Vail Valley Voices: Imagine this America
Vail, CO, Colorado
I heard John Lennon’s “Imagine” last week and it got me to thinking about my own wish list of things that I think would make life and the world better.
Imagine our country with no partisanship. No left, right, liberal or conservative and no crazy, extremist fanatics on either side. Just reasonable people all trying to do the right thing for everyone in a spirit of cooperation.
Imagine all politicians work for the people and not for themselves, their corporate contributors or lobbyists. That they embody the true meaning of public service and not run for office for their egos or for cushy perks.
Imagine that corporations stop outsourcing and start investing in America and providing real customer service again. That they produce products right here and employ Americans instead of supporting the economies of other nations. Imagine a day in which capitalism doesn’t mean supporting sweatshops in foreign lands but instead progresses the original meaning of “The American Dream.”
Imagine that, while Roe v. Wade won’t be overturned, abortion stops being used as a method of birth control. That women of all ages realize that with the legal right to choose also comes a moral duty to choose. And that the moment they choose to have sex is as important a moment as any they will ever encounter in their lives. Imagine they understand that the right choice then renders the future choice guaranteed by Roe moot.
Imagine there are no more unions because there is no need for them. That management and workers just play fair all the time. Imagine that if they did, management would no longer exploit their workers and unions would no longer have the power to make or break political careers or cripple a nation through the legalized blackmail of striking.
Imagine a country in which education is paramount. In which teachers are paid what they deserve and where passion and drive, not complacency, are the norm. Imagine that the U.S. begins to lead the world in education and every child is given the foundation of a good education without having to commit themselves to decades of debt to receive it.
Imagine that arts education isn’t the first thing to be cut when a budget crisis hits and that culture takes its rightful place alongside scholastics and athletics, not behind them. Imagine a country that understands that the arts and literature teach empathy and understanding and educate us about other people and other places and instill a sense of civility and appreciation of beauty. Imagine a time when as many families say “We’re heading to Denver to the symphony” or the theater as say “We’re going to a Rockies game” or a Broncos or Nuggets game because they have taught their children to value it all.
Imagine a nation that welcomes immigrants from other lands, but insists on an immigration policy that is fair and enforced uniformly. Imagine that all people enter this country and raise and support their families as my grandparents did without anything illegal and without draining the social service programs paid for by American citizens.
Imagine that only those who truly should be parents and who can support their children procreate. Imagine no child ever falls victim to the monstrous atrocities that befall unwanted children every day in America. Imagine that immature or impoverished parents choose not to have that second, fourth, sixth, or eighth child if it means that child will be neglected or go hungry, uneducated or be abused.
Imagine gangs will vanish once every child is given the proper opportunities in life by loving parents who didn’t have kids by accident or through laziness but because they truly wanted those children and knew they could give them the love and life they deserve.
Imagine a world in which enough wealth is enough wealth for anyone and where workers are given a fair shake along with corporate hot shots. Imagine this will not be viewed as socialism but simply as the right thing to do.
Imagine that “greed is good” only as long as it is fair and healthy. Imagine the days in which what happened on Wall Street the past couple of years vanish because there is reasonable oversight to ensure it can never happen again. And imagine that we will all still know that this is indeed free … just responsible … enterprise.
Imagine a time when technology is used purely for good. When young people develop interpersonal skills again because they are not reliant on the Internet and text messaging. Imagine they learn to deal with people face to face again and know how to develop real relationships and communication skills. And imagine that computers are not used for pedophilia, bullying or as a babysitter for lazy or absent parents.
Imagine a time in which the multi-generational family unit is the norm again. A time in which grandparents are as integral to the family as they once were and parents spend time with their kids the way they used to.
Imagine reality TV is a thing of the past and that only those deserving of celebrity are treated as such. Imagine that our heroes are people of accomplishment, skill and intelligence and not trashy nobodies.
Imagine a world in which tolerance and acceptance are the norm and in which religion is never used as a weapon for oppression, suffering or killing. Imagine that bigotry, racism and prejudice are anomalies, not commonplace.
Imagine that everyone understood that it is okay to agree to disagree.
Imagine that all nations and people understand that other nations and people are different and that it is possible to coexist without hatred or war.
Imagine that mental health gets as much focus as physical health. Imagine that counseling is as available and affordable as gym memberships. Imagine that drug and alcohol abuse lessen because the underlying demons that lead to them are dealt with in pre-emptive ways. Imagine that children do not have to watch their fathers and mothers falling down drunk or high on drugs, making them believe those are OK ways to live.
Imagine violence is something that happens only in the movies and no child ever learns by watching his dad hitting others that brutality is the right way to deal with conflict.
Imagine that health services are available to all at a reasonable cost as a basic right of every American. Imagine that this is not a political issue but a humanitarian one. Imagine that this is accomplished reasonably and in a fiscally responsible way by breaking the stronghold the insurance and pharmaceutical companies have over our elected officials.
Imagine that “me, me, me” is not the only concern of each individual American.
That’s just off the top of my head.
What do you imagine?
David Dillon is an Eagle resident.