Post 2.1 - An it harm none do what ye will

I find myself increasingly angry about the state of politics in the US these days. Even though I am a Democrat, I can't lay complete blame at the feet of Republicans - because it is clear the Democrats really don't know how to win a fight about anything.

Growing up, my basic understanding of liberty went along the lines of the Wiccan rede, An it harm none do what ye will. Basically, if what you're doing isn't hurting anybody, chances are, you can do it. To a 5-year-old mind, this made sense. Killing, stealing, burning someone's house down - these are hurtful acts, don't do them. It even made sense as I got older, given that right of choice versus right to life has been in the news for my entire life, and this certainly is a gray area, so there had to be thoughtful and thorough discussion on matters that didn't neatly fit in one category or another.

But now? I don't know what this country is turning into. It is clearly not enough to live and let live, and we have no sense of societal justice or compassion - not that these were ever American strong points - and recently, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations can buy candidates, further corrupting an already limited system.

It makes one long for a temporary dictatorship - but with the right dictator, of course.

So here's what I would do, if I could.

  • Corporations are not entitled to buy candidates by funneling unlimited amounts of money to them.
  • Corporations which send their jobs overseas will pay 5% higher taxes.
  • Close corporate and individual tax loopholes.
  • Discontinue subsidies for industries that don't need them.
  • Eliminate the capital gains tax.
  • Streamline our defense force and technology. We are currently prepared for a war with the Soviet Union in 1978. We own F-22s that have never flown into battle.
  • Health care would be handled in the following ways:
  • All citizens of the US would be entitled to health care at the doctor and facility of their choice, and it would be paid for as part of their income tax.
  • Malpractice settlements would be capped at a fixed amount as punitive damages and a calculation of lost income, also realistically capped; as all health care would be covered by the government anyway, there would be no need for any additional monies for health care coverage or services.
  • Health insurance companies would be transitioned into offering other types of services, such as life insurance, wellcare, or other areas. They would stop making money off of death, suffering, and keeping people sick.
  • Medication costs would be capped across the board, and also covered specifically by the government. Research would focus on cures with requisite bonuses for achieving them rather than simply producing more drugs for the same condition that people have to take indefinitely. Every drug should be seen as a temporary measure until a cure is found - a cure available to everyone.
  • This would, by the way, effectively do away with Medicaid and Medicare in their entirety, because our society as a whole would be under a new health care paradigm - and we seem to spend a LOT of money on those, don't we?
  • Any two persons of legal age may enter into civil marriage, and enjoy all the rights and responsibilities thereunto pertaining, in every state and jurisdiction.
  • A pregnant woman has the right to choose. Period. Counseling should be offered in ALL cases, both to consider options and aftermath, no matter what option is chosen. There are issues related to every choice that may be difficult - abortion, adoption, proceeding with the pregnancy.
  • Expand the guest worker program for non-US citizens, and adjust the rules and process for obtaining citizenship. NO amnesty for those who have crossed the border illegally of their own volition - they should be deported and prohibited from re-entry for a period of time (say, seven years). And perhaps most controversially, children of individuals present in the US illegally are not granted automatic citizenship.
  • Animal cruelty would be a felony everywhere, and would carry mandatory jail time. Severe cases would carry the death penalty.
  • A serious, thoughtful examination of the food and nutrition crisis in this country would be undertaken, with the goal of eliminating the poisonous, mood-altering, and/or addictive, reducing the detrimental, and teaching people how they are supposed to be eating.
  • Infrastructure would be repaired and growth emphasis would be targeted to economical, inter-city mass transit solutions.
  • A serious effort would be made to discontinue usage of petroleum for fuel and energy production in favor of renewable technologies. Believe it or not, most of the houses in the US have enough roof surface area and receive enough sunlight throughout the year to rely completely on solar power for their home energy needs - it's not just Arizona or other southern states. Well, give or take a Wii.
  • All pre-K and K-8 education would be converted to the Montessori model. Religion would be treated as philosophy (and history, as applicable) but not science. School bullying would be a misdemeanor offense.
So these are a few of my thoughts. Obviously, I have not given enormous detail or gone into all of the issues related to some of these areas, but then again, I'm not running for office and you can ask a question in the comments below. :-D

But in the end, I am frustrated that Republicans simply block for the sake of Obama or to just be difficult, the Democrats give up before they've begun, and the whole lot of them act like children, unable to really compromise. To me, compromise is not "I'll give you this if you give me that" - it's more, "you believe A, and I believe B - where is the middle?" I am tired of the hostage-taking on issues, I am tired of revisiting the same issues over and over, and I am tired of this adversarial approach to every issue.

And there is enough blame to spread around to everyone.

Question for a future post? Write me at facetsblog@gmail.com.

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