Category Archives: Democratic Party

Presidential Endorsements

This election season, we have an embarrassment of riches. There is a candidate on the right, and there is a candidate on the left, and both of them offer a clear statement of their respective sides.

And yes, the Democans are also running candidates.

Confused? Don’t be. Have a look at these two:

Gary Johnson

Jill Stein

Johnson is the Libertarian nominee for president, while Stein is running as the Green Party candidate.

O.K., I know the argument against voting for a third party. That’s said to be a throw-away vote. Uh huh. Unlike the vote that too many of us throw away to the Democrats and the Republicans? I hear a great deal of yammering about how money influences politics, about how the Citzens United decision will destroy America, about how the sky is falling and it’s all their fault, whoever they may be. The fact is, though, that no matter how much money candidates spend, they still have to get votes to get into office. Who then has the responsibility for that?

We do.

If you really believe that giving tax breaks to multinational corporations makes sense, that government intrusion into our private lives makes sense, that a foreign policy based on knee jerks rather than leadership makes sense, that handing more and more control of our healthcare to insurance companies makes sense, that a lot of talk about the environment without any action makes sense, that handwringing over immigration makes sense, that spending money that we haven’t earned makes sense, and on and on, by all means, vote for the Republicrat Party. Pick your candidate based on whose wife is prettier.

Or you can educate yourself and make a good choice. Here’s a place to start: OnTheIssues.org. If you’re looking at the election and feeling that you’ll have to hold your nose when you vote, why aren’t you demanding someone better?

Regular readers have seen me go on about this topic before. I’m going to do so until people wake up. You should, too. A democracy is a form of government in which citizens have to be active participants. If you want your government handed to you, North Korea is available. Otherwise, you have to speak out. You have to attend meetings and make comments. You have to talk to those around you.

Or you can just vote for America’s next Idol. Like this fellow.

My Fellow Americans. . .

We have heard and are going to hear a lot about money in elections. The Citizens United decision declared that a corporation has the same free speech rights as an individual, a really rich individual. So be it. Money has flooded the political system for a long time. But all the proposals to restrain the influence of wealth on government come from an old view of the world. In the past, a candidate needed money to gain support. Campaign staff had to be paid. Air time had to be bought. Ballots for stuffing boxes had be purchased, and some people had to be bribed.

But no more. These days, anyone who can afford an Internet connection or who is near a public library can be an informed voter, and any candidate with the same access can be effective. The names of candidates can be written on ballots at the day of the election. The campaign can be done entirely on-line.

It’s time for voters to take control of their democracy. With that in mind, I propose a new party, provisionally to be named the Union Party with the motto, E Pluribus Unam. I’ll entertain better names, though.

The guiding principle of this party will be liberty in the small and cooperation in the large. With that in mind, let’s go through the typical list of political matters in this country today, as given by OnTheIssues.org:

Abortion:

Abortions in the first two trimesters will be solely the choice of the pregnant woman without irrelevant tests or burdens. During the third trimester, abortions will only be allowed if the health of the woman is in jeopardy. That determination will be made between her and her doctor. The government health program (see below) will pay for abortions. Other plans may choose to do so or not at their discretion.

Budget and the Economy:

1. Debt is dangerous. Getting out of debt must be a goal of every administration until the debt is gone.

2. Tax rates will be 30% on the highest bracket, 20% on the upper middle, 10% on the lower middle, and 0% on the poor, income levels to be added later as needed. Some variation will be permitted in the upper brackets to achieve debt reduction or other goals.

3. The tax code must be written in English, not Ligature Rouge. Deductions must be eliminated.

Civil Rights:

1. Race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and other such categories are part of a person’s nature and are not legitimate for consideration in hiring, in acceptance into schools, in legal matters, or in other similar areas of public concern. That goes both ways, of course.

2. Marriage is a matter for religious institutions to decide. Governments should issue civil unions only that will cover taxes, insurance, finances, and similar.

3. Voting districts should be based on geography and population, not on race or political party affiliation.

Corporations:

1. Corporations will be free to operate, provided that they are honest about the products that they sell and that they can show that their effect on the environment is acceptable.

2. Unions have the right to organize if the workers agree to join and to bargain with employers.

3. Any corporation that gets a bailout from the government will be required to operate according to the best interests of the workers and the community.

Crime and Drugs:

1. Usage of drugs will be legalized, and dealers will be required to label their products honestly.

2. Financial criminals will have to spend their sentences paying back their victims, rather than enjoying a state-funded vacation.

3. Violent criminals will be put away for a long time.

Education:

See my previous articles on this subject. To summarize, class sizes will be reduced, total school size will as well. Add to that a rational funding system–in other words, not property taxes. In addition, children will be required to attend only half a day in public schools. They will be taught civics, mathematics, reading, and critical thinking. Their parents may then choose to educate them for the rest of the day at home, at private schools, or in public schools.

State colleges and universities will provide quality education at a price that everyone can afford. Private schools and for-profit schools may do as they wish, so long as all terms are made clear from the beginning.

This will require funding. That’s life.

Energy and the Environment:

America has large reserves of natural gas, and we grow a lot of corn that can be made into fuel. Those two will be temporary sources until wind, solar, and other types of clean energy are in place. Getting from the former to the latter will be a constant goal and action.

Foreign Policy and Free Trade:

1. Europe must learn to defend itself. America will maintain only such bases as are needed to conduct surveillance of the region.

2. There must be a solution to the Israel-Palestine question–likely a three-state solution. If any party in this dispute is unwilling to negotiate, the United States will withdraw support.

3. Iran and China are primary threats to our security for various reasons. Our policy will be one of containment and reduction.

4. North Korea is a pissant little adolescent state. Anything that they throw at us will be paid for twentyfold. No more aid will go to them unless they promise total obedience.

5. Worker rights and the enviroment will be a part of all trade deals, but free trade is the ultimate goal.

Gun Control:

I’ve also written about this, but in principle, in small arms, it’s not the device that matters; it’s the action. The only restrictions will be on those deemed a danger to others after due process of the courts. Cities may also require that weapons remain concealed within their borders and may restrict discharges to self defense shootings. Property owners may do as they wish on their own land, but businesses are public accomodations, as are colleges. Children may use firearms under the supervision of an adult.

Healthcare:

The government will create a national system for anyone who wants to participate–call it Medicare, since we already have that in place. Medicare will be able to negotiate payments the way that any other health company can. Fees will be determined on the basis of a person’s income. Private companies may continue to operate, and people may choose them as desired.

Immigration:

Anyone who wishes to become an American and who will adopt our values of responsibility and freedom is welcome.

Social Security:

Social Security taxes will be assessed on all income, not capped as they currently are.

Technology:

One valid use of public funds is to promote the development of new technologies. This applies particularly to energy and to space. We must have active programs of research, development, and exploration. Corporations, schools, and private individuals may also do their own work, since competition is healthy in this field.

Welfare:

The goal of welfare must be to make the recipient self sufficent. Programs that create dependency will be eliminated. We must be willing to help, but we must also require growth on the part of those who are helped.

That’s the list, more or less. I’ll gladly consider any other items that my readers wish to offer. Of course, one elected official alone won’t be able to accomplish all of this, but much can be done even so. A president, for example, could get cooperation from Democrats for some of this and Republicans for other parts. A president could speak to the people regularly, creating a lot of pressure on Congress. So can anyone else elected on this platform.

With all of this in mind, if nominated, I will run. If elected, I will serve. I will continue to write in any case. Who’s with me?

Time for a Change

I’ve been a political junkie for most of my life. I watched the 1980 conventions, even though I was still in my single digits. I saw Lloyd Bentsen smack Dan Quayle on national television. I registered to vote on my eighteenth birthday, and I’ve voted every two years since then. (Want to know who’s going to win the election? If I vote for a candidate, the other guy will win.)

Why am I saying all of this? I’m sick of the current political mess that America is in. I’m sick of Republicans and Democrats. Whatever they say about small businesses or the poor, they both act in the interest of the wealthy people who give them money. The current squabbling over the national debt and the Federal budget shows exactly what I’m talking about.

Part of our problem comes from our Founders. They were concerned over the power of political parties and created a system of government that tried to be oblivious about them. A parliamentary system would have been more efficient. Of course, efficiency in government is often bad for the citizens, and I do approve of having a written constitution that guarantees specific rights, while acknowledging that we have many others not specified. The structure of our system does favor two parties, and those two parties have less and less need to be responsive to individuals who are not fantastically wealthy. As much as we can blame “the system,” though, the real fault today lies elsewhere.

Who’s to blame?

We are.

We American citizens have an extraordinary power: voting. No one but we ourselves gets to control how we vote. That’s the joy of a secret ballot. If you’ve ever held your nose or crossed your fingers while voting, you owe yourself an apology.

How can I say that? It’s because we have alternatives. Take a look at these two parties:

The Green Party

The Libertarian Party

They field candidates in many elections. At the moment, they are marginal–earning only a few votes and holding several strange ideas–but that’s our fault. Those two parties differ on many issues, but their platforms aim at protecting individual citizens.

And the Greens and the Libertarians are only two possibilities. There are others. In every major election, the list of candidates for each office has more than two names. If none of the candidates are acceptable, you can write in the name of your choice. Yes, this requires work. Some will whine about how much research has to be done to vote well, but they’ll get no pity from me. Citizenship comes easily if you’re born here, and it’s not too hard to obtain otherwise, and because of that, we quickly forget the moral obligations that come with it.

I’m not going to tell you for whom to vote. If you approve of the platforms and actions of Republicans or Democrats, by all means, vote for them. But for the sake of our country, stop settling for the least offensive candidate or party. Do the work, and vote for what you want and believe in.