Thursday, April 11, 2019

Vote For Me!

If I were running for the Democratic nomination, here's what I might say:

If only “Make America Great Again” were more than a duplicitous slogan! It's not a bad thing to aspire to. You all know how much I deplore The Trump Crime Family Administration, in all its malevolence. But let's take the slogan that they have made so hateful. Let's compete. What would it take to get America back on track?

Countries should make their citizens safe – safety first! How can we make America safe – not just “safe again,” but “safer than ever?”

  • To start with the most obvious: minimize the danger of gun violence. It is a scandal for our children to be learning duck and cover in the schools, for God's sake. We need not only to do the so-called “common sense gun reform,” but let's repossess the combat weapons that are out there, the weapons of mass murder. Let's do what Australia did. And let's renew our efforts to limit guns in cities – there was a Supreme Court decision that said we can't do that, but that was from a very conservative and distorted Supreme Court. That decision shouldn't last forever. Everyone deserves to be safe from guns!

  • Let's make it safe to get sick in America! Health care has been increasingly recognized as a right for Americans, not a privilege for those who have money. The ACA was a great step forward, but it still leaves out too many, and with large deductibles and copays, under-insurance has actually risen! We need increased coverage, and better coverage. Making Medicare a choice for everyone would be a great next step for coverage, and it would also reduce total cost. Add in anti-trust enhancement and lowering drug costs, and you have a much safer America. And don't forget, when conservatives protest that “it's too expensive to expand Medicare,” it's not! Americans are already paying for it, it's just a question of redirecting the payments. Make health care available for all, and America would be getting greater.

  • Let's make America safe on its roads and bridges – physical infrastructure. But infrastructure is more than that. It's also broadband everywhere. And most importantly, we need to make our human infrastructure what it should be – education for all, not middle of the pack or bottom, but best. That means probably doubling the budget for education everywhere, affordable child care so it's possible to study and work even if you're not rich, and making education affordable, including more and more technical education. Without tending to our physical and our human capital, we can't possibly be great. Educated and supported people are safer people.

  • Let's make America safe for breathing and drinking water, let's understand how humans have been burning up the earth, and stop it. To think that business will suffer if we make the earth habitable for our children – all our children – is just an absurd proposition. “Short-sighted” doesn't really capture it – how about “suicidal?” The Green New Deal might not be right in its methods, but it sure is right in its principles, and that's the important part. Climate change needs to be attacked with a vengeance, the way we attacked the Depression and World War II! It can be done while the economy actually prospers, not suffers, if we pay attention to distributing the jobs well, and concentrate of the welfare of everyone, not just the company officials. Extreme weather events will just become more and more severe – avoiding them will actually save a lot of money. Let the business officials earn their salaries and perks by changing their companies in a way that preserves the earth. Now, that would be being great, wouldn't it? Wouldn't it be great to make the Earth safe for our children?

  • Let's make America just. The basis of justice is democracy, and democracy rests on an informed and participative population who vote, without disqualifications. America is changing in the way it looks – as it always has. We started as English colonies, with caucasian stock and African slaves. Then came Germans, and Irish, and Jews, and Eastern Europeans, and Asians, and Indians, and Mexicans, and Middle Easterners, and others. The idea of America is that we do not consist of one racial stock, but that we consist of an idea, which is ever-renewable and updatable. The votes of everyone, unimpeded by disqualifications that simply ensconce the current holders of power, direct how these updates are enacted. The principles of HR 1 need to be passed into law so that justice is increasingly assured. A just America is a safer America.

  • Let's make the world safe again by reuniting with our friends abroad. “No man is an island,” and neither is a country. Countries have more in common than they have against one another. There is no Planet B, and as we make technological progress, there should be plenty for everyone if we work together. They say that good wishes and cooperation is passé, but I don't believe that for one minute. Authoritarianism is always a threat, and now perhaps more than at any time since the 1930's. But if we can rescue America from the threat of authoritarianism, then other countries can, too. We can be an inspiration again. We need to be leaders in standing up for the rights of people everywhere to be safe, and free.

There are other elements of making America great, but these principles are a start. It's a viewpoint; it's my viewpoint. And I believe it is the viewpoint of virtually everyone running for the Democratic nomination for President. What a banquet of great people running for President we have!

Let's not let the Orwellian Trump Crime Family Kakistocracy define what greatness is. They think only of how they can make a profit. Let's not let the Trump Crime Family hijack democracy in a coup using the methods of democracy to undermine it. We still have a democracy, we just have to use it.

I'm looking to what we can do and what should be, and I'm asking for your vote to make it happen.

Budd Shenkin

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