The current American political campaign doesn’t involve any issues at all. It’s all about the current Mrs. Trump being called an escort, Trump being depicted in naked statues, and Hillary Clinton being called a liar who murdered kids in Benghazi.
All those things may have an element of truth to them (they’re probably all true), but they are also all irrelevant.
I don’t give a shit if the guy (or girl) in the White House used to slam Heroin or be a prostitute. Their personality isn’t really relevant to me.
All I care about is the actual problems that we face as a society right now. I care about the issues!
I am interested in:
1. Climate Change: We have real issues right now like the flooding in Louisiana or the rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. Corporations are being allowed access to Federal Land for mining. Fracking is destroying water supplies and causing earthquakes. And, depletion of fish is causing real concern. We need serious legislation immediately that forces corporations to stop damaging our land and animals.
2. Healthcare: The current system of healthcare (Affordable Healthcare Act) isn’t working. Companies are jacking up rates, and that is a real problem when people can’t afford to buy healthcare, but they will be fined if they don’t. We desperately need a single-payer system which will eliminate insurance companies. In addition, we need serious restrictions on pharmaceutical companies. Healthcare should not be for profit.
3. Police Violence: Cops are shooting people. In a civilized country, cops are meant to arrest people and give them a fair trial. All citizens are guaranteed Due Process, and police are absolutely not allowed to execute people for traffic violations, or for literally anything else. If someone commits a crime, they are subject to jail after a trial. No one is subject to execution for any crime before they are given a trial. We need to fix this.
4. The Prison Industrial Complex: There is a huge amount of profit being made right now from private prisons. The federal private prisons may be closing, but the majority of private prisons were all state run in the first place, and they still will be. Plus, tough sentencing laws are putting productive members of society into prison for minor things, which is taking away productivity from our nation.
5. The DEA: Contrary to the will of the people, the Drug Enforcement Agency continues to enforce archaic laws and prove that they don’t understand the most basic aspects of “drugs.” Legal drugs receive hardly any regulation at all, but illegal drugs are over regulated and their use is criminalized, which is certainly not good policy.
6. Journalism: We need a federally funded news service controlled by the people. There are great examples like the BBC and the CBC, and we can easily do the same. Corporate-funded news only reports what corporations want you to hear, and so we need a public option. We used to have this when PBS was around, but now it is underfunded and doesn’t cover anything we need to know about. In addition, we need a truth in media law. Yes, this would mean amending the Constitution to restrict Freedom of Speech. But we need to be able to hold media outlets responsible when they lie, and we don’t have that ability now.
7. Wall Street Regulation: Right now we have a subprime auto lending problem, but overall, we desperately need regulation on Wall Street in a variety of areas, and subprime auto lending is just one example. The argument that “regulation kills business” simply doesn’t hold water. All other first world countries regulate business, and they still have strong economies.
8. War: We have not officially declared war with any country since 1942. If you click the link, you’ll see all the times Congress has voted to declare war, and you’ll see how every war since 1942 has therefore been illegal according to the terms of the Constitution. Only when Congress declares war do we have a right to bomb another county. That makes Obama’s bombing of Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Libya, and Syria all illegal. Spending money on war instead of on our own citizens is morally reprehensible, but more than that, it’s wrong to do it in illegal wars. We need to stop the bombing of all countries unless we official declare war against them.
9. Tax Loopholes: The Panama Papers were a scandal for about ten minutes, but it should have been taken more seriously. We allow corporations to hide money overseas, and it simply isn’t right for this to be happening. Corporations need to pay taxes, just like citizens do. And don’t tell me it will hurt business, because corporations pay taxes in every other first world country and they still return a profit for their shareholders. Look at Samsung. They are highly taxed by the Korean government, and yet they are an incredibly profitable company. Not only that, but they build schools and sponsor sports teams on top of paying taxes. They give back to the communities they have factories in, and US companies need to do that too.
10. Social Programs: I know from first-hand experience that the foster care system is a nightmare. Food Stamps are too highly regulated, and don’t cover essentials like toilet paper or shampoo. “Welfare” (or giving cash to the poor) is nonexistent in most states, meaning that people who make minimum wage can’t afford housing, electricity, or a phone because they only get food stamps and no other assistance is avilable. We spend less on social programs than any other first world country, and with the GDP we have, that’s insane.
11. Income Inequality: Wages have been stagnant for a very long time, and the cost of living is rising. This is creating a level of income inequality which is complexly unacceptable. We need to address this by raising the minimum wage immediately. And we should introduce a maximum wage, which is effective in curbing CEO bonuses and encouraging reinvestment in business and society.
There are obviously a lot more issues than this. I am not trying to create a comprehensive list, but rather to illustrate what political campaigns should be addressing. I am sick to death of all the attempts to disparage the other candidates character rather than talking about the issues that effect us.
What we need is to unite as citizens and demand that our government be accountable to us.
It’s the job of the government to represent our interests. It’s their job to listen to us. We want a lot of things, like pubic programs and healthcare. They need to listen, because their job is to represent us!
So let’s unite.
For me, I will be voting for Jill Stein and continuing to write to my representatives. I will keep writing this blog, and probably release a second edition to my book (Angry Rants for Average Americans.)
But we all need to do our part.
Stand up and demand that they listen to us. Demand that they focus on issues and represent our interests!