I really wasn’t planning to vote in the mid-term elections. I’m sure it’s no secret to any of you, but I’m not much of a fan of Republicans or Democrats; I see them as the right and left arms of billionaires and powerful corporations, serving the exact same masters. I’m trying to stay hopeful, but I’m not going to be naive. It makes me even more sad when people are at each other’s throats, fighting with family members and friends over a political process that abandoned them a long time ago. I see little evidence indicating to me that either Republicans or Democrats care about us, I’m afraid to say. I hope that changes and will do what I can, but I’m just a university lecturer and don’t have much say in it all.
I can summarize my politics these days. Here’s what I’d like to see, in order of my personal priority.
End The Wars and Stop Being World Policeman
My primary issue is to end the wars. No more bombings and no more killing. Remove all our bases all over the world and quit meddling all over the world. We’re bankrupt, we’re spending trillions of dollars, and getting nothing out of it. Bring the troops home and quit these unjustified wars.
Protect The Environment
I’m for any policy that is best for our environment in the long term. Clean energy, strict pollution regulations, etc. We’re ravaging this planet, creating an unprecedented extinction event on this planet. We’re so short-sighted, not thinking about what we’re leaving behind. Recycle. Don’t pollute. Take care of this place.
Balance The Budget(s)
I’m very open minded about what we spend money on. You want a lot of social programs, ok, fine. Want people to fend for themselves? I can understand that too, though I request at least some minimum social safety nets for people in need. But I won’t budge when it comes to balancing the budget and paying our bills. If you’re going to spend money, find a way to pay for it. Raise taxes if you need to. But don’t borrow all this money, build up trillions of dollars in debt, and then pass it off to the next generation like, “Well, it’s your problem now! See ya later!” That really irks me.
You know what that’s like? Imagine working in a restaurant and you work the night shift. The day crew makes a giant mess, leaves the entire kitchen and restaurant in shambles, and you start your workday, walking straight into madness. The day crew runs off and is like, “It’s your problem now!” How irresponsible. I have no respect for that. A good man/woman leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, not a big pile of unpaid bills and screaming debt collectors. When you take an action, don’t just think how it will affect you. Also consider how it will affect others around you. Better yet, also consider how it will influence people further down the line, possibly multiple generations down the line. Don’t be narrow and short-sighted. Think long-term and consider everyone, not just yourself. This exact mindset is why protecting the environment is important.
Healthcare For Those In Need
We have an epidemic in the United States. I don’t remember exact numbers, but there is a massive percentage of people without health insurance. It’s immoral and intolerable. My Dad pastors a church and there was one congregation member years ago who wasn’t taking insulin for his diabetes. He was trying to go without because he couldn’t afford it. C’mon. His body can’t process the glucose. This isn’t up for debate, he needs insulin. People can lose their vision, lose fingers, toes, even die. The same applies to many others with serious medical conditions. Give them their medications. Tax me. I will pay for it. I won’t stand for that. I recommend some form of universal healthcare, but do you want it to be private? Fine. But at least come up with something for those who can’t afford it. Those living below the poverty threshold, just take care of them. Then make some sort of graduating income bracket ladder providing assistance based on need. So many jobs lack benefits these days. Everyone deserves basic dental and access to doctors and medications they need. Everyone.
Maybe I’m a pessimist but I don’t like where all this technology is going. I don’t want my TV, cell phone, or other devices spying on me. I don’t want all my personal information sold to any corporation who wants it. All of this applies to governments and corporations both. I want some sort of digital bill of rights, protecting our privacy. I don’t want to live in a world where every aspect of my life is available online in a simple Google search. Privacy is important.
The Drug War and Private Prisons
End this stupid war on drugs, especially on harmless things like marijuana. Way too many people are locked up and then are put in private prisons, where corporations put them to work for 10 cents an hour. What a racket. There should be no incentive structure for corporations to incarcerate the population. Instead of wanting to lock everyone up, I’d rather see money spent on dealing with mental health issues and set up addiction clinics to help people get off of addictive substances. Drugs can lead people down a nasty spiral and we need to throw a rope down to them to these people, offering to pull them out when they’re ready. I’m also advocate that we send social workers out to befriend those with drug addictions, distribute clean needles, etc., to minimize the spread of disease, and constantly be offering advice and help to these people. We have trillions for worthless wars, but we can’t help those deepest in need. So many just want to ignore these people and hope they’ll just go away, but the moral integrity of our nation is based on how we treat those in their darkest hour.
College and Higher Education
This is a complicated one for me. Universities are charging way too much money, they’re building too many unnecessary buildings, administrative overhead is way too high, etc., but I don’t really see any other institution in place in our society that can teach people advanced mathematics, medicine, the sciences, etc., to train young people to work in our new high tech world. We currently pay for K-12 education and should extend this to a four year BS degree. Tuition, books, etc., should be paid for. I’m even an advocate of providing some minimal housing to students while they are undergoing their studies. Poorer rural students should be able to relocate and get a good education somewhere without burying themselves in debt. I’d like to see alternatives arise to this process though. College takes too long, and as I mentioned, it’s way too expensive. I’m a huge advocate of corporate certifications, online education/certification programs, etc., that will allow people to quickly learn the skills they need to advance their careers and better their life. There’s a lot of wasted time and money in universities, and our society would really benefit from cheaper, more streamlined alternatives.
Freedom / Leave People Alone
There’s a whole lot of things people do that I don’t personally like or agree with. I’ll be kind to you, will you be kind to me? You leave me alone, I’ll leave you alone. Fair enough? And when it comes to issues where we have to come to some agreement and work together, respect me and I’ll respect you, and I’ll be open-minded. I’m flexible, please be flexible with me. Let’s discuss everything, civilly, and we’ll find what works best for everybody. I’m not going to try to run you off. This sounds like common sense to me, but it seems to be more and more rare these days.
Those are the main things I came up with off the top of my head. There may be a few other issues I’m not thinking of at the moment. But yeah, we Missourians were allowed to vote on marijuana reformation laws. We actually now allow for medical marijuana and are in the process of decriminalizing it. Excellent!
If you like to smoke marijuana, you’re not bothering me. I see little harm in it. Also, there are many medical applications for the substance, such as those suffering from epilepsy. By all means, if it helps them, use it! I’d like it to be treated just like cigarettes. I hope it eventually comes to that point.