My politics have been greatly influenced by my extensive travels to over thirty countries (in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia), my having twice lived overseas, and my interest in international and national news. These experiences have given me ample insight into the pros and cons of various forms of government including that of my own country, the United States of America.
Although technically an independent, I primarily vote as a Democrat because its platform most closely aligns with my beliefs and because third-party candidates are currently unelectable and therefore act as spoilers.
I am politically an unabashed Liberal (liberty), Progressive (progress), Social (socialism), Democrat (democracy).
As a liberal, I believe in liberty:
- Government by the consent of the governed
- Government by the rule of law with absolutely no person, organization, or corporation above the law
- Equal protection under the law (e.g., equal rights in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and country of origin)
- Governmental guarantees of civil liberties and individual freedoms (e.g., of speech, press, assembly, and religion)
- Equal opportunity (e.g., education, health care, and financial security)
- A rejection of all forms of tyrrany (e.g., by authoritarians, oligarchs, corporations, and by the majority over the minority)
In today’s interconnected world, I believe in:
- Internationalism (e.g., valuing economic, political, and military alliances) rather than nationalism (e.g., isolationism and nativism)
- Limiting military funding to the level needed for national defense rather than offensive projection of power
- Limiting warfare to wars and engagements that are explicitly declared by Congress
I believe in progress (improvement) based on facts, evidence, and science rather than political ideology and religious dogma.
As a progressive, I believe that the Government (national, state, and local) has a major role to play regarding improving the lives of citizens (especially the middle and lower class) via beneficial laws and regulations:
- Progressive taxation including individuals, organizations (including churches), and all corporations
- Universal Social Security and guaranteed minimum income
- Universal health care (e.g., Medicare for all including 100% coverage of doctors, hospitals, medications, and ambulances with no annual or lifetime maximums)
- Universal free public education including four years of college and vocational schools as well as training to offset job loss due to technical advancement
- Labor Laws (e.g., 40 hour work week and overtime, work safety, child labor laws, disability insurance, and parental leave
- Environmental protection (including agressive prevention of and adaption to climate change) and sufficient, sustainable conservation of natural environments and resources to ensure availability for future generations
- Critical infrastructure including highways and bridges, mass transit, national electric grid, Internet, water, and sewage
- Food and drug safety
I am a progressive on social issues:
- Emmigration (e.g., comprehensive emmigration reform, DACA, and welcoming refugees)
- Environmental issues (e.g., climate change, carbon tax, and pollution)
- Financial security (e.g., minimum wage and minimum basic income)
- Health care as a right (i.e., universal health care)
- LBGT+ rights (e.g., marriage equality, adoption equality, job security, and rest-room access)
- Womens’ rights (e.g., equal pay and abortion)
As a socialist, I believe in a limited form of socialism in the western European sense of the word:
- Certain resources, such as the natural environment and its resources, belong to society as a whole (i.e., to the citizens collectively) rather than to individuals and for-profit businesses.
- Certain critical services (e.g., health care, social security, mass transit, police and prisons, and military) are best supplied by the Government rather than by for-profit businesses.
- Wealthy individuals, organizations, and for-profit businesses should be well regulated and taxed so that they adequately support the public good (via taxation) and do not amass dangerous levels of power over society, the economy, or the Government.
Although I also believe in capitalism, I believe that it must be constrained by law and regulation to avoid the abuses caused by the unrestrained combination of wealth, greed, and power (e.g., political corruption and unsustainable income inequality).
As a small-d democrat, I strongly believe in democracy:
- I believe voting is a fundamental right that cannot under any circumstances be infringed upon. All citizens, age 16 and above, should have the right to vote, including current and former inmates. Voter registration should be automatic and universal.
- I believe that all forms of gerrymandering, voter suppression, and voter fraud are fundamentally undemocratic and should be abolished and appropriately punished.
- All elections should be free, fair and secure (i.e., protected from domestic and foreign attack).
- Freedom of the press is critical to ensure an informed electorate (based on unbiased information).
- I am opposed to political authoritarianism in all of its forms.
For far too many reasons to enumerate, I believe that Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to the United States and needs to be impeached as soon as practical and then prosecuted for his numerous crimes.