This election season, Democratic candidates are throwing around all kinds of pie-in-the-sky campaign promises like guaranteed healthcare, free public college, and the complete transition away from fossil fuels. But before we drift into utopian pipe dreams, I have to ask whether or not we are really ready to embrace the extreme political agenda of the survival of the species.
Don’t get me wrong. I see what’s attractive about completely transforming a system that preys on the most vulnerable among us, strips us of our humanity, and destroys our resources and the planet’s biodiversity. However, we must make sure that we appeal to a tiny, probably nonexistent margin of people who voted for Trump and who might be more amenable to support a moderate Democrat in 2020.
We have to return to normalcy and find our center as a country. And by that, I mean doing absolutely nothing to steer us away from the total destruction of organized human life on earth. It’s just not an effective political strategy to counter the disaffected complacency of the American people that’s driving our democracy into fascist chaos. Sure, the promise of recognizing basic human dignity by ensuring no person dies because they can’t afford life-saving procedures and medicines appeals to me as much as the next guy. But we have to approach healthcare in a manner so incremental as to being tantamount to doing nothing at all. Anything else would be way too radical.
Okay, so maybe the current system we have is so rapacious and depraved that it drives young people into soul-crushing debt for pursuing higher education. But are we really ready to allow our country to fully embrace the fringe agenda of providing opportunities to every American? I mean, I don’t want my taxes to pay for Trump’s kids to go to college because it would not benefit society to have insulated billionaires learn alongside low-income kids at public universities.
Millennials are just way too riled up over trivialities like their ability to live humane, peaceful lives on this planet in their old age. It’s not like we have barely a decade to reverse climate change before its effects become unpredictable and terrifyingly destructive. All young people do is whine about not being able to do things that every generation before them could, like buy a house, support a family, and look to their twilight years as something other than a dystopian hellscape. They just need to put down the avocado toast and learn to code.
The current administration has us in a tizzy. This reaction to Trump’s extremism raises the threat of our political system swinging too far in the opposite direction. We are all worked up and flirting with dangerous ideologies that run the risk of creating a truly decent society that protects our most marginalized citizens and preserves the planet for our grandchildren.
At a moment when we are on the brink of entrenching our country further into a new quagmire of conflict in the Middle East, it is most important to make sure that Democratic candidates stop referring to Trump killing Soleimani as an “assassination,” and that they preface any tweet criticizing the general’s murder with a condemnation of Soleimani’s war crimes. We certainly would not want to go too far toward the left and acknowledge the humanity of the Iranian people. No, we must maintain a healthy hatred of all non-Americans, even if it means sending another generation off to fight a senseless war wasting untold numbers of dollars and lives. Anything else might run the risk of us morphing into communist Cuba overnight.
Cooler heads must prevail in these trying times. As the Australian brush and Amazon rainforest burn, sea levels rise, corals bleach, global temperatures climb, and the oceans swell with plastic, do we really want to tear everything down? Do we really want to restructure our economy so that collective survival and security are prioritized over the gain of a tiny few? Because we could end up like Venezuela or the Soviet Union if we were to stop valuing profit over all else. Venezuela, guys!
So, as you contemplate your choices on the ballot in this primary, I suggest you take a long hard look at these candidates and ask yourself if it really is worth embracing socialism to ensure that future generations don’t inherit a world engulfed in post-apocalyptic flames.