November 16, 2019
These words of Martin Luther King ring as relevant today as when they were written in 1963.
“… I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”
The idea that we are separate, isolated beings with no deeper connection to one another is the single greatest threat to our happiness and security. Ultimately, none of us will experience the future we all long for if we’re not willing to at least try to love others as we love ourselves.
“Rugged individualism” is a good thing, and an aspect of the American character that has led to greatness. But over the last few decades our rugged individualism has transitioned into rugged narcissism, leading us to live lives too often and in too many ways separate from the people who live around us.
My goal as president will be to pave the way to the greatest chapter of our history that we have ever known. But we cannot be great if we are not good. And there is no goodness that does not involve goodness to one another.
Just as President Johnson declared a War on Poverty in the 1960’s, it is time for America to rededicate itself to the alleviation of suffering among those of us who are poor. With 41 million people living in poverty and 93 million in near poverty, the United States cannot morally afford to allow huge swaths of unnecessary suffering to remain in our midst while we continue to spend incredible amounts of money on outrageous gifts to corporate America that appear under the guise of economic stimulus.
In the words of President Franklin Roosevelt, “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have little.”
Americans have allowed our deep humanitarian streak to wither away over the last few decades, and it is time to reclaim it. After forty years of obeisance to trickle-down economics, we now see what utter nonsense it is to think that if we add enough to the storehouses of the rich that that will somehow benefit the poor.
We cannot have the future we all want, unless all of us have the opportunity to thrive. My Anti-Poverty Plan will form the outline by which my administration tackles the challenge of lifting up those who are currently caught within the trauma of poverty in America. Unnecessary poverty should become someday be a mere memory for the human race. And America should be leading the way.
Let us pave the way to a different kind of world.