Let the Great Dialogue on Culture and Ideas Begin!

Dear Editor:

When future historians look back on the Democratic primary debates recently held in Detroit, they may call it the magic moment when America (and the world) began to be saved. First and foremost, corporate centrism—which hides behind the deceptively innocuous sounding word “moderate”—was at last exposed for the false and dangerous policy it’s become. A Trojan Horse for elites who fake being liberal but stick it to the 99% any chance they can.

This victory for humanity was mostly thanks to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, so we owe them a debt of gratitude. It’s as if the storm clouds of Trump Depression are suddenly fading over the horizon, having done their worst damage, as a rainbow of hope appears in the sky. Such common sense ideas as Medicare for all, free college, forgiveness of student loan debt, a Green New Deal, and Universal Basic Income—a thousand bucks per month for everyone: thank you Mr. Yang!—once derided by the right as “loony left,” are suddenly the new normal.

As for the much asked question, “How do we pay for it?”….simple. Instead of cutting taxes on the rich, like Trump did, raise the top tax rate back to 70, 80, or even 90%. That’s where it was in 1960, under a truly great Republican named Dwight Eisenhower. And who doesn’t still like Ike? Then close all tax loopholes for greedy corporations, who, incredibly, continue to avoid paying taxes using a shell game of overseas accounts.

Marianne Williamson’s presence on the debate stage also represented a huge step forward in the evolution of American consciousness. How amazing that a progressive, visionary intellectual—who writes books with titles like “A Politics of Love” and “Healing the Soul of America”—was given a national audience. It was just the healing antidote we needed for the vitriolic, racist, mean-spirited Donald Trump. It should also be a rallying cry for the emerging spiritual left.

There was, however, a vital issue not mentioned on the debate stage. It has to do with the crucial role of education, media, and popular culture in dumbing down our country over the past four decades; a phenomenon that laid the groundwork for a no-nothing demagogue like Trump to ascend to power. As an educator, author, and host of a nonprofit TV show on culture and ideas—having interviewed some of the greatest intellectuals in our world (real intellectuals, not pundits)—I believe this is the key, elephant in the room question America needs to address.

And so, as the congress takes its summer break, I’ll begin my “Re-educate America” lecture tour. Given its civic rescue mission aspect, I plan to hold these talks in grass roots community spaces like civic clubs, bookstores, libraries, churches, small businesses, schools, and even in people’s homes. If you’d like to be involved in this exciting new project to help renew democracy, please email me at johnbredintv@gmail.com.

John Bredin