Trust me, I would much rather be writing about movies, or working on scripts, or just writing anything else for that matter… but here we are.
It is, at present, very hard for me to fathom this reality we’ve found ourselves in, and even more difficult to accurately put to words all the things I’m feeling and thinking. Where to even begin?
Do I start with the Covid-19 pandemic? You know, the one that our current administration implied a month ago was just a hoax. The one that a doctor gave a low-ball estimate of 3.4% of the American population dying (that’s more than 11 million people), to which a Senator scoffed at as if it wasn’t “that bad.”
Do I start with the pending economic collapse? The one that will definitely be worse than the 2008 collapse. The one that could have been dramatically softened if it weren’t for the recklessness of the oligarchs running our economy. The one that has been predicted for years that we’ve done nothing to stop and is now using the pandemic as an accelerant. The one that is going to devastate a young generation that was already struggling financially to begin with.
Do I start with what seems to be the last gasp of the Bernie Sanders campaign? The one that promised to at least fight for absolutely essential things like universal healthcare and living wages for all workers; things that would be very nice to have during a crisis like, oh, I don’t know, maybe a global pandemic. The one that promised to actually attempt to tackle climate change with a $16 trillion plan instead of setting up a penny jar and slapping a sticky note on it that says “we’ll get it done one of these days!” The campaign with the only candidate who has been on the right side of history at just about every pivotal point in American political history for the last 60 years.
40 years of strict neo-liberalism seems to have taught us that everything is stagnant and incapable of change. My friends, we are in store for a very rude awakening. We are staring down the barrel of potentially four more years of a Trump-led administration during the worst economy in decades, maybe even since the Depression. Either that, or we will potentially see Joe Biden become the last president ever elected under a DNC ticket as the party compromises itself into oblivion and eco-fascism slowly but surely takes precedence over the neo-liberal consensus in midst of climate change induced mass-migration. The stage for the 2024 presidential race has already been set for the right wing, and it promises to feature some of the most fanatical candidates we’ve had in recent history (Tom Cotton, Mike Pence, and maybe even fucking Richard Spencer, to name of few), all of whom will be infinitely more competent than our current bumbler-in-chief.
In all honesty, it is very difficult for me to remain optimistic. The good news is that young people, for the most part, are at least somewhat attuned to more progressive mindsets and worldviews. While we still refuse to turn out in droves to vote, those of us that do represent a potential leftist flood; a progressive voting base that no candidate has been forced to cater to since well before the Reagan administration. The problem therein is can we hold out long enough to eventually become that base and replace the old goons that gave us Trump and Biden? And can we even do that before it’s too late?
The only thing for us to do is to keep trying, to keep fighting till the bitter end. We are on the side of the future whether we win or lose.
The other hope I hold out for is not for us, but for the rest of the world. History and social evolution tells us that progress is inevitable as long as society endures and the age of information prospers. The future success of humanity is not at all dependent on the prosperity of the USA. But I haven’t given up on us yet. I’ll be damned if there’s not some wild animal spirit that exists slumbering in the American collective, a spirit that will soon awake to find itself beset on all sides by hunters, a spirit that will claw and bite its way to safety with rabid ferocity. But if that spirit fails to awaken, our rise to power certainly corresponded with the rise of our current world order, so it only makes sense that our fall from power will represent the rise of a different (and hopefully better) one.
For is the future of “us” not the purpose we should strive for?
Bare with me, because I’m about to get really big picture.
As far as we know, we are the first and only creature with the potential to explore the universe and understand it. As far as we know, we are the only ones aware that any of this *gestures frantically around myself* is even happening. We owe it to ourselves to ensure, not just the survival, but the progress of the species. We are scientifically, philosophically, and morally obligated to set the groundwork for future generations to reach heights we can only currently dream about. We, as individuals, are certainly special in our own right. But WE, as a collective, are limitless, so long as we allow ourselves to be, and treat ourselves and our fellow humans thusly. We can say that we fight for better futures all we like, but these visions cannot be realized until our societies actually reflect these beliefs. It is in this truth that I find purpose to fight the good fight and encourage you, my friends, to join me in striving for a better future for all of humanity. We are on the precipice of major political and sociological change on a global scale, and we must take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself to us if we have any hope of achieving these goals.