Five Principles for a Social Democracy

agamemnon-in-stormOur democracy is facing an existential crisis.  If we are to right the ship and restore a government whose primary concern is the good of the people, we need to ensure that our candidates represent our values.  Given the current corrupting influence of  corporate and billionaire donors, we need to require that, to receive our votes, a candidate meets a litmus test supporting a social democratic system.  My ambition is that each federal and state election in 2018 has at least one candidate running who meets these standards.  If an incumbent does not provide assurance of support, we should install an appropriate replacement.  I propose the following five principles:

  1.  Protection of the Democratic Process:  Our candidates must support campaign finance reform to remove the corrupting influence of corporate and billionaire donations, establish independent redistricting commissions to end gerrymandering, end efforts to suppress minority voting, and eliminate the Electoral College so the Presidents are elected by majority vote.

  2.  Universal Healthcare:  The United States is alone among modern countries in failing to recognize access to healthcare as a human right.  Our candidates must support a single-payer health system in line with the European model, and removal of the insurer middleman.

  3. Protection of the Environment:  The United States and the World are racing toward an environmental crisis, highlighted by, but not limited to, global warming from carbon emissions.  Candidates must support strong environmental laws,  national and state environmental protection agencies, and research focused on mitigating the coming disasters.

  4. Education:  The recent election provided a graphic demonstration of the failures of our system of education to embue necessary skills at critical thinking.  Candidates must support a four-year college education for qualified students or similar technical education as may be appropriate.  That education must ensure that students receive basic scientific and liberal arts exposure sufficient for them to participate meaningfully in our democratic society and hold a useful position in the economy.

  5. Human Rights:   Our candidates must support the national premise that “all men are created equal”.   That includes the equal legal rights of all persons regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion, or preferred lifestyle, the autonomy of reproductive rights for women, and the fundamentals engendered in our bill of rights, including freedom of speech, rights to privacy, and the protections of due process of law.

    If we are to change the way in which our government functions, we need to seize the reins and understand what we are fighting for.  These five principles would provide a good start.

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