A campaign slogan can say a lot about a candidate. Bernie Sanders’ “A Future to Believe In” campaign slogan reveals Bernie’s innate optimism and faith in future generations (e.g., the Millennial generation) to be able to change the world for the better. With Bernie’s strong leadership and honest laws and practices empowering Americans to tackle the challenges of global climate change, humanity has a hope of a habitable planet in the future.
To equip current and future generations to solve the crises of frequent droughts, flooding, and other disastrous weather changes, our country needs more trained scientists and engineers. Many more. But how can we produce these necessary professionals without affordable educational opportunities? Our next Einstein or Madame Curie could be growing up today in an impoverished household one paycheck away from homelessness.
Without offering even a hope that advanced education is possible for all students, our society effectively condemns itself. We’ve created a “throw-away” mentality that says children of the lower economic strata –predominantly minorities–don’t deserve the education necessary to succeed in life. We’ve taken away their chance to make our world and our future better through their gifts and vision.
So, when Bernie Sanders states we need to “stop penalizing students for getting an education” and offer free tuition at public colleges (as states such as New York and California have done in the past), he is expressing an optimistic opinion that the talent to solve the daunting tasks of climate change already exists. All we have to do is recognize it, cherish it and encourage it to grow. (Click here for how Bernie plans to pay for free public college: https://berniesanders.com/issues/how-bernie-pays-for-his-proposals/)
Offering free public college tuition is just one step in building “A Future to Believe In,” but it is the greatest step. Face it–what is our alternative? To keep students perpetually in debt through outrageous student loans? The last twenty-five years has created a new form of disenfranchisement, the debt slave, a person who can’t get ahead because of crushing college loan debt – debt which prevents the former student from succeeding and cripples our economy. How does creating horrendous stresses on our fellow citizens encourage the talents we need to solve problems such as curing disease or developing alternative energy sources? Answer: It doesn’t.
For optimists, Bernie Sanders’ “A Future to Believe In” is the obvious path to travel. It’s the only sane and humane path. Candidates afraid to do anything to upset the billionaire-friendly status quo are essentially pessimists and narcissists. Think about it. When has a “No, we can’t!” attitude ever made the world a better place?
Bio: Cindy A. Matthews is a freelance writer, novelist and editor of The Bernie Blog. http://bernie2016.blogspot.com