I’d like to preface what I’m about to say by noting that I dislike being politically vocal or active because it alienates people that one could otherwise be close to. In my view, pragmatism and compromise are second only to conviction and integrity, but I have a hard time maintaining my fervor for issues, when there are so many other things that catch my eye and are shiny and captivating and inconsequential but important and maintain my sanity in the face of the odds of any change. However, such fervor occasionally boils over.
I have found myself thinking a lot recently about how I would fashion a political party if I were to take it upon myself to create one. It is a tall order, undoubtedly, but I believe I have a centerpiece.
Corporate interests have no place in the political sphere. Corporations have historically been, without proper and efficient regulation, complicit in the use child labor, environment destruction, and other various ills that our planet faces. They are the right’s deified creators of jobs, but when profit exceeds all other cares, we cannot expect that the environment, be it in the workplace or the world itself, in which these jobs are performed is safe, clean or sustainable.
One of the largest issues facing us today is climate change. To those skeptics that say that the United States is just one nation or that the economy triumphs of the needs of the planet, let me say this: whether we in the United States would like to admit it or not, we are incredibly influential in the policies of the world. In addition, if we do not forge ahead with sustainability in mind, we will have no fields in which to reap our bounty of employment and economic prosperity. If, because of these corporate interests, our legislature cannot take action with regards to significant global climate or environmental reforms, and because of this the world waits, we are ultimately at least morally culpable for potential loss of life and liberty due to these unsustainable practices. Do we want to be a society that contributes to the pain and suffering of those less fortunate around the world, by allowing corporations to dictate policy, because we like things cheap and our GDP big? If we ask ourselves what these sometimes intangible and inscrutable economic policies mean, in comparison to clean drinking water, to enjoying food from and life on a planet in a manner that our children and grandchildren can also enjoy, what answer do we have? Corporations, in my view, ultimately subsidize this thought and advocate for certain “gains” at the expense of our health as a people–of the United States, and of the world. They are selfish actors, advocating profit over our best interests, and through this undue meddling create a country in which these issues do not matter as they ought to.
In the midst of this criticism, I would be remiss to fail to acknowledge the presence of ethical businesses, however, the abdication of corporations from the political arena will allow us to have a freer democracy and remove those who stray from the ethical and moral imperative to excuse themselves from their places at the table in governmental affairs so as to create a republic truer to our founder’s visions.
Corporate influence on democracy and the acquiescence to corporate interests, is one of the issues that constantly arises at the forefront of my mind when I think of issues such as the environment, the basic rights of citizens and the principal tenets of democracy. If I were to create a political party, it would, similarly to the philosophies of Senator Sanders, expunge the means of interference of corporations with the will of the people and the interests of the human race.
“You’re looking at a block of granite” – Lincoln Chafee