(Picture provided by a dear friend from her personal collection)
Most reasonable people in this world do not want a war. There are some others, however, who think in extremes- extreme zealots who want to forward their religious interests, and more recently, we have seen extreme xenophobes here at home, who want to drive out all foreigners and build a wall all around the country! All extremist philosophy is same at its core, whether or not it is endorsed by a government. Extremism creates barriers and a sense of disparity which amost always leads to violence. In Trump’s America, can you imagine how many people such as myself will be killed before every last one of us is driven away from the country, forced to leave behind much of what we own, and the life we once had?
I am fortunate to have lived in New York for majority of my time here, where I have never felt like an outsider. Even with the current state of politics and polarized opinions in many parts of the country, people in New York, both Democrats and Republicans have remained sensible. And when I was in Michigan briefly, things were much the same. During my stay there I met a number of long-time Republican voters who voted Democrat in this year’s primary. (Sen. Sanders won in Michigan). With the primary in New York approaching, I have been encountering similar sentiment around here. I met an old friend few days ago who has always voted Republican but this year she plans to stay out of it altogether. I shared my views with her about the Sanders campaign but whether I managed to change her mind remains to be seen. I met another Republican friend few weeks ago who didn’t have the usual aversion to Trump that is typical around here but even he wasn’t sold on his fanatical rhetoric on immigration. He is indifferent to the violence inflicted in the name of interrogation, but does consider himself pro-choice. We had a long candid discussion about each candidate’s policies and I could see that although he did support Trump to a great extent, he wasn’t one of those people who wanted me out. So, like many others, he has decided not to vote either.
Anyway, I digress. What I am trying to say is that extremist tendencies threaten the very foundation of a democracy because they are in exact contradiction to everything that a democracy stands for. Extremists are a small group of people with the loudest voice, and they thrive on attention-seeking tactics. Like it’s true for the current presidential race, the same is true for international outfits like ISIS. By no means are they the true representation of a country, a culture or a religion. They are simply a small group of radicals with obnoxiously loud voice and who will go to heinous lengths to get the world’s attention. Well they have it now.
But should the US go to war with every miscreant in this world and give them exactly what they are asking for- a state of anarchy? Absolutely no. With great power comes great responsibility and the right way to wield this responsibility is to bring together other nations of the world to collectively and systematically eradicate such threats, and consider war only and only the last resort.
Sen. Sanders has the same views on Iran building nuclear weapons. Before we consider going to war, we must make sure we have tried every available option on the table. When all else fails, war becomes a necessary evil, but not sooner.
There is a great cost of war that everyone involves pays, and not just during the war but for years afterwards. So instead of spending the defense budget on deploying our troops everywhere, I think it might be more effective to use that money at home, on national security- on keeping the US borders secure, keeping the US airspace secure, keeping the US waters secure.
But surveillance shouldn’t have to come the cost of people’s privacy. I strongly suport Sen. Sanders’ stance on government’s collection of public phone records. I just don’t see how it can be justified when we still keep hearing of attacks here on the US soil. Consider the attack in San Bernardino for example. After months of squabbling with Apple over its security settings, the government was able to access the phone with the help of a third party. But have they found anything that could have prevented this tragedy? My guess is no because if there was something that the government could use against technology companies, they wouldn’t hold back. So I fail to see the rationale behind this kind of surveillance. The intelligence bureau does a great job but it needs to evolve faster than it has ever had to before because of the world we are living in. And in doing so, it should not compromise people’s right to privacy.
This post covers two topics from the Sanders campaign website/issues page. Please follow below links to see each item in detail:
Thanks for reading!
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