50: My Politics
Howdy! I don't often blog about my political views, partially because they're always shifting, but also, because I'm not an expert. By not an expert, I mean I went to school for design, not political science or economics. I'm running on personal experience, empathy, and vibes.
That said, my base bias is best expressed by by a common story about the famed anthropologist, Margaret Mead, which may or may not be true. As it goes, a student asked her what she looks for when pinning down the start of a society. Rather than a technological innovation, evidence of agriculture, or anything obviously grand, she's quoted as responding with "a healed femur." The logic being that a person would be unlikely to survive alone with a broken femur, and would have to rely on the support of others to do so.
I feel that as a society, our government exists to protect us from ourselves, but also, to maintain a decent baseline standard of living for the weakest among us. I don't use weak as an insult. Weakness, in this instance, could be due to illness, genetics, or simply a lack of funds for whatever reason.
Regarding the US Government, they have fail us every time we receive a medical bill for a necessary treatment. They have failed us by allowing private insurances to decide what is and is not necessary, being allotted more power over our wellbeing, as citizens, than our doctors. Healthcare needs to be acknowledged as a right, not a mere privilege. Until it is, our country is not run by and for the people, but for insurance companies and those who benefit from artificially inflating our healthcare costs. Mental, dental, and vision healthcare fall under my definition for general health care rights. This included rehab. Trans rights are human rights. Transitioning individuals should have their hormone therapy, any gender-affirming surgeries, and their mental health covered by this standard.
I believe drugs and adult, consensual sex work, should be legalized and reasonably regulated. As in, drug users should be able to turn to the government to have their drugs tested for purity. The threat of a criminal record or imprisonment keeps addicts from seeking help. Want to weaken gangs and the cartel? Offer a safe alternative. I that taxing marijuana has funded public works projects and education. That's wonderful, but medical marijuana, and medication in general, should never be taxed. Sex workers should be protected by the law, meaning they and their clients should regularly be tested for STDs. Sex work is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Threatening them or their clients with a criminal record or imprisonment keeps them from seeking help when necessary. It's also hypocritical to allow for the production of porn, and not prostitution. Want to stop human trafficking? Let sex workers do their job safely.
Abortion rights should be regulated federally, not on a state level. Abortion rights are health rights. Adoption agencies need to be better regulated, so that being gay or unmarried doesn't bar a responsible citizen from adoption.
Our government has failed every unhoused person in this country. There are currently more empty homes than there are unhoused people. Corporations, some of whom are backed my politicians, are legally purchasing properties and hoarding them for profit. Unlike a small landlord, with perhaps three properties, these corporations can afford to significantly inflate rent or the cost to sell the property, and wait for a desperate soul to meet it. Small landlords can only go without those funds for so long before they have to lower rent to a more realistic level. That our government has not capped how many properties an individual can own (I'd suggest a max of three), how much profit they can make over their (often fixed) mortgage rates, nor banned corporations from purchasing homes, is an afront to basic human decency. Human lives matter more than profit, yet politicians choose profit over lives. Unhoused people are vulnerable to the elements, to the overfunded police, and to laws made to fill for-profit prisons.
I also do not support the ability for people living in other countries, to buy homes here. If an immigrant in the USA buys the property, that's one thing. Too many wealthy individuals abroad are hoarding US homes. That our leadership allows this is insane.
In protecting our weakest, I don't just mean housing them and providing them with healthcare. If they can and want to work, our country should be enabling our people to accomplish that goal. That means investing in public transport. Many among us cannot drive due to physical, mental, emotional, or monetary reasons. They/we (my driving lessons begin this August) should not be housebound. Likewise, climate change is being exacerbated by pollution. Encouraging citizens to take public transport reduces pollution.
Perhaps the most obvious way our government has failed us is the existence of for-profit prisons, though, even regular prisons include forced labor for no or exceedingly little pay. We need to work towards rehabilitation, not punishment, with regards to our nation's prisoners. This means educational opportunities, work training opportunities, and therapy, for those who, for a time, cannot be trusted to walk among the general populace. Violence is unacceptable. Likewise, prisons across the USA are charging prisoners and their loved ones for every letter received, while limiting access to those letters. Some are charging for allowing prisoners to receive books/packages/gifts. Anything purchased by prisoners have artificially inflated prices. As a nation, these harmful policies must cease. We should not be profiting on the suffering of our people. Once-felons, who have done their time, should have their voting rights restored.
A controversial take, I admit, is that I support a draft. Not in the sense that our citizens can be dragged into whatever war of aggression our politicians have decided to embark on this year, no. I mean that graduating high schoolers should be encouraged to join the armed forces for two years, if they are not going to college. Given our nation's disturbing propensity for seeking out conflict across the globe, an enforced draft, under our current leaders, would end in unnecessary bloodshed. Were we a peaceful nation, however, engaged only in the rare war of defense, then I would consider our armed forces a grandiose public works program, teaching life skills while providing housing for our youth. The armed forces offer a wide range of experience to young people, including engineering. They could be responsible for expanding our currently abysmal public transport.
In case you didn't catch that last, I am opposed to wars of aggression. Likewise, our CIA should be disbanded. Then, were it determined that an espionage organization remained necessary, we'd build a new less aggressive one. Our citizens do not benefit from destabilizing our neighbors, let alone our peers across the globe.
Obviously, I support free college. The more educated our populace, the better for our nation as a whole. Education breeds ingenuity, something the USA used to be known for. Trapping our young people with debt only diminishes their odds of getting married, having children, and investing in their communities. Now, we trap our young people into accepting jobs that don't further their careers, simply to pay their excessive bills. Yes, there are current safeguards in place to assist those with low wages who have federal debts, but this does nothing to help those with private loans.
I stand by the message on our Statue of Liberty, and support weak borders. We have the resources to support many more people. In fact, our farms produce significantly more produce and cheese than there is a market for. Our government, at odds with their capitalist faith, buys and stores that which is fated to go unused. We have many empty properties, with more being built all the time. If we took care of our people, meeting their base needs, they wouldn't be trapped in low-paying jobs. I want more, simple methods for emigrating legally to the USA.
Unlike most of these hard stances, I don't have strong feelings about guns. Yes, we need common sense laws. Let's say I was POTUS. I'd be looking to responsible gun owners, folks who run gun safety courses or have a long history of maintaining gun safety on film sets, to help me write those policies. Not members of the NRA or any other extremist groups. I don't use guns, and while I intend to take a gun safety course at some point, I haven't yet. That's where knowing I'm not an expert comes in. People with a history of violent crime or violent/depressive/delusional mental/emotional instability should not be able to purchase a gun. This would require a federal database, not a bunch of local ones. People who have never taken a gun safety course should not be able to purchase a gun. I would suggest making gun safety courses free, or very inexpensive.
I support free speech. We already have laws against hate speech and I believe they are sufficient. There is ample room for civil lawsuits against hate speech or harmful misinformation already.
I support freedom of the press, though I believe there should be fines for presses found to be blatantly making stories up. As in, reading the news, you may see NewsSiteA citing NewsSiteB for their story, while NewSiteB sites NewsSiteA. Neither an alternative source, meaning both agreed to spread fiction. I would support a law mandating that news stories must feature a label denoting them fact, rumor, or opinion. BBC isn't incredibly reliable, but they have a blurb at the end of their articles, giving a general background for the journalist of each piece. These blurbs can indicate likely biases. It wouldn't make sense for the government to demand such blurbs, but perhaps they could offer a tax cut for them. I fully support freeing Julian Assange. Our government has failed us by lying, and killing or imprisoning those who revealed their lies.
I am not a communist. I am a democratic socialist and I generally vote for the green party, though the Working People's Party likewise shows promise. The current duopoly is a bane. We have two capitalist parties who are easing us farther and farther right, economically. I would vote for a Communist Party leader before I'd vote for a Democrat, though, I vote more based off their policy choices than along party lines. We need a capitalist party and a communist party in order to reach an economic balance. The way we get there is ranked voting. That can be numerical, (1st choice, 2nd choice, etc), or percentage based (70% this choice, 30% this choice), though I think numerical would be the easier to implement.
We need to made lobbying illegal, make it illegal for politicians to participate in the stock market, and we need to regulate funding campaigns. The party winner of the primary vote should be decided by the voters, not super delegates. Period. That should be law. Signatures, not money, should decide who gets to be on the ballet. I'd suggest capping private donations at $100, an banned corporate donations. That's an amount the average politically motivated citizen can cover, so nobody holds too much sway over any candidate. It's already law that presidential candidates can't promise cabinet positions before they are elected. That law should be enforced. I would support an anti-corruption party running on these values alone.
Anyway, I think that's enough for now. I'm sure, I can get more specific and local with my policy views, but you get the gist. Thanks for stopping by! I drop a new post every Monday. Toodles!