I think I may be what many consider a ‘bleeding heart liberal’. But the fact is my heart is huge. In my 36 years on this earth I’ve come to love much of it; the animals, the earth and especially the people. Problem is, not everyone agrees with me on this.
When it comes to our environment we’ve lost much respect. Our ability to shelter and defend ourselves from it make us believe that we may even be in control of it. We have heat in the winter, cool air in the summer. We have rerouted rivers to assist in farming, dammed lakes to create power. So when millions of barrels of crude seep into our Gulf and wash up on the beaches of our ‘sea to shining sea’ many look the other way.
Last year when the BP oil spill happened in our Gulf I boycotted BP. Someone warned me not to do so. They said they knew someone who had all of their retirement tied up in BP stock and that I would not be effecting the BP CEO’s who caused this mess, but the poor folks who had invested their trust in this polluter. I was floored because she had a good point. It made me realize that if there had not been a Wallstreet bailout <shudder>, most of our country would have been in the same predicament as this lady with her BP stock. Lesson here: be careful what you invest in, maybe a physical object like a home IS the best longterm investment.
I believe the main problem with humans is that our memories are short. In the heat of the moment we make decisions that will affect us for generations to come. Especially in the U.S. we seem to see things in only 2 or 4 year election cycles – a vast race to see who will be on top this time. We disregard who will be effected by this race only to exalt in the winner.
I find myself wishing for limited terms on our elected officials, or that those in congress weren’t given large salaries and benefits and had to rely on the same things as the rest of us. Maybe then they wouldn’t be so separated from the woes of the average Joes. Also they might not be as committed to the campaign dollars of big corporations that pay them off to get political decisions that help their bottom line (despite what that line may do to Americans).
When the chemicals we create to help our food supply kills bees, we don’t ban it. We have investments in the companies that pollute and those investments make us money so we disregard it. We don’t need stinging bees they say, despite the fact that pollinators like bees help produce a third of what we eat. But if one in every three cows or pigs was dying we would be more alarmed.
Almost everyone can agree that we care about our children. But we can add dangerous hormones to the cows that feed our babies and the mainstream media will defend it to protect the cash flow of their chemical company contributors. Not only do we love our children but the U.S. is full of communities that care about each other right? Yet the CEO’s who drive a business into the ground and eliminate the jobs of thousands of our family members are rewarded with bonuses. But hey, they are smart and worked hard to get to be a big CEO, they shouldn’t be held accountable right?
Something has gone vastly wrong in our country. When pop stars get more attention than bills that will help the needy we need to check our moral compass. Is it possible that capitalism isn’t as great as we all thought? Is it possible that it has changed from competition based growth to who can hoard the most? Our greed has no limits. If you’re country has oil we will send our armies but we won’t take care of the veterans when they return to the U.S.. Heck they can hardly get jobs.
I ask myself why. But no one can answer the question why some care about these things so much when others look the other way. This country was founded on the freedoms of the individual. Too bad that corporations are now considered individuals as they have MUCH more money to advance their own individual rights than the average person.
We need to stand up and start caring about each other. I watch political blogs where comments on it include proponent of one side saying ‘I HATE the other side’. Funny thing is, many of those on the other side are our friends and family. You just might not know it since many aren’t vocal about their political views for risk of offending someone and/or literally want to be ‘politically correct’.
I’m here to say I LOVE YOU ALL! I would fight for your right to stand against me. But I will continue to try to alert you to the fact that our capitalist democracy will not work unless we work together for our people and not for dollars or stuff. We must wake you up to the truth that helping each other and being a community/team player is what will keep our democracy working. This thought can be scary to a deeply autonomous person who has worked hard to build something for themself. But if we don’t share that which we as individuals build and only hoard it are we being moral?
I often see comments on blogs, ” I worked hard all my life I’m not giving my money to a lazy person who wants to live off me!” But I’ve yet to see a person who is living on unemployment or welfare who is proud of it. And I’ve watched those who believed this change their tunes when they lose the jobs they worked hard at for years and have been left behind.
Please consider for a moment that we all live in the same world and that world is growing smaller and more poisoned every day. Sharing our tax dollars with each other and not the money-making corporations is what made the roaring 50’s well great. Deregulating the big corporations will mean more oil spills, more dead animals, a more poisoned environment and more need for healthcare to combat what the poisoned environment does to us.
I’m not deeply religious but am spiritual and believe that Jesus had it right – feed the hungry and clothe the poor. I recently saw an article where a Florida man was arrested for feeding more than 25 people in a public park. The story is a few years old now but is indicative of the direction our government is going. We as a nation cannot stand aside and let our neighbors go by the wayside because it is inconvenient for us, not pretty to look at, or will cut into our own monies. Our democracy will only work if we give back. Since most people don’t have the time to give back, building it into our democratic policies will help us do so. It saddens me as I watch these policies get cut down one by one.
To end I’d like to reference a song that the term ‘bleeding heart liberal’ reminds me of. It is a U2 song called ‘Trying To Throw Your Arms Around The World.’ (link to live performance) I’d like to give the world a great big bleeding heart hug. Too bad I can’t save us all from ourselves.