Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election Night in America | Thoughts On a Better America and the Inherent Value of Mankind

Congratulation to Barack Obama! Our president overcame great odds to win reelection and endured a great battle with Mitt Romney. Yes, it is true, most of us at WUW? have a serious dislike for the former governor of Massachusetts. But Barry O. was correct, in his acceptance speech, when he said that the deeply held values of Americans are worth fighting for. 

Obama and Romney stand on opposite sides of a divide that has existed in our country since before the revolution. The WUW? crew thinks it is OK to disagree on these things and that they are worth battling it out for. But, what is beautiful about our system of government is that every 4 years we engage in an ideological civil war and then we move forward in a civilized fashion without assassinations, coups, or an actual civil war. 

For all of the ways the system seems to not work, we are reminded of all the ways the system does work. We cannot expect perfection from the government as much as we cannot expect perfection from ourselves. As individuals, we recognize our flaws but we don't destroy ourselves because of them. However, we often want to destroy our government because of its imperfections. Maybe it is time that we recognize the flaws, work to learn from them, and toil to make the government and the nation better. To look past the belief that the highest priority is profit and start to make our highest priority people. Maybe it is time to start showing compassion to those who are less fortunate and start reconstituting our nation as one that thinks deeply about how to increase the quality of life for everyone in the nation.

Maybe the government is inefficient in the ways it provides programs of assistance but instead of destroying the programs that provide health care and assistance to single moms below the poverty line, we should start thinking about new ways to make the government more efficient, to enable all Americans to benefit from the great wealth that is created in our country. 

Men and women have been reduced to units of economic productivity. Our greatest worth is measured in income, investments, and productive value. We are only valuable as utility maximizers. We have lost sight of humanity. Of progress. Of the good society. We have been stripped of our ability to dream of a better world. We have accepted inequality and have embraced it as a fundamental component of human nature. But, we, as Americans and as humans, are not economic species. We are social beings that love, cry, laugh, and want to live a life that embraces the fullness of our being. 

We can be a nation that embraces its history as the project of enlightenment, a historical manifestation of the belief that no man is born with a greater value because of their noble birth. A nation that believes in the inherent worth of the individual.

We should be a people that celebrate the attempt to make sure that every person can receive medical check ups, prenatal care, and cancer treatment without fear of being overburdened by the costs. We should be a people that embrace the freedom to love who you love. We should be a people that think about the greater good and not just our next vacation or Lexus. We can be a people that recognize that the ultimate end of life is not wealth.

Our value is not found in our utility. We are not defined by our bank accounts. We are humans that want to live a full life of health, love, and happiness. 

It may not be possible to create utopia but it is not impossible to make a better world.

Blogging Toward Utopia,

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