Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Political Views

Putting aside those very few of us that are dedicated to an existing third party, this blog is about our current two majority party system and my political views.

I could be wrong, but I believe that only a small minority of US are completely comfortable, content and satisfied with taking the side of either of the existing big ticket parties of this nation. Even if our individual votes lie with either one, 100% of the time, I believe we mostly do so begrudgingly, because of practicality (rarely does a third or independent party have any impact or power) and because of an almost subconscious perception of who might save us from our sufferings. Which group would bring us greater joy, peace, prosperity or justify our sense of justice? Which errant savior do you put your trust in? Do you trust better a system of government or a system of business?

While as we could dissect the two major parties into their various factions derived from the divisions of particular wedge issues; from my prospective, there really seems to be a common thread that makes a Democrat a Democrat and a Republican a Republican. Pro-government or pro-business.

From all that I have ever seen, read, heard and encountered in my life, a Republican views government as a corrupt, inept and hostile force of bureaucracy and regulation; while a Democrat views business and corporate interests as being a corrupt, inept and hostile force of slavery by means of debt and consumption, while creating a kind of umbrella government of the ruling class elite, that exists underneath the fabric of the actual government.

Generally, Republicans inherently believe that democracy and the free market system is where the public should invest their trust. That rules and regulation for the business sector is an encroachment upon individual liberties and puts a stranglehold on creativity and growth. They believe that growth in business always means growth for the people. They believe that government is too large in both structure and reach of power and that government has little to no oversight or accountability. They believe that government, because of either corruption or incompetency, will always botch our economy and invade our privacy and steal our freedoms. This party fights against those forms of socialism that give power to the people and government, and also exclusively desires for power and wealth to be shifted toward corporations.

Generally, Democrats believe that government intervention is needed to protect the people from themselves as well as the entities of corporations and private institutions. They believe in using law and regulation to stave off both the ill affects of corporate activity as it affects social and economic conditions of peoples and its people’s unwise, selfish and criminal behaviours as well as their impacts upon other peoples and the stability of this nation. They believe that the wealthy and private institutions put a stranglehold on the nation through their use of monetary controls and systems of credit. They believe that private companies and institutions perpetuate bigotry and discrimination in all its myriad forms. They believe that only the government has the right, power and authority to level the playing field. This party fights against those forms of an oligarchy that give power to private corporations, institutions and the wealthiest peoples.

While I also err toward the side of my perceived "lesser evil", my more perfect and clear observation is that both parties are, simultaneously, right about the other party, but both are wrong in their true value to us, the individuals, that make us the people. And, what is more, I believe the greatest foul is not the corrosion of liberties and protections of individuals from government and business intrusions, but the flip side of that same coin, which displays the stamp of the missed opportunities for an even greater and more prosperous nation. In my opinion, these missed opportunities, as well as the abatement of social and economic declines, can only be achieved with the creation of a third party. A third party, whose common thread and guiding set of principles, is to bring freedoms and protections of those freedoms, along with our existing constitutional rights, to the people, while checking the power of government and business interests.

A People’s Party; one to complete the trifecta of a nation built upon a mostly successful model of checks and balances which divides power between three branches of government, designed to create and preserve a more perfect union. What we have failed to notice, is that the model of our three branches of government has been successful in keeping this society together for over two and a half centuries, but by not expanding upon that system of checks and balances, brought to us by three separate and differing houses of power, this nation has been experiencing an overall decline in recent decades…A decline in education, in environment, in health care, in poverty, in crime and social justice.

In my opinion, should this imagined “People's Party” ever become reality, it should strive to achieve several lofty, but necessary goals for the express betterment and relief of the people.

The first and most crucial of goals should be that The People's Party would try to flip the chart of assigned punitive accountability. This figurative chart currently places the individual in an Nth degree of accountability, small and medium sized businesses as the next most accountable, publically traded and multi-national corporations has very little accountability while the government and those in office or other positions of government with the least amount of accountability and punitive consequences. In other words, a person is under a deluge of laws, regulations, ordinances, policies and other rules of the road developed by businesses, corporations and government entities and every single violation of any of the overwhelm rules applicable to us at any given time, lead to some detrimental punishment. On the other hand, government agencies or large corporations can violate our rights and freedoms at whim and can expect to face little or no punitive action. This is in exact opposition to each of the aforementioned segments' charted level of power. If we are to believe the old adage about power corrupting and absolute power corrupts absolutely, then we must also know that the only thing that can bring balance to those scales of power is a system of accountability with clear consequences of punishment for the offenders.

Instead, we need a kind of legal relief (of which I will go into greater details later on in this post) for individuals to create an environment that graces people with a certain level of leeway, forgiveness and reinstalls the benefit of doubt on the side of the individual. We also need to alleviate the responsibilities of small and medium sized companies owned by individual citizens. While there also may be a few necessary new regulations that must be enforced upon these kinds of companies to protect individuals, there is also the need to create the same kind of environment for these entities as would be created for individuals. Large publically traded and multi-national corporations need to be reigned in. They must not be able to dictate demands on any person or employee beyond their working hours, they must not have government assistance in making law to force individuals to purchase any item or service, unless that item or service is also provided by the government as a non-profit option and there should be no such thing a limitations of tort or “too big to fail”. One of the saddest commentaries about our society is the fact that we have capitol punishment for individuals but not for corporations. That needs to change. Lastly, but most importantly and actually firstly by order of priority and logistical task, government needs to be accountable and for those within government that violate rights, laws and liberties of individuals, companies, corporations or any other non-government entity, criminal and civil penalties will apply, without exception. I would even go as far as to take the power of Presidential pardons or evacuations from the President in cases of government prosecutions.

Another part of the puzzle is making sure that vain and greedy corporations, business interests and other private sector institutions, do not usurp the power vacuum, vacated for, and to be used by the people. Corporate personage must be repealed or suppressed in lieu of authentic personage. The rights, freedoms and privileges of the people and all the individuals that collectively create the people, must be given more consideration and weight in value, than the value of the dollar or the hopes of the sometimes overreaching corporate schemes of economic gains.

As aforementioned, there should also be legal relief under a larger program of legal reform. Our system of law is supposed to interpret and weigh the law under two different but equal metrics, the letter of the law and the design and intent of the law. However, far too often, law is perverted, subverted or converted so that the law winds up doing something which it was never designed to do, or so that it doesn't do the very thing it was intended to do. This portion of legal reform, called legal reinterpretation, goes to address the issues stemming from the absence of righteous legal interpretation. Legal reinterpretation should start with the original Constitution and Bill of Rights to make sure the intent of those articles and sections are taken into consideration, along with the design and intent of the documents as a whole, to protect and renew the promise of those founding documents and repeal any subversion by following amendments. After a thorough sweeping of the Constitution, then should follow all federal laws and regulations, making sure that cases decided upon those laws do meet both the intent and letter of those laws and that those laws to not superimpose themselves over the Constitution and Bill of Rights and the federal laws only operate within those confines. The same with State Constitutions, then state laws, then county, city and municipalities and so on.

The other leg of legal reform that is needed is a people’s protection clause, so that the recognition of bestowed rights, freedoms and privileges is as law. Making so that individual rights are always, forever, completely inclusive and true. Making so that freedoms are nearly as absolute, except in exceptional circumstances where the rights of some are threatened or violated by the exercise of freedoms of others. And the people’s protection clause should make so that privileges, being the lowest of protected priorities, are still protected until just cause to repeal them is proven in a court by law. More than just the empty recognition, however, we need accountability and punitive corrections to be installed to provide a deterrent to any within government or private entities from willingly violating those protected rights, freedoms and privileges of individuals and non-government entities. Moreover, there should also be a law that states that all persons of government, be it by, election, appointment or employee, should be made to, by punitive deterrent, honor and defend the Constitution, Bill of Rights and all other laws of the land, proactively. A Senator should never try to introduce a bill that would violate the Constitution, a prosecutor should never attempt to subvert any civil liberty or attempt to use civil liberties to gain public outrage, nor should a judge ever allow an illegal or invalid argument, even if the objection or issue was not addressed by the effected parties or counsel.

The third and final leg of this legal reform would be legal repeal, whereby the practice of the aforementioned legal reinterpretation should make for any laws on the books to be repealed because of their illegality or because they are no longer necessary as many legal loopholes would also be collapsed by this rededication to a full course of legal interpretation that includes both the letter and the intent of the laws simultaneously and without trump.

The Peoples Party should also seek to protect the most economically vulnerable of our country from the potentially disastrous practices and systems of corporate greed or government malfeasance. There must also be some kind of correction to our current system of credit along with a financial safety net for anyone and everyone affected by corporations or government malfeasance, whose, sometimes, irresponsible activities create nationwide economic dysfunction that lays waste to innocent lives and disables those survivors from being able to pick up the remaining pieces from those financial blunders. This fund should always funded first, before any other monies for bailout funding are earmarked for so called "too big to fail" corporations.

This can be achieved in a number of ways or by a certain level of execution of all these ways and potentially others. Making sure that all roads do not lead to Wall Street by regulating the amount of money that a business or corporation can invest into those collective markets, so that if there is some future market stumble (especially a stumble brought about by the bumbling and fumbling of those who craft suedo-legitimate schemes while blinded by greed) there would be a certain amount of protection of companies ability to pay out all future employee salaries, and monies for future projects are not lost. Without this kind of protective regulation, market bubble bursts inevitably causes the deepening of those busts into recessions and depressions.

Another step would be to make sure there is a reserved welfare fund for those caught in the special circumstances of a market bust, so that, again, those peoples who, by no fault of their own, would certainly find themselves in financial disaster, which would, in turn, allow companies to lay off some employees to gather their resources for a rebound, while preventing the effects of those layoffs as to not lengthen or deepen the bubble bust into a recession or depression. The fund should replace lost wages or augment lower earned wages of those affected and continue until a certain criteria of market metrics are met that would be defined by Congress and are as unique and applicable to the conditions behind the market bust and all those business sectors greatest hit.

Finally, there should be a complete new set of restrictions on our current system of credit that has been collectively crafted by corporate masters and government assistance. The first step would be the elimination of use of our Social Security Numbers. This should be accomplished by legal reform program because when Social Security Numbers were first created in 1936, it was expressly stated to the public that these numbers would ONLY be used for Social Security benefits. This design and intention was scuttled by The Privacy Act of 1974, so by reinterpreting the design and intent of the original Social Security charter, The Privacy Act of 1974 would be repealed and your SS number would be fully protected by law from corporate or other government agency use. This is very important to rid our society of the associated costs of identity theft and of other types of credit scams.

The second step is to negate the absolute and lasting values of a credit score by making statutes of limitations absolute on debt and that all debt outside of those set statutes of limitations are removed from a person’s credit record under threat of severe penalties. This would also illegalize the practice of 'zombie debt' collections and tactics. This is extremely important because, without this protection, people and their families could rarely escape their lower social economic levels because of this new "cast" type system. A system that could, in perpetuity, level credit consequences that could very well last and affect the person’s children and could theoretically last for generations. I would not love to see a day where people and families are forced to strive for fame and stardom or hope beyond hope for a major lottery jackpot, just so that they could improve their lot in life for themselves and their children.

Also, the practice of hiring, or not hiring, based upon credit or using a credit report as any part of the hiring process must also be abolished. It is completely asinine to refuse a capable and qualified applicant employment based wholly or partially upon their past inability to pay their bills...especially if this new potential position would give that person the resources to pay those outstanding debts. This is the practice of those of sickeningly low moral stock and even lesser minds and an absolute exercise in class warfare.

Another goal would be to mold government and incentivize corporations to become beacons of trust, hope and help to the public at large, instead of being the public’s boon and bust. From changing our current system of Criminal Justice (which stands now as the most literal interpretation of the phrase) to opening the doors of corporations to be a part of our nations education system, giving students the chance to experience the working world and gain some new perspective of various duties and tasks of the day to day operations as part of a high school curriculum. I believe that we as a nation misuse or abuse our resources and also miss grand opportunities for true greatness, and even greater prosperity, only because we are mesmerized by our history and stuck in our old ways of thinking.

Incarceration has almost no express purpose or benefit except to save the public from those that must be segmented from the free population because they show a recent history and present danger to harm, maim or kill others. All other uses of incarceration are only an exercise in the most impotent form of vengeance. Even worse, beyond the fact that incarceration does the public little to no service (except for those who are described above), our current system of incarceration does the public great potential harm. By offering offenders little or no counseling and resources designed to help the offender become a productive and healthy citizen after time served, and then marking them with the scarlet letters of a public record (which bars and continually punishes those who are supposed to be embarking upon a new life, corrected from their past transgressions) on top of the current system of neglect, new criminal education during incarceration, and nearly zero prospects of self sufficiency or achievement, will invariably lead to new transgressions by ex-convicts. While all too many of us are willing to say, "So what?", and follow some perverse, immature and boorish notion of disinterest; there is an even greater loss than of that of the life of the particular offender, which could have been saved. There is the damage, pain, suffering and loss of life that will invariably fall upon the future victims of these desperate and more dangerously made men and women. So if you are one of those cold hearts reading this thinking yourself to be “cool” might want to consider well that you are potentially assigning yourself, or your friends and family, the sufferings of the next victims by desperate people, driven back into crime by these ignorant designs.

Instead there should be everyday counseling and job training for all those that are incarcerated. Incarceration should be expressly reserved for violent offenders or those that flee from their alternative sentences. Other forms of sentencing that more fit the specific crimes should be instituted for all other offenders and a clear and easily attainable path to full reinstatement back into society, without lingering penalty, must be defined for each case.

Family services and social services are another piece of the puzzle that is in need in our society and in need of both a stripping of power and imbuement of new powers and resources. There should be no separate powers given to family services or given to a special family court. Police powers must always remain with the police and DA's of the land and judicial responsibility must always be carried out by the existing civil and criminal courts. The reason why is because of the lack of oversight, documented incompetence, accountability and because there is a greater risk of corruption. If anyone within Social or Family Services finds evidence of a serious crime that they can not or do not have the ability to help solve, they can report that to the police and allow them to launch an investigation, just like any other citizen would.

On a related note, something that we also, most definitely do not need are the speeches of pious pandering religious, corporate or government entities on the topics of family or social issues, for cheap political gain. Especially when considering that many of those groups are now led by the founding fathers and mothers of divorce and dysfunction among other social volatilities.

Instead, family and social services should be an open door type service to anyone, regardless of any factor, even age or need. A child can call Family Services for help, as either a husband or mother can. The help that families can expect from a community based Family Services program would include family counseling, lessons in conflict resolution and soft skills like listening and better terms of communication. Family Services could also include resources on different family, child or parent support groups, activities, and also resources for anything from food and clothing shelters to babysitting references and day care providers. Family Services will no longer be an agency drunk on its own power, immune to investigation and prosecution and will be a completely toothless entity. It will not be able to take children away from parents or place children in foster care. That will be the job of the police. And even within the walls of the justice system, never again, can any government or agency kidnap a child from their parents based solely on economic hardship. We need a Family Service for the stability of our nation and people. We need a drop in the divorce rate, a drop in the incidence of child abuse, we need children to grow up more wise, educated, mature and become young adults more capable of making good decisions and becoming self sufficient productive citizens and, hopefully, more able to create stable, peaceful families themselves.

A person can call Social Services for help outside for needs of family unity. Social Services will operate in the same manner and function and have the same kinds of resources like family services does. The kinds of help one could expect from Social Services could include everything from substance abuse counseling, to access to different occupational training courses and also a work center and a place to find different community events, activities and resources. We need a Social Service to help stave off the ill effects of substance abuse, violence, suicide, mental disease and other social ills.

If the people had a help line, a system of helpful resources, that is as toothless as it is resourceful and powerful, given by a government or non-profit agency or a collective of cooperating agencies, then we would also see a dramatic decrease in crime, divorce, accidents, violence, substance abuse and the effects of other social problems which include costs of varied metrics and a dramatic increase in productivity, peace, stability and prosperity for all.

Another part of the People’s Party platform would be to involve corporations, business interests and other non-government entities into the individual lives and futures of the people in a way that is both beneficial to those entities short and long term goals and provides benefit to individuals simultaneously. These kinds of community investment programs could include things like offering internships where the work involved would be a part of a schools curriculum and offers academic credit to the participants in the fields of study most applicable to the differing fields of study. Another idea would be to offer the same kinds of internships as part of new workforce training through a community Social Service office. The imagination would be the only limitation to quid pro quo programs that offer opportunities for individual advancement and reward companies with a combination of free workers, tax incentives and greater public knowledge of a company or its brand. There could be no better marketing and no better brand experience than to expose your company to a young mind or a person in need of a path for greater career achievement.

These would be the main thrusts and goals of this Peoples Party, if I were to craft it.

There have been social and economic losses and gains throughout the course of our history, however, I believe that we have become a deteriorating society. One factor in our nation’s malaise over the last forty years is the lack of demonstrations and upheavals by the people which cause social change and used to act as our third "Peoples Party". The lack of involvement by large groups of individuals is, from my perspective, most likely due to the mastery of the new mass media’s, learned through the fires of trial and error, by the political, corporate and religious establishments, which keep the public in factions. Groups so small in number that they can rarely come to consensus on one issue or philosophy to unite enough people and march to demand the kinds of change that any and all nations need in order to grow, learn and advance their society at large. United we stand, divided we fall.

The other factor involved with our national devolution is the increasing demands of time and resources on individuals by government, corporate and business interests that help to fill our individual days. This creates a public of individuals that are constantly on the go, consistently restless and continually confused. I believe that this construct of constant distress and distraction is causing the collective nerves of the people in this country to become increasingly frayed. Without being able to take the time and care to pause, step back, and view the whole of our individual lives and our nation, at large, we miss these obviously simple truths. We forget the fundamentals of life, liberty and our pursuits of happiness.

We must, one day, take this power back before we come to a place where we must do so desperately in a place of deficit. I believe the best and most peaceful way to do this is to do it now, and to establish this third People's Party or something very similar. We must then get behind that party in a way that will guarantee the needed share of power between the pro-government Democratic Party, the pro-corporate Republican Party and the newly established People’s Party. When I imagine a three party government that grapples for, shares and checks power for the betterment of government, corporations and individuals, I can see a better future for all the citizens of The United States of America.

But I don't have all the answers...just some ideas. Disagree? Take me to task! Post your response now, I promise, it will not fall upon deaf ears.

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