I've decided this week I just can't deal with the Clockwork Orange so instead I'm going to outline the list of things all Liberals and Progressives should have as long term goals, and by "long term" I mean "doable in the next ten years". All of these goals are long term and should be considered as something that we need to work towards well beyond the current situation.
Politics is a marathon, not a sprint.
1. BREAK THE NRA
There is a widespread notion that the NRA (AKA the lobbying arm of America's firearm manufacturers) is invulnerable and represent American gun owners:
This is because they want us to believe that.
Yes, they own the GOP body and soul which is why when a church full of Texans is turned into a killing field the Republican response is the always dependable "thoughts and prayers" before moving on to the daily business of blowing billionaires. The NRA, the gun lobby and it's supporters are hardly invulnerable...
Never forget that the same thing once said about Big Tobacco until they were all taken to task in the 90's. The Second Amendment is not a blank check and as a nation we need to stop pretending it is.
2. SHATTER THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX
It's a little known fact that America has more than 700 military bases around the world.
Can anyone anywhere explain why we still have bases in Germany, Italy and Japan? I think we won that war, didn't we? If we want to make serious cuts in Pentagon waste we need to vote for politicians who will start gutting these useless drains on our resources. It makes no sense that we have military bases in such insane numbers. We even have bases in Saudi Arabia.
All of this needs to be reevaluated before we end up collapsing like the British did a century ago.
3. ELIMINATE CORPORATE PERSONHOOD
One of the more dystopian ideas that managed to take hold is the idea of corporate personhood, which enables CEO's and their cronies to commit heinous white collar crimes but get away with it because "AT&T was guilty and fined" instead of the actual people who did the crimes being arrested and going to prison. The very idea that a corporation is a "person" is insane when you apply even baseline common sense to it:
Can EXXON vote?
Can IBM be drafted to fight in the next war?
If a corporation commits murder can it be executed?
If a corporation is guilty of sexual assault can it be labeled a sex offender and monitored?
Corporate personhood means a corporation has all the benefits of being a citizen with none of the responsibilities of civic or civilized duty. All it would take to get rid of it is a constitutional amendment.
4. UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE
There is no logical reason for us not to have this in America, the "richest country in the world", other than the greed of the very wealthy. The GOP struggle to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was always motivated by racism, not by any of the actual Faux News approved talking points I won't repeat here.
It's doable but again requires a war on many fronts against Big Pharma, the insurance companies, the entire GOP and their vast swath of frothing rednecks who think guns are more important than medical care. Just as with Civil Rights they'll never see reason and will simply have to be over-ridden and dragged into modernity kicking and screaming. This is always how it is when dealing with people trapped in the 19th century.
5. BREAK UP THE BANKS
The top five banks in America are JPMorgan Chase ($2.563 trillion), Bank of America ($2.284 trillion), Wells Fargo ($1.935 trillion), Citigroup ($1.889 trillion) and Goldman Sachs ($930.13 billion). How do you break this financial hegemony?
You could do it by requiring banks in the United States limit their total assets to $100 billion or less. Put a universal cap of 10% on all credit cards along with tight restrictions on how much banks can charge for overdrafts and late fees and that will hamstring Wall Street for the next three generations.
It's time to end "too big to fail" forever.
Banks that try to skirt Anti-Trust and Anti-monopoly laws should have their assets seized.
6. CRUSH THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE ONCE AND FOR ALL
If you really need me to explain why this is a good idea then you've not been paying attention. Until we get rid of this hateful institution that undermines democracy at every turn and inflicted both George W. Bush and Cheeto Hitler on us we're just another banana republic that thinks too highly of itself.
It would be easy to do.
Just make a Constitutional Amendment that would force all of the states, commonwealths, districts, and territories in presidential elections to go to straight numerical voting from now on.
And someone explain to me why the American Territories pay taxes but don't have representation!
7. TAKE AWAY THE CHARITY STATUS OF CHURCHES
We need to stop pretending that all churches are charities. They're businesses that operate far too often as a weird combination of Super PAC and hate group rolled into one. If churches and their preachers want to have a say in politics then they should have to pay the toll just like the rest of us.
Your superstitions don't deserve a fucking free ride on my nickel, America.
"It always seems impossible until it's done."
Rocketed from the doomed planet Oklahoma, Daniel landed in California and discovered that under a yellow sun he was granted the powers of sarcasm, brevity, skepticism and critical thinking.
He lives in his Fortress of Solitude with his son, girlfriend, and lousy wifi connection monitoring the culture and reading Nietzsche. When not writing, he runs The 37th Realm of Existence and Progressives Against the #Trumpocalyse.
His hobbies include Japanese porn, foreign films and the works of Alan Moore.