Bernie sent me an email asking for my opinions on the Democratic platform.
Please, make room for support of the arts. Expand grants to individuals, make an Americorps but for gifted art students. Help Americans make art, write, dance, sing. Issue in a new Federal One, Great Society. Hire artists to work in every community to help everyone, from the young to the old, make art.
Deregulate schools. Let teachers teach. Get rid of standardized testing. Put art, recess, music, science, beauty, and wonder back into schools.
Let doctors make medical decisions, not insurance companies or legislatures. Decriminalize all drugs. Legalize marijuana. Be Portugal on this. End the war on drugs completely. End the war on terrorism. You can’t wage war against a tactic. Didn’t Vietnam teach us anything?
*****Pass legislation that requires any institution of higher education that receives federal funds to maintain 75% full time faculty and at maximum 1:10 administrator:faculty ratio. We need to take back our institutions of higher ed. Fund programs to increase literacy and creative thinking. Fund history departments.******
Reduce the size of the military. Cut wasteful programs and stupid, expensive airplanes. Extend citizenship to military translators and anyone who puts him or herself in harm’s way for our nation. Accept a million Syrian refugees. Repopulate the rust belt with refugees. Help them build a better, fairer, more diverse America.
Address longstanding neglect of and malice to Native American populations. For the love of all that’s sacred. This is past due.
Nationalize the Internet. Provide free high speed, fiber optic Internet to every person on the planet.
Stop measuring economic growth in terms of new housing starts. Stop building new housing. Invest in mass transit and encourage movement of people into cities rather than sprawling across the countryside.
I would like to live in a world where it is illegal to cut down trees, where mold injection factories replace sawmills to produce building materials. Replace logging jobs with solar power or sustainable building materials jobs. Take plastic waste and repurpose it to inject into molds to make internal structures for houses ad other buildings. Put no more land to plow; cut down no more trees.
Stop the navy from conducting sonar experiments in waters frequented by marine mammals. Expand wild spaces. If the US rents land to ranchers, charge 21st century prices.
I support all of the choices on your ballot above but have only checked the most important, giving leeway to negotiate.
1. Money out of politics
2. Climate change
Eliminate corporate welfare, raise taxes dramatically on those with gross incomes over $500,000. Tax the crap out of the rich and redistribute income.
On November 9, I hope you form a new party, call it labor or green or progressive. I would like to see two Amendments to the Constitution:
1: ERA including a woman’s right to choose
2. Clarify the second amendment to allow the federal government to regulate the purchase of weapons and ban categories altogether.
If you wanted to introduce a new separation of powers idea, that would be great. In this case the separation of powers would be between finance and politics, providing for federally financed elections. You can get rid of the electoral college too. It should go the way of the appointed Senate.
This country should do everything and anything to promote democracy. End gerrymandering, pass a voting rights act, allow anyone who pays taxes to vote. Get the wizards of silicon valley to figure out a way to count votes. How can I convince young people to vote when the parties don’t even bother counting the votes?!? Expand the civil service and make election monitoring a non-partisan issue, observed by the UN if need be.
If a person dies in state custody of any kind, open a federal investigation.
Make postal banks. Build mass transit. Fix infrastructure. JAIL BANKERS. Release from jail all those convicted on drug offenses. Put them in charge of dispensaries. Tax the hell out of it. Find expertise in more general places. Reduce the corporatization of everyday life. Celebrate individuality not individualism.
Demand an IQ test and screening for psychopathology for all candidates for national office. Apply earmarks nationally. If one state gets a grant, make sure all the States get grants. Build good, union jobs for all Americans.
*****Insert into the oath of office a line about preserving the separation of church and state. If a member of Congress or a judge or any official in any jurisdiction cannot legislate or lead or perform the duties of office without openly advocating one religion over another, he or she should be removed from office.****
Extend Civil Rights protections based on gender, sexual orientation, and national origin. Craft a great ERA.
Create cabinet level positions on climate change/science/population.
Create national societies (like the Royal Societies) for historians, for artists, for creative types and critical thinkers. Identify the best minds in the country and nourish them, protect them, EMPLOY THEM! Be a patron for the smart people. Give us jobs. Let us help.
Keep doing this, asking for ideas. Beyond voting, this also feels like a participatory democracy. There are a lot of smart people in the nation. Why do only the small minds get the airtime?
Find some place for Wolf Blitzer to spend his retirement away from the TV. Hire Jon Stewart to do something very important.