Another Option, A Step Toward the Solution
by. Raimondo Graziano
~ Written sometime after the 2016 Presidential Election
Since the election this past November I have thought much on what it is the ‘left’, so to speak, need to accomplish and endeavor to do in order to preserve the hopes and ambitions of numerous progressive organizations across the country. I hope to lay out a hope for a political party that has the same vigor, vivacity, fervor and in some cases, callous and cold commitment to the goals of the party and in turn the people of that of the Republican Party. While I do not feel that the majority of those elected to office truly care for their people, what I will give them is their commitment to fulfilling their goals with a harshness and a lack of care for public opinion. This country needs a party that believes that if the policy is good for the people, it is good for the party regardless of where the policy itself may fall on the political spectrum.
This country needs a political party that is prepared to take bold stances on issues that address problems directly, regardless of what blowback they may receive either from media, people, big money interests and otherwise – a party that promotes ideas and concepts that could be considered radical in their own right. The right as we speak is doing just this; look at their proposals and the rules they are repealing, the orders they are rescinding. And what does our left do? We resist. But what does that mean, really? The Democratic Party promotes themselves as a party for the people and for the most part, they try. But they tend to teeter towards the center, which is commendable; though the trend of the times say otherwise. And that teetering towards the center caused them to lose this election to a man beholden to no party, a man who has stacked his cabinet with individuals from all different spectrums of the right, all pushing their beliefs and wants for the country, though all have different aims. Simply look at the distinction between the Chief of Staff and the Chief Strategist. The President is the spokesman for a long list of differing interests in Washington.
What I have admired about both the President, and the Republican party is their tenacity – their ability to organize, stack the state houses, and gain majorities across the country; more so with the Republican party itself. Currently the Republicans control over half of the governorships nationwide, two thirds of the state legislatures, the courts, and soon the Supreme Court as well – possibly for a generation. What I admire of the Democratic Party is their inclusive nature, to take in all citizens, all individuals and promote progressivism and policies that do not harm people and take away their benefits, policies that are aimed at leveling the field for those at a disadvantage – dismissing the idea of cutthroat capitalism that some republicans, while not outright saying so, subscribe to. Paul Ryan for instance, an idol of his own is Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged and a political theorist – one need only read her, to understand what it is the Speaker of our House believes in his heart, and acts upon through his policy.
For this party, this third party, or alternative party – a truly progressive party – all the groups of the last decade that promote economic mobility, social equality and justice, equity in all affairs; these groups must come under the auspices of one political party – donations they receive and support they receive will be directed at the wider efforts of this political movement and in turn the party will continue to advance their aims and ambitions with the backing of a nationally accredited party, with candidates in tow. What the American people need is an alternative to the democratic party, similar in vein to the grassroots tea-party movement earlier in this decade. The differing groups that have emerged as progressive stalwarts – Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall St., the Women’s March, the science march, the current resistance to the current administration need to be under the auspices of one organization campaigning heavily and hard for progressive candidates who hold progressive ideas in their minds and ideals in their hearts. The ‘alt-left’. A party that shies away from identity politics, and attempts to include all who seek progressive economic platforms and bold ideas regarding any viewpoint of political thinking, whether conservative, liberal, democratic, progressive, libertarian, constitutionalist etc., – if it is good for the people, it is good the party. At the end of the day, what people want is security for the family and security for their country.
It is time a party in this country fought, guns bared and blade at the ready, as hard and as unapologetically as the Republican Party does for its donors, and patrons and as the Democratic Party for theirs, but only this time for the people. We have a quasi-populist right winger as President, masquerading as a champion for people; now imagine in four years time a man as unhinged as our President, as unapologetically himself as the President, with the same ‘what-you-see-is-what-you-get’ attitude as our president; not beholden to anyone, not in debt or groveling to any institution but the constitution itself; only a servant to, for, and by the people. We need a party that answers to the people, that is funded by the people, and whose rage for justice and their passion for the advancement of their nation and of all peoples is unquestionable, infallible and unshakeable.
Two important and in my opinion, critical, factors for this ‘new left’ to consider – the topics of abortion and religion. The Democratic Party by making abortion a centerpiece of their platform, and dismissing religion almost entirely from their platform have alienated an entire demographic of people, crucial to gaining a majority back across the United States. The Republican Party is curious in their total opposition to abortion; yet they do nothing, introduce no legislation to improve the state of our adoption system and foster care system in this country. They oppose greater access to contraception and sexual education – if you oppose abortion, then take the necessary steps to make it completely unnecessary. This new party ought to oppose abortion vehemently in moral practice, and work towards making strides in greater access to contraception and to our foster, and adoption system in this country. Many great charities, both religious and otherwise do great work in this field; and it is these charities which we must support. On a human level, we are losing potential contributors to our society – poets, thinkers, philosophers, innovators. On an economic level, we are losing a good share of our labor force – people that can contribute to the greater experiment of humanity and civilization. The issue of abortion is not a religious issue, nor should it be, rather it is an issue of morality. And the two can be separate. Firstly, we’ve been taught to not value life, it has become expendable and disposable, like trash in a bin. That child, that potential person never asked to be born, never had a say in their circumstances leading to their inception into the world. Who are we to deny it a chance at a life? We owe it to that unborn child to improve our means of facilitating a good life for all from the moment of birth, which is a right they should be afforded, to the time they pass.
Firstly, since Roe v. Wade over fifty-two million abortions have been had. It is also curious to note that the plaintiff in that case, wound up not going through with her abortion. Scientific fact has quite clearly and decidedly proven that a life begins at conception; the moment in which the sperm meets the egg. Secondly, why is it that when a person commits an act of murder on a pregnant woman, regardless of how far along she is, why is it that the law states that that is a double homicide? A prominent medical doctor, Dr. Robert George, in a book entitled ‘Embryo’ had this to say
“That is, in human reproduction, when sperm joins ovum, these two individual cells cease to be, and their union generates a new and distinct organism. This organism is a whole, though in the beginning developmentally immature, member of the human species. Readers need not take our word for this: They can consult any of the standard human-embryology texts, such as Moore and Persaud’s The Developing Human, Larsen’s Human Embryology, Carlson’s Human Embryology & Developmental Biology, and O’Rahilly and Mueller’s Human Embryology & Teratology.”
To politicize the issue of life is wrong, and downright irresponsible. All peoples ought to be afforded the right to life, unborn included. But to make this happen, we must invest and support groups that provide the most excellent care to our nation’s children and youth, we must provide access to contraception and teach abstention, but also understand that people are people and will do what people do. But if the knowledge is not available, then how will people know right from wrong, good from evil, just from unjust? And at time in our history when information has never been so readily available, what excuse do we have to not provide such to those that do not have it. The dissemination of knowledge, truth, and the understanding of compassion, empathy – humanity – is a human responsibility, not an American, European, Chinese, Russian or what have you. That is what the party must stress. Whether you may agree or not, if we continue to alienate and continue to dismiss, we will lose our chance at progressive reform for all people.
The party ought to recognize and begin embracing the idea of religion of all denominations, and recognize the clear separation of church and state, though the party must find no qualms regarding the use of it on our currency or otherwise, if it is made clear to be a non-denominational reverence for a higher being. And to have such a belief is not wrong, nor backward thinking – it is innately human – a belief in something greater than yourself. If people begin to believe and appreciate, not force mind you, or espouse their beliefs to others as dogma, in a higher being – a higher concept really, that there is more to life than pain, suffering and hate – if people began to take reverence and heed in something that at its core is meant to provide a hope to people instead of their material possessions which we are taught from young have a grand importance, when in reality they do not – the world will be a better place. What religion can teach us is the love of one another, the belief in one another and the attitude, and really, audacity to look at your neighbor, friend, countrymen – rich, middle, poor – not as ‘just another person’ but an individual apart of a grander plan, and it is through that, that we will learn compassion and care for others besides ourselves. Our love for money, and possessions has blinded us to the plights of others the world over, and it is this misguided and misplaced love that will be the downfall of humanity. And you need not be religious to appreciate the values that it teaches. The party must promote the thinking that there is in this country the clear separation between the belief in religion and one’s own spirituality and reverence for religion, and the science that is behind the way in which the world functions. You need not lose your religion, or renounce it, in order to understand, appreciate and accept science. The both can live one with the other, if we remain knowledgeable of the world, and moderate in our desire to push our beliefs onto others, religious and irreligious, we all will better for it.
When has humanity, when has a people benefited from pushing their beliefs onto others. What we must do is accept all faiths, and understand that we must not push, rather we must seek to understand. We have to move away from the belief that a reverence for something greater than oneself is wrong, that is not the way you broaden your constituency, and it is not the way you bring people into the fold. On a personal level, I believe I am capable of great things, because I believe that there is more to life than the small perspective and parameters that have been set for me by chance, by society. I have the audacity to believe, to hope and strive, that I am capable of grandiose things. I’ve never lost the child inside me. And too many children, too much of our nation’s youth are hopeless, dream small, and believe that they cannot impact their world. Because they are told this from young, they are told not to dream, not to chase after passion. And what else is this country than a place to chase your wildest hopes and wants for yourself, your family, and ultimately your people. A belief in something grand, is a belief in your capabilities. And all children ought to know; they are only limited in the walls they build around their own imaginations.
There is much that the religious can learn from those who seek truth through science, and there is much the scientifically inclined can learn from those who seek truth through their god. And it is this party that ought to be able to provide, a free, tolerant and open forum for this type of discussion. Division does not breed progress. Progress does not circumvent tradition. Tradition does not supersede science. Science and religion need not be separate, rather they ought to coalesce and stop butting heads and begin appreciating one another for what they are. A means of human interaction, understanding and at the core – the human desire for the pursuit of truth.
The foundation of this party at its very elemental state is the promotion of the free exchange of ideas, ideas are meant to be debated, not politicized and used as a tool to divide and sow more division. We must work together to compromise on the important issues of the day. Compromise is not a weakness, it is the mark of a statesman, and our youth needs to know this, that to debate and question is the right thing to do, to bash and belittle does not further the conversation. We must be open to hearing all sides, and moving with respect, diligence, forthrightness, conviction, and an unwavering devotion to the truth. Through all this, I believe there is hope for this country. A hope for the end of division, and the promise of worldwide unity; and I am not naïve in that assertion. Perhaps you who may think that, ought to look in the mirror and ask yourself – What is it in me that can’t see a world elsewhere?