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Destruction, Revolution, and The Importance of Virtue

Because of man-made catastrophic climate change, we live in a world on the brink of destruction. There is an overwhelming consensus among scientists in every country, across all fields and disciplines that global warming is not only a fact, but a disaster that we, mankind, created. And yet, there is one political party in America that does not do enough to change this state we are in; and another party that flat out denies science, reason, and the value of honesty.

Because of our flawed campaign finance system, and Citizens United, the Supreme Court ruling that declared corporations are people and their money is free speech; corporations and financial institutions, which seek short-term profit, but have no interest in long-term effects on the environment or the health and welfare of mankind, have corrupted American politics at every level.

But, to make matters worse, our media is no longer an institution dedicated to informing the public. No, it is an extension of our social media websites; sensationalizing mindless gossip and manufacturing click-baiting headlines to grab our ever-fleeting attention, and to sell advertising. Their interest lies in profit, and they are corrupted by the same influences as our politicians. Journalistic integrity is almost non-existent, and for every journalist in pursuit of the truth, there is another “journalist” ready to spread lies and gossip on twitter, and defame their colleagues in order to gain more followers. Even when the media discusses global warming on the news, they distort science by having opposite viewpoints represented on air, making it seem as if there is some sort of debate as to the cause of climate change. And yet, 2015 was the hottest year ever recorded, the ice caps are melting at an alarming rate, the oceans are dying, we are witnessing global mass extinction, severe storms, austere droughts, devastating floods, and once-in-a-thousand-year weather events.

Though there are many important problems facing Americans, global warming and political corruption have got to be the two most important, for one not only endangers the existence of our union, but all mankind; and the other issue affects whether or not we can elect leaders that can or will do anything about it. Enough is enough! Clearly, something needs to be done. Obviously, what we need is a political revolution. What we need is President Bernie Sanders!

Not only is he the most honest, authentic, and virtuous presidential candidate we have ever had, but nobody has fought harder or raised their voice louder about these issues than Bernie Sanders. He is the real deal and his record speaks for itself. He has always been on the right side of everything. But as awesome, reliable, and revolutionary as Bernie is; he is also genuine enough to admit that there is no way he can build a better world on his own. He is not a dictator, but a leader; a figure-head for the revolution, and the revolution begins with us, with all of us.

In order to create a better world, we need to be better, more virtuous people. What does it mean to be virtuous in this present age? Virtue begins with honesty, self-reflection, and meditation. To be honest with ourselves, we must make a conscious daily effort to examine, analyze, and question our actions, hobbies, emotions, biases, prejudices, dogmas, and traditions, and where all of these ideas come from. Most importantly, we must value intellectual honesty and the pursuit of truth.

Rather than shaming others for their greed, bigotry, and lack of sensitivity, we should continually struggle to be more observant and conscious of our own vices. How many trips do we make in our cars when we could be walking, biking, or busing, and how large of a vehicle should we own? How much energy do we waste, and how many things do we simply throw away that we could be recycling? What clothes do we buy new that we could have bought used, and where were they made, and do we even need these clothes to begin with? Can we find better uses of our time than shopping, eating, and consuming? Is it kind and loving to our bodies to consume alcohol and smoke cigarettes? Does the food we eat affect the environment? Do we really need to eat meat so badly that we are willing to subject sentient creatures to torture and slaughter, and continue to pollute our planet and hasten global warming, and can we at least try to eat less? These are just a few questions we can ask ourselves.

Though questioning ourselves and changing our behavior is extremely difficult, the alternative; surviving on a perilous planet with scarce resources, vanishing food supplies, crumbling governments and economies, widespread war and famine, mass migrations, mass extinctions, severe and constant calamitous weather events, and the flooding of all major coastal cities is going to be much more challenging. Change is hard, but none of us have to change overnight. We can all begin by making small incremental changes. We must watch less TV and read more books, and we must be ever vigilant in keeping up with science, the news, laws, and issues, and spend less time following sports teams and celebrities. We must spend less time playing video games, and more time fighting for those less fortunate, and make more of an effort to nurture our unique gifts and use them to create social change. Whether it’s through activism, charity, volunteering, voting, or even running for office; we must spend less time staring at our phones, and more time interacting with real people in our local communities. The revolution needs leaders, and there are leaders in all of us. Every time we examine our lives and we make an effort to be more virtuous, we become leaders. We can no longer afford to be silent and stationary, no, we are in this together and we need each other now more than ever. To make a better world, we must be better people, for the revolution is in all of us. We are the revolution!

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