It has taken me a while to formulate the No Bullshit Party's agenda. It is one thing to play Monday morning quarterback, quite another to proactively find solutions to our many problems, and articulate them clearly and simply, so we can take the next step of motivating a majority of people to want to put these ideas into action.
Our first problem is creating jobs so that we can emerge from this horrible economy. The means are there, but the banks would rather protect their balance sheets than protect our country by making sensible loans. We saved their asses and now it's time for them to give back. The Republicans also have to get out of the way -- fat chance -- so that Obama can accomplish this. And since they likely won't, but will want to whittle his jobs bill into kindling, he'll have to be strong this time. That is, if he's learned any lesson from the past two years.
I'm sick of the overuse of the word "war" when it comes to the war on terrorism, the war on drugs, the war on this or that. But I have no problem with Obama declaring a "war on joblessness."
History shows us that a country's middle class is crucial to holding it together. A strong middle class even in non-democratic countries provides stability. When the middle class starts to shrink and the gap between rich and poor widens you have eventually have revolution. Some gets put up against the wall and shot. Egypt, Tunisia, Libya have had revolutions because the middle class saw the writing on the wall for themselves, and supported the disenfranchised. We have seen violent unrest in the UK, Spain, Greece and France. Again, it's in part the shrinking middle class. Extremism on the right and left historically thrives when there is economic uncertainty. Our government is all over the place with patchwork temporary fixes that succeed in promoting uncertainty. Good intentions, but we need immediate action. Obama's latest initiative could help if he fights for it.
To create a large center means both the right and left must give up some of their pet agendas which mostly appeal to their loud fringe followers. Well, mostly the right. We must start with a national discourse on who we are and who we want to be as Americans. I'm open to all ideas about how to make that happen. There's no time to waste. The fringe doesn't realize that they too will suffer, but that's because the political mindbenders are so expert at helping voters vote against their self interest.
But how can we discuss or tackle these problems if our citizens are under-educated? We need to overhaul our educational system piece by piece starting now. We need to move from promoting self-esteem to promoting self-respect. We need to stop teaching to the test. It may sound silly but we need to restore elective classes that gave an education breadth and nuance. We need, most of all, to make funding education the number one priority. Paying teachers more is only part of the solution. Our schools are under attack because they are underfunded. Education always takes the hit in a budget crisis. No wonder we have know-nothing voters who think that intelligent design is an explanation equal in weight to evolution. And to be fair, no wonder we have voters who think that if we just all hold hands, things will be all right. We need to teach critical thinking. We need to re-emphasis civics. I'd go so far as to say that we should have national non-partisan text book standards even though it's not entirely possible.
We must bring our infrastructure up to date. Roads, rail, bridges, airports must be brought up to snuff. We must create a national WiFi.
While we were fighting wars that we cannot possibly win, other countries are putting the money into their infrastructure.
Maybe there has to be a quick public vote, yes or no, regarding staying in Iraq and Afghanistan. It cost us $900 million per week to fight those wars.
We are not keeping America safe with those wars, rather the opposite is true. We have weakened our economy and are regarded by Islamic nations as an occupying army destroying their countries and killing their people. What was the result in leaving Vietnam? The country is now a vacation destination and doing very well. They built a new infrastructure and we lost over 50,000 of our young people. We didn't learn our lesson and have spent over three trillion dollars on these two wars plus the human cost on both sides. Modern warfare is best waged with groups like the Seals, Special Forces, SAS etc.
In order to fix our economy we must totally revamp our tax structure. It is not a case of "no new taxes", or the other side wanting to raise taxes "on the rich." The whole tax structure is so full of loopholes and special interests that it becomes unwieldy and unfair to everybody. We need to put a bipartisan group together as well as people who are not aligned with any group and come up with a SIMPLE and fair structure. I remember Reagan bring to the podium thousands of pages of IRS rules and taxes.
We must not be misled by social agendas that are based almost entirely on identity politics. No plan can serve everyone but we must respect others' beliefs both religious and social while not letting one group force those beliefs on everybody.
I intend to put together a team and make a serious run at being President since it seems an outside voice with nothing to hide who presents to the public facts with no spin on those fact will help us move ahead and have the kind of one nation that was exhibited during WW II and right after 9/11.
Everything should be laid on the table with no secrets from a public that I believe, if well informed, will make the right choices.
More to follow.
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