Quo Vadis - Where Do We Go
Earth Manifesto Insights
Dr. Tiffany B.
fellow Americans, YES, we must heal. YES,
we must overcome the divisiveness of the November 2004 elections, and the
polarization of the electorate. We must
find ways to vanquish the fear that continues to haunt us from the terrible
terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. We must heal our psyches and our souls, and courageously purge our
nightmares of fears of the wolves that threaten us in the forest, as evoked by
Republican television ads.
must begin to heal. But we cannot turn
our backs on the challenges confronting us. We must commit ourselves to remaining engaged, and to making a
difference in the world. Let us not
lose sight of the need to fight for economic justice, peace, and well-being in
our societies. And let us not ignore
the health and ecological integrity of our home planet Earth. Let us not forget that it is our children and
their descendents who comprise future generations, and we must not forsake them
by allowing politicians to implement expedient, selfish, regressive, and
are plenty of very real dangers in the world. Each and every one of us faces our own individual set of insecurities.
Collectively, we face a broad range of
risks and uncertainties. We must have
FAITH in our potential as human beings to overcome these challenges. And we must advance a national dialogue to
find the best ways to cope, since hope, trust, honesty, good communication,
understanding and fairness are extremely important to our democracy. REASON and TRUTH must join our deep feelings,
and become hallmarks of our decision-making processes.
must have a moral vision of who we are as a nation. We must have convictions and passion and a strategic focus and
dedication to positive causes. The
polarization of Americans is not a simple conflict of cultural ideals and
ethical certainties and distorted "family values". Our true morality lies in our choices and
actions, not just in our words and prayers and Sunday-morning rituals. We live in a national community that is far
more complex than ‘God, guns, and gays’.
must begin to clearly appreciate these complexities. We must prioritize our efforts to deal with the great challenges
facing the world. We have many concerns
in common. It is ironic and unfortunate
that fear and cultural issues have been used to divide us so sharply, for it is
crucial that we begin to work together to solve our problems. We cannot continue to ridicule, demonize, and
oppress those whose opinions and lifestyles differ from our own.
Earth is growing more and more crowded, and as it does we must find better ways
to deal with the natural conflicts that arise. The human population is on track to increase from 6 billion to 9
billion in the first 50 years of the 21st Century. This will exacerbate conflicts over land, water, oil and other
natural resources. We cannot accept
leadership that eagerly uses divisive strategies, deception, violence and
warfare to accomplish its anti-egalitarian economic and political goals.
that the election is over, we cannot abandon the fight for truth, fairness and
justice. We must make sure that our
common values are expressed in our lives and in our social and political
institutions. We must acknowledge the
ultimate wisdom of the Golden Rule, and treat others as we ourselves would like
to be treated. And we must demand that
our government and our leaders lead us honestly and wisely. We cannot let our society continue to be an
oligarchy governed by, and for, the rich and the privileged. We must not allow our government to become a
morally bankrupt, corrupt, and fraudulent illusion of democracy. We must create a society that at least roughly
serves all of its citizens, and one that protects the qualities that make life
wholesome and meaningful.
fundamental values of our Constitution are being threatened: federal government power is increasing, and
power is being more blatantly abused; the intrusiveness of government is insidiously growing; the checks and balances of our Constitution
are being circumvented; protections of
the general welfare are being weakened; democracy is becoming less representative of the people and less
fair; many of the freedoms guaranteed
in the Bill of Rights are being diminished; the separation of the Church and State is being eliminated; and secrecy and deception by our leaders and
the media are undermining the basic tenets of democratic decision-making, which
is a well-informed electorate.
spending is out of control, helped by the political expediency of deficit
spending. Congress has enacted
enormous, regressive tax breaks that primarily benefit rich people. This has been accomplished by borrowing funds
from the future, creating the largest National Debt in world history. This debt has increased by more than 800%
since Ronald Reagan took office and began implementing these shortsighted
policies. We have largely financed aggressive militarism abroad using public
support that would arguably diminish dramatically if the public were to be
required to actually pay for the cost of the wars today --- say, for
instance, if we enacted a bigger tax on gasoline.
redesign of our economic system using wise incentives is critically needed in
order to include all costs of production in each product. This would be a far better plan than allowing
the current status quo to continue, which is characterized by wasteful
subsidies to giant corporations that have unfair and dominant political
influence. We must support innovation
to help solve our problems, rather than effectively opposing it with misguided
subsidies, laws and policies.
must change our campaign finance laws to give the power usurped by Big Business
back to people and communities. We must
staunch the flow of red ink and the growth of "entitlements" and the
obscenely wasteful misappropriations for pork barrel spending. And we must emasculate the arrogance of
neo-imperialistic militarism, and the insidious growth of inefficient,
wasteful, intrusive, megalomaniac, power-obsessed, special-privilege-defending
must find ways to create peace in the world. The United States is conducting bitter wars in Afghanistan and
Iraq, with 150,000 of our troops directly in harm's way, and about 2,000
American soldiers dead. We have been
responsible for killing tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi people, many of
them women and children, in what is a dangerous and unjust diversion from our
efforts to combat terrorism.
allies have been alienated, due to our unilateralist actions in Iraq. We are creating new enemies rapidly by
pursuing arrogant militarism, and causing correlated injustices. The proliferation of nuclear weapons and the
expanding industries of arms production and sales are making the world
increasingly dangerous. A worldwide
fear of terrorism has replaced our Cold War feeling of national insecurity. In its shadow we are allowing a perverse
form of patriotism to blind us to the immorality and injustice of aggressive
warfare, and of Shock and Awe bombings of people in other countries.
dependence on fossil fuels is getting extremely expensive, as is the support by
our leaders for subsidies to Big Oil, Coal and Nuclear industries. It is becoming increasingly foolish to remain
addicted to wasteful fossil fuel usages while pursuing policies that are
effectively opposed to intelligent initiatives that embrace conservation,
efficiency, innovation, and energy alternatives. We can win the "Oil Endgame", but we will not do so by
stupidly sticking with Big Oil and military occupation of oil-producing
ecological integrity of our natural surroundings is being degraded. The nonpartisan League of Women Voters has
given the Bush Administration's environmental record an "F" grade,
calling it "the worst environmental record of any president in the history
of our nation." This assessment is
principally due to the favoring of corporate interests over the public's interest
in a clean and safe and healthy environment. Pursuing such anti-conservation policies does not make good sense.
Office of Management and Budget found that the total cost of environmental
regulations is FIVE TO SEVEN TIMES less expensive than the cost to society that
results from pollution, adverse healthcare costs, and environmental cleanup. We must not allow business to externalize
enormous costs onto society, nor can we encourage them to evade taxes, or to
have laws rewritten to the exclusive benefit of giant corporations. We cannot allow sensible regulations to be
circumvented, or IRS audit enforcement to be reduced, or EPA oversight to be
diminished, or profits to be hidden in offshore tax shelters.
gap between the rich and poor is increasing, as is the number of people below
the poverty level in America. When we
enact policies that create greater homelessness and poverty, and make the rich
richer, it is not a moral action. When
we an increasing number of Americans not to be covered by health insurance (currently
over 45 million), then we jeopardize their well-being in order to facilitate
profit-making by insurance companies and we introduce a sadly unjust state of
affairs. The cost of health insurance
is skyrocketing for everyone who must pay for their own coverage. Insurance and drug company lobbyists are
being allowed to influence policy and write laws that favor Big Business at the
public's expense. These misguided
characteristics do not represent moral values, and they highlight the
weaknesses of Neoconservative doctrines.
W. Bush vigorously defends the "under God" clause of our national
Pledge of Allegiance. Yet divisiveness
naturally arises when we fail to demonstrate a truly committed concern for
"liberty and justice for all." Instead, our political system allows unfair and ruthless
favoritism of the rich, and of giant corporations, AS IF PROFITS ARE TRULY MORE
IMPORTANT THAN PEOPLE.
must boldly fight back, demanding positive change and Progressive values. The very future of hope lies in
broad-mindedness and honesty and generosity of spirit. We must embrace shared security, true
justice, the empowerment of communities, peaceful conflict resolution,
empathetic social policies, fairness of opportunity under the law, strong
support for good public education, intelligent planning, fiscal responsibility,
sustainable activities, ecological sanity, moderation, courage, integrity, and
caring about future generations.
November 2, 2004 national elections resulted in support for our "War
President" and his social conservatism. Yet Progressive democratic values have been substantially
disenfranchised. It is not ethically
acceptable to allow the undermining of the fair representation that is at the
heart of our democracy.
American people survived the very long and divisive 2004 campaign season,
during which they were courted, cajoled, confused, emotionally manipulated, and
frightened. Republicans are now acting
as if they have a strong mandate to continue the aggressive implementation of
their policies, but these are in many ways distinctly and unacceptably
discriminatory, disadvantageous to the public good, and harmful to future
cannot allow this. We must begin to
heal, but we cannot turn our backs on the challenges confronting us. Let us commit ourselves to remaining engaged,
to demanding fairness, and to making a positive difference in the world. This can be accomplished!
find out more, see the ideas contained in the Political Agenda for a More Sane Humanity and other parts of this Earth Manifesto.
Dr. Tiffany Twain, A Concerned
"Men stumble over the truth from time to
time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had
--- Sir Winston