Can we prevent the foreseeable apocalypse?

Before retiring, I was reading Ideas of Great Philosophers. Socrates believed that the best choice to govern was a benevolent king. He also believed that finding one was impossible.

I fell asleep and dreamed that such a benevolent person was elected to govern the United States. He announced that he would dismantle the entire U.S. military system and bring home all troops, reasoning that the world had lost most of the resources needed to support human greed and that the citizens of the U.S. would set an example in the hope of saving the existence of mankind. He would also do away with other costly government systems such as the space program. The money would be used to truly benefit the citizens of the U.S. and the planet we live on.

Government-subsidized factories would build lithium-battery cars and electricity-producing solar panels for every home, at cost. Since fresh water is needed to sustain life, our benevolent leader would build storage facilities to guarantee there would be no shortage.

Citizens would be told the truth: If we overpopulate the country, it can’t supply the needs to sustain life, and there are far better ways to reduce the population than wars, mass starvation and medical neglect. The National Guard would become the national medical guard. Monies now spent to train young women and men how to kill would be used to train medical professionals. Rich and poor would receive the same high-quality medical services equally.

None shall hold public office whose personal income is above that designated as middle-class income. Income exceeding this amount shall be immediately reported. The majority of citizens will truly be governed by their economic peers.

I awoke to a nightmare: There on the TV was our leader, speaking of destroying countries that resist his will—such as Iran. He said we would drill for oil regardless of environmental damage. (Damn the polar bears.) I realized that we are not a benevolent nation, but a nation with weapons of mass destruction pointed at any country that dares challenge us—a nation so corrupt that no change in leadership can prevent the foreseeable apocalypse.

Three hundred ninety-nine years after Socrates’ death, a benevolent leader was born. He was very poor and certainly did not idolize the rich. Strange as it seems, the wealthy leaders crucified him at the request of the common people. His message was lost, and man has never stopped choosing extremely wealthy and powerful people to lead. And wealthy and powerful people have never stopped crucifying those who truly followed his benevolent teaching. Extreme wealth can never be equated to benevolence. No man should have more than he needs while men, women and children are starving to death.

— Bob Collins
Hendersonville

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