Jon for President

jon

In truth, I wouldn't vote for me for dog-catcher. However, I do believe in this platform, and I do believe that anyone that espouses all of these ideas would get no votes at all. Except that last one...

Seems to me that anyone who runs for president takes polls, finds out what people think, and then espouses those points of view. When someone does run for president based on strongly held values they are treated as weirdo fringe candidates. This all amounts to a sort of mob rule.

 

 

 

Here is my platform for my non-existent campaign for president. It is my assumption that any candidate that advocates the positions I support would get approximate no votes whatsoever.

The Draft

We need to bring back the draft. Universal, no exceptions. Even in high school, one of my history teachers pointed out the danger of having a military that was separate from the general population, which is what we have. A so-called volunteer military makes it easy to have unpopular wars, since most Americans are not affected. And dragging all people out of their sometimes strange, isolated lives into a social setting has big benefits: a veteran told me that there were guys in his outfit that had never learned to brush their teeth or wash until they were in the army. Lastly, we damn well all should serve, rich, poor, left or right. (Did I serve? No, they attempted to draft me during the Vietnam War, but I proved unworthy. Had that war made more sense I would have tried a lot harder to get in.)

The Press

All serious news media must be non-profit institutions. The idea of the news being owned by corporations is absurd. Had the founding fathers been able to image today's world where most news media was owned by entertainment companies and operated as such they would have outlawed it from the start. They thought news was important: they put Freedom of the Press into the Constitution.

Elections

Everyone knows that the corporations, unions, and other special interests pay for the absurd cost of our elections, therefore they "own" the government. Campaign radio and TV advertising should be limited to nothing but simple ads where the candidate faces the camera or microphone and speaks for 30 seconds. These would be free to candidates, as part of the cost of getting a federal license to broadcast. Same with newspaper ads, simple columns written by the candidates, placed for free. Nobody can contribute more than $1,000 to any candidate in a single election. Corporations, unions, and other special interests can not contribute at all. Democracy is way too important and fragile to allow anybody but citizens to contribute. Also, presidential elections should be three months for the primaries, three months for the real election. The current method of permanent campaigning is beyond absurd.

Education

This one will really get lots of people angry. Private education to be phased out entirely over a period of about 20 years. Allowing people of means to remove their children from the public schools creates a situation where wealthier people get better and better educations, while poorer people get worse and worse educations. America can not sustain itself as a modern nation when a vast majority of children get a bad education. If we force the wealthier parents back into the public system they will raise the standards for all. Wealthy people generally feel empowered to act when schools are sub-standard and will demand better teaching, so the efforts of the wealthy to improve their children's education will also benefit the poorer children.

Taxes

We need to return to a period of fair taxation, like the Eisenhower era, when corporations and the wealthy paid much, much more of the taxes then they do in 2012. Things worked fine back then, we built highways, schools, didn't have deficits. During Reagan, Clinton and the Bushes, taxes for the rich and corporations have dwindled dramatically, resulting in huge deficits, and governments at all levels are cutting back the services that the poorest people need. The rich are getting richer, the poor poorer: this is extremely dangerous. Going back to Eisenhower tax levels would benefit the rich, as American society would stop disintegrating.

The Post Office and the Internet

Our founding fathers felt that mail was essential; they wrote it into the Constitution. Today we have UPS and Fedex that will send a letter for about $15.00. The much maligned Post Office sends them for .44 cents. Clearly we need to increase that .44 to some reasonable level, but if we lose the Post Office only the wealthy and corporations will be able to send letter and packages. Those who love our Constitution should be defending the Post Office.

And had the founding fathers foreseen the internet (not very likely) they would have seen that it is essential to modern life, like mail was in 1776. They would have wanted everyone to have equal access to the internet, just like the mail. Therefore we need to give every American affordable access to the internet, which today means high-speed internet. The founding fathers would have wanted it that way.

Public Transportation

Our taxes support the roads and highways. But the roads in and around big cities are hopelessly overcrowded. The only answers are to change where people live and work and/or to emphasize public transportation. Public transportation is such a benefit to society in general that it should be free. Free public transportation would make a real difference in terms of traffic problems, and pollution too. 

Drugs

Serpico pointed out many years ago that the victimless crimes are the ones that corrupt the police. And Prohibition proved that Prohibition doesn't work. The Drug War proves that the Drug War doesn't work. Alcohol is still responsible for far more human misery than all other drugs combined, but nobody would suggest we make alcohol illegal again. Yet we continue with the hopeless Drug War and mass imprisonment of mostly poor people for drug offenses. And parts of Mexico are consumed by drug violence. We need to make all drugs legal, but regulate them, just like we do with alcohol.

OOOPS! One More: The Four Day Work Week

I just remembered one other platform plank, and this one could really be trouble: I it is time to finally evolve from the 5 day work week to the 4 day work week. The unions got us the five day week many moons ago, and now with computer and robots we should be working less. So I would start adding a Monday holiday each year until EVERY Monday is a holiday. It will happen so slowly the economy will hardly notice. Will we go broke because the rest of the world still works 5 or 6 days a week? I doubt it, though who the hell knows. Perhaps the number of sick days taken will drop so much that we will break even.

This idea is dangerous because it might be so popular that I might get a few votes, which would be a disaster. But I am sure that big-business would scuttle this idea with no problem. After all, when you have Warren Buffett announcing to the world that low tax rate is a scandal — and nothing happens, that big business and the wealthy have a firm hand on the tiller.