One problem with political discourse these days is that Democratic are defined in terms of opposing Republican positions. From that position, they start as disagreements which mask their positive virtues.
Although there exists the 2016 Democratic platform, it needs to be distilled down so that it can be discussed without requiring several hours of reading and thought.
These positions are laid out as positive principles and should be pursued in the coming elections.
A couple of bedrock principles:
- The American Dream must work for a society that serves its members.
- The wealthiest American benefit greatly by a well-running society and should continue to contribute as such.
In the figure are a small set of positive principles. They’re not unique, just intended as general as they can yet still concrete. Following the list are some explanations and links on their scope, impact, and difficulties attendant.
Equality, Opportunity, Income by Output
- Equal Treatment by the Law. The US is good on this in theory, but in actuality class differences remain. As we have seen, a person in a poor neighborhood is too often presumed guilty by the police who act with that attitude.
- Equal Opportunity for All. Includes Education, jobs, and housing. Equality, when all other features are the same, is expected to yield roughly the same results.
- Equal opportunity does not imply equal outcome.
- Social Contract and American Dream (link)
- Income by Output. Inequality of income is recognized as inevitable. People are different. Some inequality is worthwhile and useful in a free market system. Compensation should be commensurate with individual productivity.
- However, the current system is gamed by upper-level executives to their advantage.
- A person who performs the CEO function is not worth 200+ times as much as the full-time employee, who performs the tasks that make the corporation successful.
- This income relation is not a government responsibility, but a corporate one. The government role should be limited to requiring that every public corporation must have binding proxy votes on executive salaries.
- There are two basic sources of earning income – working for a company or creating a new company.
- Corporations are not people. This is an exception to my intention to only make affirmative statements.
- Corporations shall have strictly limited rights in the political arena.
- In addition to not being people, corporations are often international in scope, with interest at cross-purposes to US citizenry.
Law Rules in Public Spaces, while Religion Rules in Consecrated Spheres
- As Ben Carson said: “I don’t care what a person’s religious beliefs are or what their religious heritage is. If they embrace American culture, if they embrace our constitution and are willing to place that above their religious beliefs, I have no problem with it.”
- If work or service is offered to the public, then the law is the final word on its operation.
- If work or service is offered to a religious group, then religion rules its operation.
Healthcare is a Good for all Society.
- A minimum should be provided for all people.
- Basic healthcare services are not properly priced by a free market. As easily seen in prescriptions, the price has changes yet the need stays the same. The shows that the law of supply and demand does not operate properly for prescriptions and by extension for healthcare items.
- Of course, if people want to hire medical services beyond the minimum, there shall be no impediment.
- Abortion is not desired. It is not encouraged; but it is not forbidden.
Election results should match election votes
- States should weigh their electoral votes in line with their voting returns (not all to the winner and none to the loser).
- In this manner, the Republicans would not ignore California and other blue states in their campaigns. And Democrats wouldn’t do the same to Utah, Alabama, and other red states.
- No gerrymandering. Districts must follow natural clusters or be at-large.
- Presidential Elections Changes.
- If chicanery affects an election result, the election should be redone. That is, if a presidential election is so affected—the VP does not become president—the election is redone.
- Health examinations of presidential candidates are mandatory and must be released.
- Financial disclosure are required and blind trusts is the only way to retain business interests with separation from public interests.
- Volunteer advisors must have the same vetting as hired advisers.
Presidential Authority Must Revert to Constitutional Limits
- The checks and balances incorporated in the Constitution have shifted from Congress balancing the president to it surrendering (often during an emergency, then never reclaiming them) many of its powers to the executive branch. See The Imperial President by Arthur Schlesinger of which this is an illustrative sentiment, “The changes have occurred slowly over the centuries so that what appears normal differs greatly from what was the original state of America.”
- Diplomacy before Military actions. Preemptive wars should have a much greater burden of proof, which should more actively include the House. The War Powers Act hands over to the President too easily, the Constitution’s intention that the people, as represented in the House, should hold the final decision on the decision to go to war.
Gun rights demand responsible gun owners.
A violent criminal history and particular mental problems should ban those people from gun ownership.
These principles outline major, positive steps that are in the interest of voters.