Aim for the achievable

I am an enthusiastic member of the Australian Greens, because I approve of what they stand for.

1. Unlike the other major Australian parties, it is impossible to buy us because we refuse donations from corporations, and any donation above $1500 over a 12 month period is publicly listed, even if it comes in as several smaller amounts. You cannot buy a Greens politician with a series of $1400 donations without that becoming visible — and then it won’t be effective bribery.

2. There is a full suite of policies on public display. They were devised with input from the whole membership, and there is a consensus-based process for modifying or replacing them. They are explicitly based on science.

3. Working for a survivable environment is the major aim of the very existence of The Greens.

4. Working for a society worth surviving in is built in: compassion, tolerance, cooperation, standing up for people who are disadvantaged or discriminated against for any reason.

All the same, I have contacts who reject The Greens because our policies “do not go far enough,” are “half-hearted,” “nowhere near enough to achieve their objectives.”

You know what? I agree with these criticisms. However, in order to have an influence in politics, first you need to get elected. Very few voters have thought deeply about any one issue, and even fewer about the whole range of issues that make up a policy platform.

If you are the average person who pays little attention to politics, you won’t vote for someone who tells you that you need to completely change your life in order to survive, which is what is realistically needed.

So, our choice is: go for perfection and have no influence, or get elected, even if we have to fall short of targets necessary to fully achieve our aims. Shout in the wilderness, or steer the ship as far away from the reefs as you can.

About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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2 Responses to Aim for the achievable

  1. annieoz says:

    Well said Bob. I support the Greens for the same ideals and reasons. There’s no other party I could stand with or vote for, although there are individuals I respect (Independants and Labour). I have friends who blindly follow their Political Piper over the precipice, and I understand why many of them don’t want to know the inconvenient truths. I’ve been trying to read “Crazy Rich Asians” (no reference to you, Bob) and am about half-way through the film. It enraged me and fills me with despair… I see now how many people I know are “Crazy Rich” (compared to the hungry billions dying in war, drought and famine.) And for much of my life I’ve battled to keep a roof over my head and food on the table for my kids, so I know where others are, and why they don’t care.
    There’s a cognitive dissidence for me in practising acceptance, and being the change I want to see in the world…. Namaste, Annie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Thank you, Annie. I know we are brother and sister in spirit.
      There is no conflict between striving for change, and acceptance. In fact, the two must go together in order for us to be effective.
      This will be one of the skills to learn and practice in the course I am designing on how to cope with COVID and climate anxiety.
      If I didn’t have the Buddhist skills, I am sure I’d have jumped off this planet years ago.


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