Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Our Global World

The Age of Nations is past, the task before us now,
If we would not perish, is to build the earth.
                                                                                                      Teilhard de Chardin

It is not easy to see and acknowledge that we are one world, interconnected and interdependent, but that IS the reality: earth is one tiny unit in this vast universe that will survive or perish by the human choices made.  To say we live in a global world is somehow threatening because it has political connotations which can be used divisively to make people want to retreat to ‘their own corner’ and protect themselves against ‘other’.

That protectionism is the strategy that was used successfully by Donald Trump to win the election.  His slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ has a subtly implied anti-world view, a nationalism that sets us apart at the ‘top of the heap’.  Throughout the campaign he carried a slightly different message to each group, bringing their fears and prejudices forward invoking a ‘them’ as enemy, saying he alone held the answer.  There was no message of unity or hope, no strategic plan, just fabricated lies about the opposition (the ‘enemy’, “lock her up”) and the fantasy that, given the power and authority, he could/would ‘fix it’.

There are reasons for the alarm being felt by many in this country and around the world—Trump has duped the American public.  While claiming to be for the average working citizen he was primarily in it for his own aggrandizement.  He is now building his cabinet with billionaires and planning to tear down the advances made for improvements in our country’s health care system and reverse the steps taken to improve the environment of the planet.  Without providing an alternate plan, Trump’s expressed intent is to repeal Obama care, and consider privatizing Medicare.  His choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is Scott Pruitt a fierce EPA critic, climate change denier, and is closely linked to the oil industry.

Trump’s multiple real-estate holdings all over the world makes conflict of interest unavoidable and that is not amended by appointing his children to run the business.  He has been openly disdainful of: government (“the system is broken”), our voting system (“its rigged”), studied intelligence (“I know more than the generals”)—undermining the public’s faith in our democracy.  Beyond that he is also disdainful of verbal restraint, diplomacy and protocol, as well as facts and honesty.  As president, Trump’s cavalier attitude toward truth weakens the moral fiber of our country.  His arrogance is astounding!  His expressed admiration for Putin as a “strong leader” gives evidence to his penchant for authoritarianism.

Everything about Trump’s approach is a step backwards to less enlightened times.  All scientific evidence confirms Global Warming and warns of the advancing unprecedented crisis that can only be averted by unified action; yet he claims climate change is a hoax and plans to curtail green energy development while expanding reliance upon fossil fuel.

The human species has developed the ability to destroy our world in many ways, the most catastrophic way being with atomic weapons . . . those weapons have already been produced and awaiting the finger willing to push the button—that specter makes working toward cooperation between nations a necessity.  These are perilous times.  Cooperative interaction used to be optional, but daunting though it may be, in the 21st Century it is mandatory. 

Earth, the common home to us all is the only world we’ve got, protecting it is paramount for continuation of the human species.  To ignore the perils facing it is blasphemy.  Stirring divisive nationalism and shamelessly promoting exclusive self-interest above global concerns while justifying withdrawal of support from international globally conscious organizations is heresy!

It may not be easy to accept that planet earth is one interconnected, interacting, interdepended world, but that is the reality . . . and its survival as a habitable planet depends upon our recognition of that.   

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