Sunday, May 14, 2017

What The Democrats Need Now

I've been dreaming lately of what it would be like to be president of the United States.

I'd run as the politically incorrect liberal — the rational middle ground between the Right wing bigots and lunatics, and the bleeding heart ultra PC liberals, as that's how I see myself. I'd implement tax reform that shifts the burden onto the rich and back onto the corporations, which is what we need. I'd take no money from lobbyists or special interests or super PACs. I'd be a president that actually works for the people. There's an idea! I'd fill my cabinet with ardent populists. I'd fire anyone in any agency that wasn't down with my populist agenda that says we shouldn't have a government that works almost entirely for corporations and special interests. In other words, I'd drain the fucking swamp.

I'd reform our drug policy by immediately removing marijuana from the schedule I classification that it is in now. My attorney general would push for legalization at all costs. I'd do everything in my power for legalizing weed, whether by executive order, or by introducing legislation. I'd also push for the decriminalizing all of drugs. The DEA would be ordered to stand down on most drug enforcement policy that doesn't involve violent offenders. With marijuana legal in all 50 states a whole new economy would arise that would reduce crime from illegal gangs and cartels, and it would generate a huge new source of tax revenue and create jobs. I'm so fucking tired of stupid policies by stupid politicians, who are unfortunately voted into office by stupid uninformed citizens. My platform would be centered on the idea that the US has to be the smart country once again.

I'd put someone really smart in charge of the Department of Energy, someone who's a really thinker and innovator and who wants to move the US towards full renewable energy sources. Someone not beholden or affiliated in any way with the oil and gas companies. I'd put someone who supports the same kind of education reform as I do in charge of the Department of Education. There'd be no religious fundamentalists, or climate change deniers, or Nixonian anti-drug crusaders in my administration at all. We'd get to finally have the smart progressive policies we should have already had.

I'd get real on foreign policy and stop our double standards. I'd tell the Saudi King to go fuck himself and I'd make any sale of weapons to the kingdom contingent on them reforming their draconian Islamic theocracy to allow women equal rights, to allow freedom of religion, and to stop their jailing and executions of blasphemers. I'd generally cut military spending, especially the billions in wasteful spending on contracts for useless planes and tanks that just often sit there. I'd begin to have a more inclusive foreign policy where I focus on domestic issues and away from having a strong military presence around the world. I wouldn't pull back entirely, but I'd stop the neocon-style interventionist foreign policy of Bush.

I'd build stronger bridges with our allies — the good ones, the ones that care about human rights. And I'd make sure the US is truly an international supporter of human rights and free speech, and yes — secularism around the world. I'd be as president the world's loudest proponent of human rights, using my bully pulpit to castigate bad actors around the world.

I'd have a social media adviser whose sole job it is would be to pay attention to social media trends and to effectively come up with a response to them. Criticisms of me, lies told about me, would be addressed. I'd be active on Twitter, just like Trump. I actually think it's important for a president to not be naive to social media and how it's used. I wished Obama would have responded to his critics on Twitter when they were blatantly lying about him.

I'd implement single payer health care once and for all. I'd pressure the Dems into supporting it and I'd call out bullshit fake corporate Democrats who didn't. I'd brutally respond to any critics on social media who tried criticizing single payer with their bullshit lies. In fact, I'd have a whole new department on social media advisors who made response videos — like the kind done by ordinary YouTubers — to put out daily rebuttal videos to all of my critics. I'd be a fully 21st century president, using social media the way a president should. The main difference between me and Trump is that I'd actually know shit, and I'd be using facts and data to make my points.

I'd support comprehensive immigration reform. I'd allow undocumented immigrants who have not been convicted of any felonies or less than 3 misdemeanors, to be put on a path to legal status. For citizenship they'd have to get in the back of the line, return home, and apply like everyone else. There'd be an incentive program for proficiency in English, good behavior, and taxes paid. I'd only build a wall if —and only if — it's entirely paid for by a tax on those making more than $250k a year. I'd increase funding for more border security so that the issue would not arise, which may include, at least in some parts, a border wall.

I'd introduce legislation on tuition free college nation wide on all public colleges. I like the idea of an incentive program where the cost of college is tied to grades. For example, if you get an A grade, the class is free, if you get a B it's $50, if you get a C it's $100, if you get a D it's $150. If you fail it, you pay the full price of what it normally is in the state. That way you couldn't just go to college and party for free, you'd actually have to show up to class and pass for it to be free. This is something that could get more conservatives on since it is merit based. This would be paid for by my tax plan, which would raise taxes on the rich, and by implementing a Wall Street speculation tax to off set some of the costs, and by decreasing subsidies on the dairy and oil industries. The US subsidizes the meat and dairy industry by about $38 billion a year, according to PETA,  and only $17 million to subsidize fruits and vegetables. I'd reverse that. Many meat-eating liberals would disagree with me, but they'd still be free to buy a hamburger if they want, it would just cost more without the subsidies. But since eating meat is one of the most harmful producers of greenhouse gases that lead to climate change, and a heavy meat related diet leads to increases in obesity, heart disease, and some cancers, the US should not be focusing on subsidizing meat or dairy. It should be subsidizing fruits and vegetables. The farm lobbyists and meat sellers and producers wouldn't like this, but I wouldn't care, because I wouldn't have taken any money from them.

Everyone in my administration would sign a pledge not to take money from lobbyists or special interests while they serve me and for at least 5 years after.

But I'm not running for president. This is all a dream. What the Dems need now is someone like me: an unapologetic, progressive, politically incorrect liberal, who is willing to break norms that traditionally hold back rational progress, and who wants to enact a populist agenda. He or she must be incorruptible. And that means they have to live and breath this philosophy. What the Dems definitely don't need is another robotic, uncharismatic trained politician, who is too cozy with the corporations, who is ultra PC, and who will refuse to support true progressive policies.

I hope there is a contender in 2020 who can do what I want. Tulsi Gabbard is a possibility. If she ran I'd definitely support her. Progressives need to support the Justice Democrats who want to primary fake corporate democrats in Congress. What many Democrats do not realize is that Congress passes laws. Presidents sign them into law. A Democratic president with a majority Republican Congress will get nothing done. Democrats need to realize this and start voting in their local senate elections and congressional elections. Progressive Dems need to do in 2018 similar to what the TEA Party did in 2010: Organize a grassroots movement that gets progressive voters out into the polls in the mid terms elections that gets real progressive politicians who take no money from corporations into Congress.

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