I am. Here's the why and how.
Americans have long been hollering about getting money out of politics. I attempt to offer that possibility, in my bid for Utah U.S. Senator (if you're not from Utah, please read on, as help from "the outside" may be especially critical). I also offer other possibilities that have been on my mind and growing over the past four decades or so.
I believe in simplicity and operating from principles rather than dogma. This keeps things fluid, yet holds one on an even course--like following the North Star when you're lost, allowing for a change of course around unforeseen obstacles.
I will not accept money, none whatsoever, for this campaign. We should run our country and state on principles and good ideas, and money must not taint our decisions. Hopefully that small light in the dark will also serve as an example for others in Washington to consider. I suggest that you view the $$$ signs that other politicians boast about as a direct reflection of how far these folks have gone in selling out any principles they may have had--and how far they're willing to go in working against your interests (I realize third party presidential candidates may have little other choice).
I am not looking to persuade, but simply state things as I see them, and, hopefully, offer a genuine vision we will all benefit from. I fail to see similar visions from other politicians.
I don't like political labels. I find them divisive, misused, and generally unproductive. They are also confusing, meaning different things to different people. However, if you feel a need to label me, I'm comfortable with the word "progressive," since I believe in progress for humankind. But I am also "ultra conservative," in that I advocate preserving those things that truly matter for humans everywhere, on this amazing and beautiful planet; likewise, I believe in fiscal responsibility and fiscal realism. My basic principles, summarized in one paragraph, stripped of labels:
Treat your neighbors as you'd want to be treated; help the less fortunate; forgive others; educate youth in a well-rounded curriculum; live in harmony with Nature and within our means; encourage recognition that we are one species on one planet, with many differences but also with the same ultimate fate; push for kindness and fairness as globally accepted norms. Recognize that humanity, not money, is what we are ultimately working for. More specifically:
Put children first. Seriously first, and make decisions in their interest and that of generations to come. The human mind, educated and guided by wisdom, is our greatest resource. Provide free education through four years of college, or the equivalent, as a right to deserving youth. Lower the boom on needless administrative costs in education. Study and strive to emulate the best school systems elsewhere, such as Finland's . Make physical education mandatory, every day of the week. Bring back arts, crafts, shop, and other life-skills classes. Focus on making public schools excellent and eliminate any perceived need for charter schools.
Make America a genuine "shining light on the hill," leading the world by example. We have already flashed enough "shining gun barrels" around the planet. Bring to life a real vision in the interest of all humans everywhere, starting at home. Prove that democracy works, not by talking about it, but by actively demonstrating it.
Pursue truth and act on what is learned, even when it takes us "out of our comfort zone." Recognize that humankind exists on one planet and shares the same ultimate fate. Use science to help us make rational decisions. Explore the root causes of problems, such as unemployment, immigration, global imbalances.
Respect reasonable differences of opinion, but penalize outright lying and deception in the political arena, where such things are all too prevalent today, and tantamount to treason of the American people.
Be kind. Bring back civilized talk and actions. Reject willful ignorance; educate when and wherever possible. Bring a permanent end of labeling and name calling of other peoples and countries. With D.C. far worse than junior high in this department, you know that a serious change is needed.
Implement major domestic green jobs and infrastructure programs. Improve public transportation, encourage car-pooling, walking and biking, develop a new rail system, connecting major cities by high speed train, emulate local bus and train systems that work well and that have been established in many cities, both here and around the world.
Create a fair, democratic, transparent financial sector that serves the needs of start-ups, small business and consumers. End incentives for U.S. companies to send jobs and money overseas. Create a vibrant, sustainable economic system, providing meaningful jobs and a decent standard of living for all.
Develop an economy that does not depend on continual expansion for survival. Counterbalance short-term profits by assuring that economic development, new technologies, and fiscal policies are responsible to future generations. Look for and activate start-up programs and businesses most likely to produce long-term benefits.
Do not allow any media on the public airwaves if it veers from speaking the truth, or distorts reality for political or financial ends. Establish and safeguard an open internet, accessible to all, with the ability to trace statements or alleged facts to their original source. Harshly penalize internet censors which limit political discussion and free exchange of ideas; indeed, do all we can to eliminate them.
In my run for U.S. Senate against Utah's Orrin Hatch, I posted many progressive ideas and principles that I internalized over the years. I'm leaving that site up indefinitely, since it describes what I believe most members of our species truly (more...)