Candidates of Conscience
In America we seem to have lost our way and are limited in our selection and consideration of candidates of conscience. Instead of a government that considers its citizenry more important than profit, our leadership has fallen prey to the very things we once hoped to avoid. Our education, health care and environmental state are dismal if not self-destructive. What was once a country that empowered immigrants and led the world in innovation because of it now faces the opposite because of poor leadership, yet polls supposedly support these actions. How sad.
Arizona is in the middle of the national immigration crisis, is at the lowest levels in education ranking in the country and has been in the national headlines with its poor veteran care performance. Its northern area is plagued by the dealings of energy moguls continuing to damage and destroy Native lands, decades in the making and with little to no regard for land and water contamination. It seems that instead of coming together for common causes and solidarity, Arizona’s population is fragile and fragmented. Where are our candidates of conscience?
We really don’t know how the vote is going to turn out in the next national election, but some political candidates are speaking about things that matter. A few have been vocal for a while, calling for better education and health care that is available to all with little to no cost. Models for that have been around for some time, but America seems to be caught in the grip of capitalism without conscience. We say we care, even profess to be founded as a G0d-fearing Nation, yet the observable reality speaks vastly different.
From Marianne Williamson:
“The biggest problem with the world is that we do not show up for one another. We withdraw in judgement rather than extending ourselves into each other’s lives. There is literally nothing we could not achieve were we willing to join with each other at deeper levels.
Some people say, “Stick with spirituality, Marianne; stay out of politics.” But that’s like saying to an artist, “Create something beautiful but never show it to the world.” Spirituality without application is dead. It’s in the world of politics that transgression against all spiritual sensibility is the most egregious and most dangerous. Humanity will literally not be able to survive itself, if we do not awaken to our oneness and come to the realization that in love and love alone are we at home.”
Now this kind of message might seem to lack the political punch of what has been the expected behavior of politicians vying for attention. We certainly have grown to expect the mud-slinging and anti-social behavior of front-runners in the process. We still hold that behavior to be disdainful as well, yet do little to inhibit it. We’ve grown to be a Nation that tolerates corporate incompetency and injustice on a scale that is appalling to say the least. Where are our candidates of conscience?
Our citizenry’s lack of trust has also caused a massive cut in the number of votes cast, estimated to be 100 million less by some, with voter turn-out ranked at around 55% by ‘reputable’ sources. Arizona fairs even less in State elections with approximately 3.8 million registered voters and only 1.2 million cast ballots in the last gubernatorial election – a 33% voter turnout.
Much like the history of our ‘don’t talk about religion or politics,’ we seem to hide from the truth and do nothing as a Nation to reveal it. Only the few who become extremely affected by the shenanigans stand up in defiance, and even then their support is tentative.
So what do we do? How can we grow toward a vibrant community or State or Nation that continually does the right thing; supports the care for children, elderly and veterans – provides the education that challenges and prepares our students for a better future – innovates and produces eco-system-friendly energy and building technologies for a sustainable Earth? Choices are few in our collective pool, yet there are many in our communities that are capable and trusted leaders in their various circles.
The options for candidates of conscience are still limited to specific parties, in essence remaining a two-party system. In accomplishing goals, whether public or private, program management or project development often includes a third-party neutral, tasked with bringing the diverse interests and groups together and align them with the needs of the program or project – egos and special interests are moot. Perhaps a viable third-party can emerge in Arizona.
How might this happen and why? The number of registered ‘independent’ voters is on the rise, already having reached 33% in 2018, up from just over 11% in 1988. Still, there is no official Independent Party registered in Arizona. Just last year it would have only taken 20,086 signatures. Now, the population increase (many potential Independents) has caused that requirement to rise to 30,894 signatures. The influx of younger progressive voters might sway the conservative retirees who are also flocking to Arizona. Only time will tell. Something needs to happen, but will it? We need candidates of conscience and a platform for them to stand firm.