I am running for the office of President of the United States of America in the election of 2008. I should say that I am running on a program for an administration to implement, starting in 2009. There is, of course, always political give-and-take, the pressure of events, the clash of ideologies; but somewhere in all of the ad-hoc maneuvering, there must be some essential principles and related policies.
I will write and distribute a position paper that tries to explain and justify each element of this program at a rate of about one per month from now until the Spring of 2008. At that time I will review the collection for updates and possible revisions. This, then, will be my candidacy.
During this period, your role – if you choose to have a role – is to analyze and critique the statements. In late Spring of 2008, if you think that the project is worthy of your assistance, we will organize petition drives to gain access to the ballot in your home state.
At no time will I request or accept money. There will be no signs or commercials or bumper stickers; certainly there will be no attack ads.
There is, however, an inherent criticism of the major political parties. Speaking for myself, I am friendly with Democratic Party, Republican Party, Green Party, Libertarian Party, and assorted other Party members on a local level. At a national level, though, the two major parties are tied to the same societal group: the super-rich and their minions, the upper-level managers of the largest corporations. Differences in tactics between these parties do not help the working classes in this country, not to mention the overwhelming majority of the ROW (the rest of the world). The super-rich (which should be called the Ruling Class) are predatory, and we are their prey.
To begin this election-focussed process, the following is a general analysis with an implied statement of principles, culminating in a program outline. The citizens of the U.S.A. comprise roughly 4% of the world’s total population, but we currently consume 25% of the world’s resources and products. This disparity is untenable in the long term and unjust, regardless.
The U.S.A. became the dominant economic power in the world by virtue of the 20th century wars that decimated its potential imperial rivals. As a result of these wars, our chief global economic rival of the first half of the 20th century, Europe, was reduced – for almost 30 years – to a U.S. subsidiary. The U.S.A. then consolidated its dominion, becoming the world’s leading military power by virtue of outlasting our main military rival in the Cold War – the U.S.S.R.
The U.S. has projected power through a system of neo-imperialism (i.e., economic colonies under the management of compliant, local ruling groups without the administrative costs of true colonies). U.S. society has largely become a warfare state, an economy dependent on the catalyst of government military spending. In the recent past the more insightful American political leaders have indulged the domestic working class in the spoils of neo-imperial domination just enough to tie them to a nationalist crusade.
Outside its residual dominance in military technology, all the factors that led to American dominance are diminishing. Other countries and regional blocs are becoming comparable economic powers, and none are friendly to continued U.S. hegemony. Collectively, they point toward the return to a multi-polar world. This is incompatible with a U.S. ruling class that clings to its role as the “last superpower”, able to enforce its will unilaterally and with impunity.
The U.S. manufacturing base has largely been sent overseas in pursuit of cheaper labor. Financially, the U.S. wallows in debt, most of it owed to potential rivals, such as China. The military now finds itself eroded, with plenty of guns, but few who volunteer to carry them. It may become an army of mercenaries in search of justification – the new Redcoats.
Another major byproduct of our unrestrained capitalism and its venal leadership is environmental destruction. The flooding of New Orleans, triggered by government-denied global warming and aggravated by a careless incompetence, is a case-in-point. Environmental degradation is also a crucial ingredient in societal collapse, because the effects lead to hunger, disease, and, therefore, territorial aggression.
The twilight of the era of American dominion has begun. The future will be one of reduced U.S. power and wealth relative to the rest of the world. Doubtless, however, those in the most privileged positions of American society and their deluded minions will defend privilege with all their resources. A militaristic reaction is a typical response to the decline of empire, as we can see in Iraq.
As citizens living in the heart of danger, how can we react in order to advance our values of peace, justice, and equality? An essential element of this effort must be that it is international. The struggle solely within the national context of home-country of an empire in decline cannot succeed. However, this domestic struggle is crucial to the future of humanity. Unless the empire can reform so as to be a better global citizen, the potential for catastrophe is high, if not inevitable.
As to specific principles, this program favors the working class in the broadest sense. Second, and equally important, this is a democratic agenda. If, for instance, some level of socialism is implemented under one Congress, it can be dismantled by the next, if so desired by the electorate. For another instance, there is room in my vision for the Ruling Class to try to sell their cannibalistic philosophy to us at all times. If we win the class war – or at least some of the battles – we do not maneuver to implement a new autocracy.
There are some nationalistic features in this program, but the idea that we can ignore or overcome some minimum level of self-interest is too idealistic to realize. Moreover, regional interests, cultural differences, and economic organization are logical and necessary on many levels. Only on vital concerns about war, ecological disaster, famine, epidemic, and genocide should we look to international standards and intervention.
15 Point Program
- End poverty in the U.S.A. via progressive taxation to support provision of basic services (clean water, sanitation, basic food, healthcare, affordable housing) and for reinvestment in related infrastructure;
- Institute 14-month (minimum), universal public service (military, healthcare service, infrastructure construction, or emergency services);
- Provide fully-funded public education through two years of college, including related child-care, when necessary;
- Reinvigorate the quest for clean air, soil, and surface water via both strenghthened regulation and increased rehabilitation;
- Support rapid development of “alternative”, renewable energy sources (solar, wind, wave, etc.);
- Promote, plan, and construct affordable, environmentally-sensitive public transportation;
- Create socialism for “commodities” (insurance, banking, steel, oil, power);
- Strengthen co-ops for agricultural products from production through retail, via tax breaks;
- STOP: military foreign aid, depreciation allowances, farm price supports, various military hardware/system money pits, bridges to nowhere, and myriad other boondoggles;
- Assure equal justice for all citizens (for examples, remove recent restrictions on Habeas Corpus, reanimate the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department);
- Legalize, control, tax all drugs (grant amnesty to imprisoned non-violent users and low-level dealers);
- Finance drug, stem-cell, treatment, and disease-prevention research and development;
- Support international institutions for conflict resolution (for example, the U.N. and the World Court);
- Add Equal Rights Amendment covering all possible definitions of “rights” to the Constitution;
- Restrict federal-level influence in social issues, such as marriage and abortion rights, which are rightly local/regional/cultural matters.