To the Editor:
Democratic women made dramatic gains this past election, which may give us a glimpse of the future. Does that mean more “socialism?” It’s entirely possible. The question often is asked, “What direction should the Democratic Party take?” However, much science has been denigrated and dismissed by the right since the Reagan era, it continues to provide valid answers about our world not available on Facebook or Twitter, answers grounded in observed fact, not public opinion. The science of evolution tells us that we are a social species, which tells us a great deal about the direction we should take. Social species are a relatively recent development in evolutionary history. They emerged because there is great advantage in working together, helping one another, sharing resources equitably, supporting one another, being tolerant of differences, as opposed to dog-eat-dog competition, exploitation and discrimination.
Cooperation, mutual aid, empathy, kindness, altruism, forgiveness, tolerance, all are emerging traits of social species that have reached unprecedented levels in humans, although they are by no means universal among us as yet. We have a way to go, some more than others.
Public health care, like public education and public roads, should be our universal right. Addressing climate change, water and air quality, and working across political aisles should be our universal responsibility. Taking proper care of our global commons is something we haven’t perfected yet, but our social nature should take over and ensure that it is done for the benefit of all – that includes our climate, our air, our water, our soils and our human reproduction. These all affect everybody. Democratic women need to help us become more social than ever before. Call it “socialism” or call it kool-aid, it’s the most productive way forward. We’re all in this together.
Donovan C. Wilkin