What I Believe, What I Support
Two intro comments.
First, I was having a debate with a mormon friend of mine and in explaining myself I wrote down my stance on several major issues. When I was done, I thought - I should post this.
Second, I've been reading a fair number of web sites that politicians put in support of their campaigns. In the issues sections, they are all horrible. I offer this as a model for how they can express their beliefs. Just say it plainly and simply. You'll lose voters, but people will know where you stand. Your stance will be clear.
Here's where I stand - did I miss something?
I am against the death penalty.
I support reproductive freedom and women’s health. I support privacy. I am pro-choice, but I would work very hard to reduce and nearly eliminate the need for abortions by providing education on birth control, making birth control widely available, expanding the availability of and education around Plan B, and by providing meaningful and entertaining diversions for young people, by creating schools that children see as a pathway to a future full of opportunity, and by fighting childhood poverty. I do not support inconvenience legislation in the abortion arena (parental notification, 24 hour waiting periods, informed consent, “think about it” pamphlets). I believe those things are demeaning to women.
I would increase spending on education, and, instead of testing for academic progress, I would legislate a cap on classroom sizes. The cap would be 15 in elementary school, 18 in junior high school, and 20 in high school. I would adopt minimum standards for building quality in all schools. Schools should be clean, modern, comfortable, and inspirational.
I believe we can afford to do those things, if we just make those things our priorities.
I would give every fourth-grader a laptop computer to use for every grade from then until they graduated from high school.
I think that public universities should be tuition free. I believe that text books should be provided at no expense to college students.
Every day, physical education would be required for all students, no exceptions.
Foreign languages are mandatory beginning in elementary school.
I would fund all this with cuts in defense spending and with changes to tax policy.
I support the Apollo II project for renewable energy. Big time. I support it for its positive impact on the environment, I support it for its job creation, its innovation, its reduction to our dependence on foreign oil, and for its sanity. It’s like the modern version of Roosevelt’s WPA – it would improve our nation and our world.
I support Kyoto and would actually strengthen it.
I would aggressive act to decrease carbon dioxide and green-house gas emissions. In other words, I would work very hard to turn back the global warming trend and reduce the greenhouse gas effect (a part of my support for Apollo II).
I would increase taxes on the wealthiest 5%.
I would increase the gas tax two cents per year for the next 25 years.
I would tax pornography at 25%.
I would tax exotic dancers, especially Chippendale dancers.
I would increase the cigar, cigarette and beer, wine and liquor taxes.
Bongs, one-hitters, hookahs and the like would be taxed at 25%.
I would not invest in any new programs until the budget deficit was erased.
I would increase luxury taxes on automobiles that cost more than $45,000, on private airplanes and jets, on jewelry that cost more than $2,000, on fur coats, and other luxury items.
I would increase the tax on guns, rifles, shotguns, bullets, shells and plugs.
I would tax SUVs and gradually increase the tax on SUVs over the next ten years until owning them was painful. I would create an exemption for those who legitimately need an SUV. But I would make that standard very high.
I would not tax any property with a tax assessed value of 50% of less of the median home price in a county.
I would increase property taxes on all homes above 3500 square feet.
I would increase taxes on second homes or vacation homes.
I would decriminalize the possession of drugs.
I would allow the sale of currently illegal drugs by the state or federal governments.
I would tax those drugs.
I would increase taxes on cosmetic dentistry.
I would increase taxes on plastic surgery.
I generally support partial public financing for sports stadiums and arenas.
I favor gun control. In particular, I’m opposed to handguns and anything that expands their use/availability.
I support single-payer healthcare.
I would increase funding on public transportation – buses and trains should be widely available, convenient and inexpensive. I think we should be creative in imagining a system beyond the automobile.
I would increase taxes on parking.
I would eliminate the income ceiling on the Social Security tax.
I would raise the age at which Social Security benefits begin.
I would keep the internet free.
I would allow flag burning.
I would allow idiots and hate-mongers to protest outside of funerals for GLBT persons. I would drown them out with messages of love.
I would plant 1,000,000 trees.
I would dedicate more land for space.
I support historic preservation.
I support rational immigration policy. I would allow documented guest workers. I would review and revise all current immigration limits; I would also review amnesty rules.
I would not build a fence at the border between the United States and Mexico.
I would review and revise the rules at the border to making it harder for immigration without guest-worker status.
Though the neo-conservative movements gives me isolationist tendencies, I would change American foreign policy by participating more actively in the international community. While I would not seek to change our role as a leader, I would recognize that we are no longer a super power. I would seek International assistance in stabilize Iraq and rededicate American troops to participating in an International peace-keeping effort. I would not go to war with Iran. I would focus military energy, currently allocated elsewhere on the capture of Osama bin Laden. I would hold him accountable for his crimes.
I would increase spending on intelligence.
I would devote tremendous energy to coordination among intelligence entities.
I would adopt the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.
I would allow people to bring more than 3 ounces of lotion on-board airplanes, which is
my way of saying I would revisit TSA policies.
I support line-item vetoes for governors and for the President.
I support instant runoff elections.
For a really long time I didn’t, but now I support term limits. I like the idea of a citizen
legislature – 12 years is the max.
I would abolish the Electoral College and elect the President by popular vote.
I would tie voter registration to the licensing and photo ID process. If you have a driver’s
license or photo ID, then you can vote.
I’ll admit that I need to think about Israel and Palestine. I don’t know what I would do there. Educate me.
I would change littering laws so that anyone caught littering would spend a day in jail. I would make it a Wednesday. I would give police officers a $250 bonus for every 10 people they catch littering where a conviction resulted.
I would give new parents 12 months leave to divide as they see fit.
I support same-sex marriage.
I feel that if a class of citizens are excluded from a particular thing, then that particular thing should not be offered by the state.
I do not support prayer in schools.
I do not support the placement of the Ten Commandments in public places.
I would not allow the teaching of creationism in public schools because I believe it establishes a religion.
I would not allow the teaching of intelligent design for the same reason, but also because it’s dumb.
I’m pro union, and I would strengthen labor laws so that executives cannot use labor unrest as a means of strong-arming working men and women into rescuing corporations from years of poor decisions.
No, you may not dishonor your pension commitments. Pensions are guaranteed. They’re not guaranteed by the government, they’re guaranteed by corporations.
My driving theory of criminal justice is rehabilitation, not punishment.
But, I support life in prison – as a way to segregate criminals whose crimes are so heinous, or so likely to recur again, that they cannot be returned to free society.
I would rewrite campaign laws to promote a multi-party system (I believe instant runoff elections is the way there).
I would direct a lot of attention and resources to the global AIDS pandemic.
To fighting hunger.
To sub-Saharan Africa.
To the Middle East.
To animals and endangered species.
To clean air, clean water, clean soil.
To reducing sprawl.
To urban renewal.
To ending domestic violence.