I find myself attracted to this 3rd party concept largely because it doesn’t seem to lie on the conventional spectrum of political thought.  I don’t want to be pigeonholed as some kind of variant Democrat or Libertarian.  I ask myself what I want from a political party, what political ends I really want to see powerfully supported; this discussion is the first.

 

I see three foundational concepts:

 

First, that the separation of Church and State shall be promoted from a “good idea” to an amendment.  Spiritual paths are personal, and the United States of America is a secular government.  The attempt of extreme Christian cults to write their beliefs into law is reprehensible and needs a systematic stop once and for all.

 

Second, that this is a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.”  The recent Supreme Court decision giving corporations the same voice as the human citizens of the country is bizarre.  But more than that, the “for the people” clause must be in the forefront of most if not all governmental decisions.  The government has an obligation to assure the safety of the nation as a whole, with military force if need be; to assure that the infrastructure of the nation is sufficient and safe; to assure that all citizens have access to health care.  “By the people” means severe, major campaign finance re-creation from the ground up, to prevent government “by the corporate special interests.”

 

Third, that among the rights assumed to be unassailable in a free people are the rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  I see the right to have “life” as including universal health care.  This needs to be a government plan, bypassing non-governmental corporations.  While the government should provide this coverage, it should be within the freedom of citizens to decide each for her- or himself which doctor, hospital, and choice of medical care should be selected.  Private health care should not be disallowed for those who prefer it.  The right to “liberty” is well established.  The “pursuit of happiness” follows a different path for every citizen.

 

We need an amendment to the Constitution which makes explicit that no opportunity shall be denied to any citizen because of race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, spiritual path.  This amendment must also include that every adult citizen has the right to decide what to do with her or his own body.  The first corollary is that every woman – preferably over the age of twelve – shall have the right to decide without religious interference of any kind what kind of reproductive strategies, including contraception or abortion, she chooses.  The second corollary is that corporations are not citizens and do not have the rights of citizens.  They have their own corporate rights, and these need to be spelled out so that Congress and the Courts will have sufficient explicit guidance in making laws and decisions.

 

The government has no business determining how “the pursuit of happiness” should be followed, as long as no other people are harmed.  This might include the right to “any intoxicant I choose to enjoy.”  The so-called “War On Drugs” is a catastrophic failure, as all prohibitions of popular activities are.  Addictions are health hazards that merit medical treatment; the most addictive drug known, tobacco, is freely for sale despite its addictive potential.  The late Peter McWilliams, in his pre-9/11 book “Ain’t Nobody’s Business What We Do” made the low estimate that laws against drugs (and to a lesser extent, the laws against sexual activity shared by consenting adults) cost the country – nationally, regionally, statewide, and locally – approximately $500 billion per year.  A blanket pardon should be given to everyone in the nation convicted of a non-violent drug‑related offenses and if that is the only reason they are in prison, they should be released immediately.

 

Privacy needs an explicit definition, and a barrier beyond which corporate and political data mining will not be allowed to go.

 

We need to end the Afghanistan conflict – started in order to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden, which is now accomplished – at once.  We need to bring home the troops from Iraq.  While the necessity of stopping Ghaddafi from slaughtering his own citizens was a worthy decision, wars need to be decided by Congress.

 

We need to let Egypt know that the United States supports freedom of religion, and that if the radical Moslem elements wish to denounce all other religions in Egypt, we will end foreign aid.

 

It is a good thing in this country that taxes are so low, but corporate subsidies and the private-jet tax loophole are the sorts of revenue losses that need to be stopped.  Increasing the tax rate of the top 5% of American incomes would not be a major loss for those people.

 

We need a new New Deal, in that we need government expenditure for infrastructure maintenance and for new non‑polluting sources of energy.  The private energy companies have failed to implement “green” energy.  The Hoover Dam harnessed huge hydroelectric energy; we need the Obama Farm to harvest huge solar energy.  Infrastructure and energy projects on a nationwide scale could be the major sources of new jobs.

 

Apply a tax on every job sent to another country so that it is economically a better choice to keep those jobs here.

 

We desperate need a major overhaul of campaign finance.  There should be a cap, perhaps $2,000, on the amount which every citizen is allowed to give to the candidate of their choice.  All corporate campaign contributions should go to the Campaign System itself – to be shared equally among all qualified candidates.  Every campaign contribution should be public knowledge.  Contributions from “Anonymous” go into the public fund.  If a candidate receives campaign contributions from secret donors, and this is discovered, those candidates should instantly lose their elected position and be barred from further candidacies.

 

Negative campaign ads should be forbidden, and all campaign advertisements should have exactly the same format:  video of the candidate discussing his plans for the use of his elective office, with contrasts to his opponent’s ideas.  No “advertising” styles should be allowed.  Citizens need to see and hear their choices, and no more.  Licensure for broadcast television and cable television need to include the public duty to provide prime-time opportunities for these candidate presentations.  Candidates should have to follow these same guidelines for internet presentations.

 

It follows that lobbyists can no longer create campaign contribution mechanisms for their preferred candidates.  Employees of a business may contribute to candidates, of course, but only if they personally and specifically approve of those contributions.  Possible loopholes must be plugged; for instance, if John Doe makes a $10 campaign contribution, Corporation may not add $1,990 to that contribution, nor provide that as a bonus to John Doe with the explicit understanding that the money will be added to John Doe’s campaign contribution.  Every possibility to dodge these limits must be stopped.

 

Clearly, some candidates will be more popular than others, and gain more contributions than others.  That is the nature of the political game.  The right of free expression guaranteed in the First Amendment is not to reduced.  But the same way that free speech does not include shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theatre, it doesn’t include shouting “Millions of dollars!” in political campaigns.

 

The point is to completely eliminate the concept of “financial lobbying.” Lobbyists must be prohibited, under felony law, from giving anything to a candidate or elected official, not even lunch.  It hasn’t worked and it has almost destroyed our government.

 

Eliminate the government’s intrusion into the private lives of citizens.

 

Eliminate unnecessary government expenditures without crippling the possibility of new investment opportunities.

 

Assure equality for all citizens.

 

Keep corporate identities in their place.

 

Prevent the financial corruption of the government at the source of money.

 

Keep religion out of government.

 

Maintain a strong military without excess or waste.

 

Provide the opportunity for every citizen to have health care.

 

Let government improve the quality of everyone’s life, not control it.

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Good helpful post Mr. Clinco. Pragmatic and innovative ideas. I found myself in agreement, (to various degrees), with them.

 I would like to respond to some of them to honor your effort.

You wrote:

I see three foundational concepts:

 

First, that the separation of Church and State shall be promoted from a “good idea” to an amendment.  Spiritual paths are personal, and the United States of America is a secular government.  The attempt of extreme Christian cults to write their beliefs into law is reprehensible and needs a systematic stop once and for all.

Yes I agree. But since Men and Women are Individuals, or "Persons", with personal beliefs and become Our Representatives, it is difficult to keep their personal beliefs out of government. Many of them were elected for their personal beliefs, because such was harmonious with the beliefs of those they represent. A "secular government" is composed of beings with personal beliefs...including their Spiritual Paths, if any. I agree with the idea that the sometimes, (usually?) exclusive beliefs within organized religion do work to exault themselves over others. And this tendency usually is unjust to other organized religious groups, as well as non-religious Citizens. Which works against the established American notion of secular government. A secular government, especially if it is meant to Truly be "A Government Of  The People, For The People and BY The People", can be more accommodating to personal Spiritual Beliefs than a theocracy can.  I suppose this is one reason why the "Framers" of Our Constitution decided to declare a secular government.

So. How can We maintain Our Freedom Of Religion, on the personal level, and keep it out of Our Secular Government...as much as possible? Wouldn't the personal beliefs always influence the governmental decisions?

Maybe We could allow Our Ethics and Moralities to be part of Our Decisions and Ideas of Good Government, if these decisions and ideas are considered and voted upon by The People, in what We would call Direct Democracy. In this way, a fairness to Most, if not all, can prevail in Our Nation. This Direct Democracy Process could tend to "weed out" exclusiveness for the benefit of a few, in favor of inclusiveness for The Many.

The few can still maintain a level of sovereignty and uniqueness of belief by enclaving in their own groups and communities...which should be a fair and inclusive way to allow them to practice life in their way. This is already done in America anyway, as expressions of Freedom. Utopias, Cults and Self Sustaining Community efforts.

At the same time their should be Standards Of Decency, also established by The People, that prevent harm to Individuals within the minority cultures...be they religious or otherwise. Some Humans are still practicing harmful things upon their members, in the name of their beliefs. We would have to start by well defining what is meant by the word: "Harm". We would have to construct and establish American Standards for preventing harm to the Individual and The Many by the few...as well as not harming the Individual and the few by The Many.

But I do wonder Mr. Clinco. What ideas might you have regarding this difficulty of keeping religious influences at a balance with non-religious needs of Our Culture?

 

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