishing the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, which allows unlimited election spending by individuals and corporations, is not enough.
Regarding the public schools (as a retired teacher), I believe we should decentralize public schools and let the residents who live within the boundary of every elementary, middle, and high school choose their own school board and develop their own school philosophy and curriculum, using public funds. This would create more neighborhood togetherness and local self-determination. I have never heard of any other educator advocating this policy, which I have endorsed for forty years. It is worth trying, possibly as a pilot program somewhere.
Ultimately if we pass an amendment that revises Article V of the Constitution, we can have a constitutional convention in a safe, fair, and democratic way to create an improved national constitution. I have written my own version of a new constitution in which I advocate a unicameral national legislature (after the U.S. Senate is abolished) in which representatives would be elected through proportional representation; it allows instant run-off voting; and the election of a president through majority rule (discarding the Electoral College system). The next constitution, if it is like my constitution, will make it easier to pass amendments, and it will be easier to abolish whenever the citizens desire it.
The increasing legalization of marijuana, the most versatile plant on earth, for recreational and health benefits and of cannabis hemp for industrial purposes is a good thing. Keeping marijuana illegal only encourages people to drink alcohol more when smoking weed is much safer.
The United States in an empire and the average citizen does not have a clue about how our CIA and military operate in every corner of the globe. On foreign policy, readers are encouraged to read the writings of William Blum, Noam Chomsky, and Michael Parenti. Chalmers Johnson argued that about one-third of the military budget is a secret budget.
The United States needs to officially confess its many sins, repent, and seek forgiveness for the many ways it has harmed the planet, various nations and individuals. It could begin a process of planetary healing that literally creates peace on earth.
The ecological balance of the earth could be compared to the equilibrium of the human body—all the cells and organs must cooperate, not compete, to get nutrients and oxygen. We are one earth, one world, and one humanity. Ultimately we should create a democratic world government that can be disassembled just as easily as it can be created, if that is the will of planetary or world citizens. At the very least, this could abolish nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. Creating radical economic egalitarianism would be ideal.
It is a good thing that more people are practicing meditation because the continuing research is showing that it has many psychological and health benefits. Mindfulness, mantra, and breath-awareness are the various methods. The common element is calm awareness and detached observation of every thought, desire, feeling, and body sensation.
As a result of studying the latest liberal biblical scholarship, I renounced fundamentalist and then evangelical Christianity. And now as a result of listening to various rationalists and skeptics, I have started to doubt some of the amazing claims mentioned in the classic book Autobiography of a Yogi. But then, what do individuals limited by their mere rationalism and skepticism know about higher states of mystical consciousness attained through meditation?
If reincarnation and the increasing reports of Near Death Experiences (NDE’s) are proven to be figments of people’s imagination, it does not mean that we should stop meditating a few minutes each day because meditation has proven benefits. I try to keep an open mind about all of these metaphysical issues. Our spiritual beliefs about God and human nature influence our political worldviews.
Recently I watched a TEDx lecture on YouTube, entitled “Is there scientific proof we can heal ourselves?” Lissa Rankin, MD, author of Mind Over Medicine, provides evidence that we can heal ourselves. We need an even greater political revolution than what Bernie envisions. We also need a revolution in medicine, religion or spirituality, and public education.
Yes, we may be able to save the world and the planet before it is too late by electing Bernie Sanders for president. Bernie would also support empowering third parties. Getting Bernie elected can provide new hope for the United States and also the world.
Roger Copple is 65 years old. He retired 5 ½ years ago in 2010 from teaching general elementary, mostly 3rd grade, and also middle and high school special education in Indianapolis. He now lives in Bradenton, Florida. He is interested in political theory and worried about U.S. imperialism. Roger meditates every day and walks two miles a day. Roger grew up in the subculture of the United Pentecostal Church and remembers going to church four times a week. His parents have always voted Republican. His website: www.NowSaveTheWorld.com.