In the 24th century there is no poverty on Earth, everyone has the healthcare they need and all the education they could ever want. The acquisition of wealth is no longer a driving force for mankind. Instead humans work to better themselves through knowledge and the exploration of human potential. At least that was Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future.
Last week as I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, a post from a friend I haven’t seen since elementary school popped out. This guy tends to rant when he posts and where politics are concerned, he picks on everyone so while I don’t usually agree with everything he says, I like to look for the common ground. This particular post started out with opinions I don’t believe are supported by facts saying the President doesn’t care what people say about him (I’d argue that’s about the only thing he cares about!). He goes on to say that liberals want free stuff and to be lazy, that America is a dying nation full of stupid people, and that we will never have things like universal healthcare, fair wages, and an affordable education.
Usually by this point, I’ve scrolled on as I generally don’t like reading all that negativity but for some reason, his words gave me pause. In my mind I went back to the 1700s, to colonial America. If Facebook were a thing back then I’d imagine his post would read something like, America will always be subject to British rule, we will never have taxation with representation, and freedom is a pipedream. If you were to ask a slave before the civil war about freedom, he’d tell you it will never happen. If you asked a woman during the revolution about going to college or starting her own business, she’d no doubt laugh at you. But slavery in this country was abolished and opportunities for women have expanded. Have we reached the finish line? Hell no but we’re a heck of a lot closer than when we started.
I believe we can have things like fair wages, affordable education and universal healthcare. I think those things in particular would make our country not only great but strong. A healthy, well educated people capable of earning a living without help doesn’t have to be a pipe dream. I realize it won’t happen overnight but to say it will never happen is grossly shortsighted in my opinion.
We the people get to decide what is important and where to place our priorities. We tell our elected officials what we want and if they can’t make it happen, we get to elect ones that can. It is folly to think we are incapable of moving forward. Just look at how far we’ve already come. I’m not convinced the future Gene Roddenberry imagines for the 24th century will ever become a reality, I think elements of human nature can’t be reconciled by then. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.