What Is Your Political Platform? Ep. 3 Domestic Policy

I’m not a big fan of government supporting or trying to legislate some issues of morality. I’m also not a fan of special interest groups that attempt to use government not to protect their own interests but prevent others from expressing their own beliefs. I couch my beliefs this way: the way you conduct yourself in your life should not impair or impact in a negative way the rights of someone else. In other words, respect yourself and respect each other. That means do not abuse children, do not kill someone, do not rob or cheat people, or otherwise take advantage of someone. Treat people fair and with respect. Perhaps another way of expressing this belief is the Golden Rule: Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You; Treat Others As You Would Like To Be Treated.

How does my belief translate into Domestic Policy, then? I think you can see where I am going. But, before I release a few of my domestic policies, I am going to add another caveat.

My belief is that God, Allah, etc., doesn’t particularly care about the Rule of Law implemented by a state. I don’t believe God really wants to be associated with currency. I don’t believe God cares that your football team won or lost. I don’t believe God cares that you failed your algebra final or ran through that red light yesterday. God, Allah, if you want to know the truth, simply requires that you believe in Him. That’s it. God doesn’t care about the law of the United States any more or any less than he cares about Sharia in Saudi Arabia or Iran. The reality is he doesn’t care. Too many people get worked into religious frenzies because of government actions, and God doesn’t care. God, if he truly exists, only requires you to believe in him, and follow the law of the land in which you live, whatever land that is. People that get excited about “In God We Trust” on money, and Pro-Life Supporters, et. al. merely diminish and confine the omnipotence of a being thought to have created an entire universe. Really? I can see God shaking in his head in bemusement over your feeblemindedness.

I don’t expect anyone to agree with me. I offer these platforms as a challenge to others to create their own platforms to measure current and future political candidates against.

  1. Abortion: I don’t like the thought of abortion. The topic is between the mother, the family, and which ever Prime Mover a person believes in. Government has no right to control this domain, other than to allow abortion. Government’s job is to protect the rights of individuals, not restrict rights. Fetuses do not have rights, and should not have rights. Neither should embryos. I would prefer that healthy, viable fetuses be allowed to live once the first trimester has elapsed. Pregnancy resulting from sexual assault should be terminated as soon as possible, at the discretion of the woman. To those who hate me for this, God doesn’t care. A soul is a soul, indestructible, and would return back to wherever, so I don’t understand your concern. You must believe an abortion kills the soul of a child, which undermines your entire belief system. Even within the context of the Bible, both God and the State where responsible for infanticide. So, I will never understand nor agree with your Pro-Life position.
  2. The Federal Government should engage in more family planning activities. Free family counseling should be provided, as well as  free, low-cost, or subsidized birth control. Policies that eliminate or cut family planning funding and also reduce social support service while telling people to be responsible are simply ridiculous. If a government wants people to act responsibly then allow them the opportunity to act responsibility. While many my protest government financing of abortions, a woman who seeks one should not be punished, nor a doctor who performs the procedure should be punished. A woman may pay from her own pocket and health insurance programs should be allowed to cover all forms of birth control. Again, the government should not be used to eliminate or restrict a woman’s right to choose.
  3. The Federal Government has no choice but to allow single-sex marriages or civil unions. Again, the government’s job is to protect individual rights. Two people of the same gender who unite in a civil union do not endanger the rights of any other person. Religious arguments have no basis in secular government.
  4. The Federal Government should make no law regarding the practice of religion, except to say that religion cannot be used as an argument for the passage of any law, nor should any religion be expressed above and beyond any other religion or non-religion. The United States is not a Christian Theocracy, as many Conservative Republicans and Tea Party factions would try to make people believe. Nor should the United State ever become a Christian Theocracy. I can hear the argument now: “So, you would allow polygamy?” Sure; I don’t care, and neither should you. “And, I suppose you think human sacrifice is OK, then?” Besides the fact that your comment is ridiculous, no, I don’t. Human Sacrifice is in contradiction to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness protected under the Bill of Rights. “OK, what about child marriage? You sound like you would support that, too!” No, again, an absurd argument. Children cannot consent to such an action because they do not have the sophistication of knowledge required to make a choice to get married. Marriage or Civil Unions between two consenting adults cannot be restricted. A child, by definition, cannot be a consenting adult.
  5. Immigration: *** This needs a separate platform in and of itself
  6. The “War on Drugs” is a failure. Drugs continue to be rampant within U.S. society. The Mexican drug crisis is a direct result of the demand for those drugs in the United States. People who engage in illegal drug use support the drug crisis in Mexico, and damage the integrity of the United States. The United States incarcerates more people globally for drug-related crimes than any other country in the world. As a percent of population, the United States incarcerates a greater portion of its citizens than any other country in the world, and that includes Iran and China. I recommend more treatment, less criminalization. Non-violent drug-related crimes need to be handled differently. The “Department of Corrections” is an oxymoron. These institutions can act as training centers with inmates trading details and educating each other as to their failures. These institutions can create even more harden individuals, people that really cannot integrate back into mainstream society. I recommend more drug education and elimination of property confiscation. I ask, how does a government expect to rehabilitate people when that person has lost their home, their car, money, family, etc.? On top of that add a criminal record which prevents them from getting any kind of decent employment, and you merely create an environment that really encourages a person to commit another crime. After all, he/she had free room and board, meals, TV, exercise, and health care while incarcerated. I would recommend that any person convicted of non-violent drug crimes be required to work on a college degree or vocation, perform community service, work in homeless shelters, animal shelters, Habitat for Humanity, address students at middle and high school, attend drug counseling classes, relationship workshops, and undergo personal counseling. We want people to be productive members of society, not a $23,000 per year drain on society, which is about the yearly cost of one inmate at a federal prison. How many years of college would that amount cover for a person?
  7. The “War on Terror” has been brought to a close, thankfully, but the legacy lives on in the form of the Patriot Act. Americans should never be required to prove their innocence. Americans should never need to prove their allegiance, nor prove their patriotism. Any attempt to do so is tantamount to fascism. Fascism is the forcible oppression, criticism, or militant nationalism implemented by a government or dictator. The Transportation Safety Administration, the Patriot Act, the Department of Homeland Security, racial profiling, or as Herman Cain stated, “target profiling,” are all components necessary for a government to instantiate fascist rule. When one considers the use of police against passive or peaceful Occupy demonstrators, we can see elements of governmental oppression at work. When states such as Arizona attempt to pass laws requiring police to stop anyone who appears to be illegal, that law is very close to institutionalized racism which is a component of fascism. Do not get me wrong, I am not saying our government is fascist. I am issuing a warning, however. As Republicans, Tea Party factions, and Libertarians like Ron Paul attack Education and seek to undermine our social intellect, and political factions seek to pass more laws restricting individual rights while supporting more corporate rights, the more government creeps towards fascism. I would strongly audit and present existential challenges to each of those items above. 

Our primary Domestic Problem is this: over the last decade-and-a-half, our government has been distracted and unfocused. Our traditional foe, the Soviet Union has evaporated. The United State has stood alone, foundering, without cause, or direction. At the end of the Clinton years, the United States was on a trajectory to have low-debt, high economic production, and little global controversy. Republicans and Democrats working in concert with each other created that environment. I might add that both parties are responsible for the current economic debacle.

Then, 9-11 came along and distracted the United States. We lost our focus and direction, and our government chased a rabbit down a rabbit-hole, and as a result, engaged us in not one but two wars. Both of these wars Americans did not finance; our government borrowed money from China, and others to fund these actions. Now, we are suffering as a result. Not only has China become flush with U.S. cash, but is also our largest single lender. We have doubly-screwed ourselves, not to mention the fragility of the government we left behind in Iraq, or the nearly non-existent government currently in power in Afghanistan. I am willing to allow History to prove me wrong, but the odds favor me.

The United States should never be allowed to have our attention distracted from our target. Our target is to be the most successful, most educated, most advanced, most respected civilization in human history. To attain this goal, we must focus on ourselves, our abilities, our people. We do this by investing in health and education and technology – by investing in people. The United States will always be challenged. Internally, crazy zealots will attempt bombings and assassinations. Externally, countries will challenge us economically, and crazy zealots will attempt to undermine our relationships with our global neighbors. We cannot allow our focus to deviate and indulge ourselves in expensive distractions.

If we take care of ourselves, act in our own best interest, work to the best of our ability, then what happens in Egypt, or how China values its currency, or the laziness of Greece won’t affect us much, if at all.

We have the ability to control our own destiny.

 

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