Politics and the Environment:What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love and Ronald Reagan?

Politics and the Environment

Note: I usually save the opinion posts for my other blog “News From Hawkhill Acres“, but with a a very important election coming up in less than a month, I think this post deserves to go here too.

I know I’m supposed to blog about the financial crisis because that’s the most important thing in the world at the moment, and I’ll get to it. First, though, I’d like to say a word about peace, or the lack of it, in the world. I’m sure someone will comment and say that I’m overreacting but I’m going to say it anyhow. Peace doesn’t have a chance in our culture.

Oh, sure, I’m still rooting for it and fighting for it and promoting it in the community I inhabit. I’m still trying to model it for my kids and create those famous ripples that will spread out from me and other peacemongers throughout the rest of the world until it replaces war, unrest and meanness.

Unfortunately, I’m outnumbered and outgunned by corporations and power brokers who realize that peace doesn’t sell. Even if you count the Nobel Peace Prize, there are many more medals for war heroes than peace heroes. Little boys don’t say that they want to grow up to be peacekeepers; they want to grow up to be soldiers.

Our TV shows, movies and books aren’t about peace and love; they’re about torture, sophomoric mean-spirited jokes and heroes who are good guys because they kill bad guys. Think of the shows that have everyones’ eyeballs glued to the screen every night. Is “Survivor” a show about how the human race has survived by cooperating? I don’t think so.

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I think I really started to be worried about the world around the time that “Silence of the Lambs” became such a big hit. Hannibal Lecter is not a peacemonger. He’s a totally screwed up psychopath, but millions of people found him fascinating. They still do. I don’t. I can’t get past the horror his victims experienced. Whether in fiction or the real world, people who treat other people like objects or possessions aren’t people I want in my life.

But everyday on talk shows, on adult soap operas and “reality shows”, in sports and the entertainment industry, it’s not the peaceful, cooperative, decent people who are glorified, is it? Nope, it’s the loudmouthed, pushy, greedy, aggressive, mean, unethical egoists who get the publicity and the brand sponsorship, which makes them role models for millions of people, especially kids.

I’ve come to the conclusion that one reason peace is such a hard sell is because you just can’t make much money from it. True peace involves love for our fellow humans, the planet and the animal life on it. It means not consuming just for the sake of consuming. It means caring enough for others to pay them a decent wage, respect their inalienable right to do what they want with their own bodies and lives, and take care of them when they can’t care for themselves. Ain’t much return on that for someone who wants to be a millionaire, is there?

And that brings me to the current financial crisis and Ronald Reagan, who – if he were still alive – would be turning over in his grave. Well, you know what I mean. Ronald Reagan is still touted as the “father of the conservative revolution”, the man who got rid of those pesky regulations that hampered the free flow of money into the pockets of his rich cronies from trickling down from the rich to the poor.

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Note to poor: If you’re still standing there with your bucket to catch the trickle, you can go back to the homeless shelter. Very rich people don’t let even a trickle of money get away once they have it in their hands. That’s how they get rich.

How anyone could believe that the party that gave us Ronald Reagan is the change this country needs, is beyond me, but many do. Oh, wait, I get it. They mean “change” as in nickels and dimes, which is what the Republican party has been giving us for two administrations now, along with an unjust war, repressive homeland security laws (just the term makes me squirm) and such things as “signing statements” which are nothing more than a violation of the constitution.

We need Change with a capital C and that’s what I’m voting for. I’m not naiive. I don’t think that electing Barack Obama will immediately right all the wrongs in this country. I don’t agree with him on a lot of things and I’m just as cynical about politicians as the next person. However, I still insist that peace is the goal, not war. Love, not hate.

If you feel that way too, please think about which candidate is more likely to work for the same goals. Put Mimi’s Peace Globe on your site and blog about peace on November 7th. Let’s give peace another chance. It’s the least we can do.

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