When one’s wellbeing is based on the suffering of others or the exploitation of another, that wellbeing is intrinsically flawed, is not in fact wellbeing, and eventually will implode upon itself. Based on this I believe our democracy must move to facilitate the wellbeing of the many rather than cherishing the independence of the economic elite. The credo of America must change. We can no longer afford to pronounce the tired mantra, “every man for himself,” as we struggle to clamber over the fallen bodies of those less fortunate. The new mantra must express the fundamental interconnectedness of life, the same interconnectedness without which we all perish. Interconnectedness is not some obscure theme talked about in Buddhist book clubs, it is pivotal to the whole of our daily lives. We see the ripples of interconnectedness in the economic collapse, we feel the repercussions of interconnectedness in the bomb blasts of terror and the departure of our soldiers for war, and we receive the consequences of interconnectedness in the threat of eventual human extinction resulting from manmade climate change.
The spirit of interconnectedness is also expressed in the call for universal health care, where everyone receives the medical attention they deserve and those who would profit from exploiting the infirmed are driven out of the equation. Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich have recently presented their views about the Obama plan to the nation on Democracy Now. Such discussion should be most prominent in the public debate, rather than fear mongering over socialized medicine. In characteristic style Dean exclaims, “I don’t give a damn about the health insurance people being in business or out of business. I want a system that works.” There is little doubt in my mind that most of us (democrat, republican, or other) want just that. We want a system that works, not for the few, the elite, but for all Americas.