As we all know, many progressives worked hard in both 2016 and 2020 for Bernie Sanders. I don’t think it was a waste of time, because the progressive wing of the Democratic Party grew exponentially. At the same time, we saw how easy it was for the DNC to gang up on Bernie and toss his out, despite the fact that easily 30% of the party wanted him.
As we come unto the election, some of us have voted for Biden, some have voted Green or for other third parties, some have written in Bernie’s name, and some have not voted in the presidential election at all. None of this matters, so long as on November 4 and thereafter we get back together.
I think that with COVID-19, climate change, and other dangers facing our country, we are all aware that change is in the air. At this moment two weeks before the formal election day, but with 27 million having already voted, we can see what may happen. Trump is likely to lose, but neither of the two major parties is going to emerge stronger. I think this will be true even if the Democrats flip both houses of Congress along with the presidency. If the houses are flipped, AOC, the Squad, and the left wing will wind up strong in the House. There will be a constant battle between the left and the center right within the Democratic Party. At the same time, the Republican Party may well collapse entirely. If the left wing of the Democratic Party finally rebels, we shall have a Republican base with 25% of the voters, a disorganized center-right of Democrats with 35%, and a new progressive party of Bernie-ites, Greens, and third party activists with 40%. And the 40% could win. Let us hope so.
In a recent article, I proposed a new and different look at the principles of the United States. I suggested that the focus should be on ways to create a society built on happiness, based on these principles:
- Compassion: No citizen should lack for food, clothing, water, housing, education, and medical care, as well as any other good or service needed to have a happy life.
- Charity: Every citizen should give back to the society to the best of his or her ability, either voluntarily or through a social funding system. We call this funding system taxation. These first two principles will rid us of income inequality.
- Recognition: Every citizen who achieves and benefits society should be recognized and celebrated.
- Love: Every citizen should care for every other citizen and the happiness of that citizen. This would override racism and all the biases of gender, sexual orientation, and religion which we have suffered.
- Duty: Every citizen should be eager to do his or her duty to the society and to other citizens.
- Equality: Every citizen should have the same political, social and economic rights as every other citizen, and should bear the same duties to the society as every other citizen.
- Freedoms: Every citizen may engage in any activity or hold any belief so long it does not violate any principle. In other words, we shall remain a country of liberty and freedom, but these rights can never override the rights of equal treatment, not only under the law, but politically, economically and socially.
Citizens are forbidden to violate any of these principles.
In my view, under these principles, we can achieve the equality and fairness that socialism was supposed to give us, but without too much control and corruption arising from government. Children will be taught these principles, immigrants will be taught these principles, religions will see that they can achieve what Christ and other religious leaders espoused, and gradually even the most stringent of right-wingers will see that these principles will achieve what they want.
I don’t for a moment think that the 1% will ignore the fact that these principles will gradually erode the society’s greed and replace it with Charity and Compassion, but certainly, they will see that there is room for charity and compassion. Moreover, the wealthy, in giving up the power of money, will obtain recognition. And they, too, will be happy, as compassion, charity, and recognition create happiness. Furthermore, the first principle guarantees that every citizen shall have the goods and services needed for a happy life, and the sixth principle of equality means that there will no longer be a wide division in the enjoyments of the benefits of the society. Moreover, the fifth principle of duty and the sixth principle of equality mean that all citizens shall work to the same degree in return for the rights given. The right-wing myth that income equality will lead to laziness would be stricken. Laziness would violate these principles, too.
Progressives can put these principles in practice, and we could retain the better parts of both capitalism and socialism, leading to a happy society. Happiness for all should be our societal goal.