A few have asked me about my 2016 Presidential platform Thus far, I have this to say about that:
1. What is your stance on abortion?
I can’t for the life of me understand why this is such a popular
question to ask of a presidential candidate, given that the President has virtually no control over the issue. But hey, since you’re asking, and this is my moment in the sun: The issue is fraught with moral division, to the point where as a government of free people, we should not be legislating until we can argue more clearly the secular moral implications. Meanwhile, the government should not be funding abortions either. If groups want to raise money to support abortion clinics, more power to them. If they want to use the platform of their personal religious beliefs to speak out against it, they should absolutely do that.
2. Do you support the legalization of same sex marriage?
Personally, No. But as the President of these United States, my personal preference doesn’t serve the people of the country in this regard. I would like to see the country come to view “Marriage” in less of a theological cast, in regards to others. If a person wishes to view Marriage as “God-ordained”, I think that is right and proper. But to attempt to force others in a non-theocratic society to absorb their theocratic designs is wrong. Proselytize if you wish, but force is out of line with the foundations of this country’s intent.
3.Should the government increase environmental regulations to prevent global warming?
It is possible to trace a path that shows the development of the “Global Warming” theory as a tool for other environmental concerns that could not hope to compete with Natural Resource Industry’s ambitions. I believe that mankind has shown repeatedly not only the capacity but the ability to destroy local ecologies in the pursuit of profit. I believe that one industry dominating public land use and resource harvest through favorable laws written to subvert self-sustaining conservation and give that industry unfettered access to public resources is wrong. I also believe that agonizing over individual toads, sparrows, lizards, owls, small rodents and non-adaptable flora is the mark of an obsessive movement built around an intentional over-reaction to these ecological abuses, in an attempt to attain collateral conservation goals. I believe, spiritually, in the “dominion over the earth” concept presented biblically, and through aboriginal traditions as well. As humans, with the gifts of intellect that we possess, I think we have the opportunity and spiritual responsibility to find a way to combine sensible natural resource harvest with the responsibility to learn and apply techniques to help, rather than hinder nature. To that end, the debate over the validity of the “global warming” phenomenon is indeed one of power-mongering, with both sides vying for an unfair share of control over the disposition of earth’s resources. I think there are studies being fronted who’s results were predetermined by the funding agencies’ subtle selection of institution. In the end, a better rationale for self-control of Natural Resource Industry must be rooted in honesty, flexibility of sensible application, and the limiting of size and scope of harvest/recovery, which will be addressed in future questions regarding anti-trust and monopoly law.
4. Should national parks be preserved and protected by the federal government?
5. Should producers be required to label genetically engineered foods (GMOs)?
On its surface, the underlying principles behind this question sound similar to the abortion question. The key difference here is that the People’s choice is dependent on accurate information. The problem so far has been that by adopting a labeling standard, that standard becomes a target for corruption, where the intent of the law is fairly easily subverted with intentional loopholes lobbied for by unscrupulous businessmen. If we tell people to trust the standard, and then the standard is perverted by lobbyists writing laws for lazy, unscrupulous lawmakers, it seems to me we’ve opened ourselves to liability. So we either have to take the issue another step and require producers to provide more source information from which consumers can draw their own conclusions, or let people develop alternate sources of food from producers willing to provide this data at a economic premium. If we certify something using government agency, then that should come with strict standards that the producer and consumer pays a premium to receive documentation for.
6. Should employers be required to pay men and women the same salary for the same job?
Yes. The caveat being that there should be exemptions for jobs for which there is clear gender performance differences. If, for example a physically demanding job can be done by a woman, but not at the same rate of production level as a man, a difference should be allowed to remain. The problem is this invites a rats-nest of never-ending quibbling over performance demands and levels. Because of this, despite the obvious unfairness, government should not be making blanket, unilateral anti-discrimination except to address the most egregious discrimination. Let the market reward equality. Sub-note: I do NOT think women should be sent to physical combat units. Warfare is no place for social engineering experiments.
7. Should physically and mentally capable adults on welfare be required to work?
I think some sort of service should be engaged and offered to this group. Presently, and for generations now, policy has encouraged a culture of deception and socially destructive tactics from people who see welfare as a “free ticket”. Broadening the question, I believe that government support should not reward single mothers and larger families over two-parent families of modest size. This of course is just as difficult to monitor and enforce as the current policies, and people seem to get some funny ideas – legends about how the system works emerge from these subcultures that drives a systemic misbehaviour from the population in general. I would like to develop a civilian alternative to the National Guard, and develop policies that encourage pride in that force, but limitations to its financial reward to discourage dependence on it. The National Guard weekend a month and two weeks per year paid service paradigm on a volunteer basis allows those with the drive to succeed to use the tool available to further their well-being, a rigorous screening process for true disability to steer those with diminished capacity into channels where they can make the most of what they have, while leaving those with chronic disregard for productive life free to choose poverty and hardship.
8. Should all welfare recipients be tested for drugs?
Let the states decide, based on the efficacy of testing using scientific data. The best information I’ve personally seen to date does not support its efficacy, but if actual science says different, then it should be an option. Again, this is a State issue.
9. Should there be more restrictions on the current process of purchasing a gun?
No, not in general. Proper writing and interpretation of current laws will be more effective. These laws should be local, not national. I realize this creates problems for large urban areas where their local laws can be subverted with a little travel and subterfuge on the part of the purchasers. I think the solution to the problems caused by gun violence are better addressed through social policy than direct firearm legislation.
10. Should people on the “no-fly list” be banned from purchasing guns and ammunition?
Not without caveat. The government does not have an especially good system for inclusion on this list. These limitations subject otherwise good citizens who’ve been falsely targeted to unwarranted loss of rights. The principle of “innocent until proven guilty” must prevail.
11. Do you support the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)?
No. Requiring purchase of insurance on a national level is wrong. I think the initiatives by some states have provided a good opportunity to understand the issues without what I believe to be an unconstitutional requirement to purchase a product managed by the government. The effects on both the competitive market and the ability of individual citizens to conduct their business is damaging.
I do, however, believe that a state-level program that no one is forced to sign up for creates an opportunity to resolve some of the problems.
12. Should the federal government require children to be vaccinated for preventable diseases?
As long as public school attendance is required, vaccination should be required. Private schools (I’m thinking of some religious movements here) should have the flexibility to refuse vaccination,
13. Do you support the legalization of Marijuana?
Yes. It should have similar controls to alcohol.
14. Should a photo ID be required to vote?
Yes. But two caveats: first, the requirement must be created at the beginning of an election cycle to give people time in places where it isn’t a general requirement already, and second, assistance should be provided to create the documentation for people who do not have it. There should be included in this system a review process that can grant ID with a hearing of evidence including anecdotal, and a judge to resolve the issue when simple documentation can’t be had.
15. Should the U.S. accept refugees from Syria?
Not en masse, no. I’m not opposed to a stringent vetting system for limited numbers, but it is a problem for other parts of the world to resolve, not the US. We have humanitarian projects of our own in our end of the world to attend to.
16. Should foreign terrorism suspects be given constitutional rights?
No. They should be treated as enemy combatants, until in the process they can be proven otherwise.
17. Should the government decrease military spending?
Formulating this into a blanket question/answer is an intentional trap based on a disingenuous premise. Military spending seems, on its surface, to be a bloated self-sustained ecosystem that has become almost socialist in nature. Standing armies were anathema to the Founding Fathers’ grand design. It is impossible, however, in Modern Warfare to simply call Jim-Bob off the tractor to the call of a bugle and expect to defend the country effectively. The military complex is top-heavy, as that is where the power to self-perpetuate resides, and it must be trimmed. The military advancement system has become analogous to academia in its formulized system of performance evaluation, gratuitous expectation of retention, and the unethical interaction between military leadership and civilian contractor.
18. Do you support increasing taxes for the rich in order to reduce interest rates for student loans?
No. While I see taxation as a valid method of social engineering, it’s application must be with the lightest of hands. There are already too many college graduates for a workplace that needs other skills that college isn’t designed to provide. The most common problem for trade schools of any value is that business is loathe to train people because inevitably after the investment in professional development another company comes along and hires away the investment. It could be argued that a tax for creating trade schools funded by that industry might be in order, but this should remain a State issue in order to take advantage of the State’s ability to attune itself to local issues more readily than the federal government. I do, however, support simplification of the tax code and fewer personal deductions available only to the wealthy.
19. Do you support Common Core national standards?
Not unless someone can explain to me in plain language why we’re using it and what good it does. There is much made of the apparent idiocy of Common Core, but that isn’t my primary concern. At issue is the federal government’s meddling in what should be a state and/or local issue. My vision for the Department of Education is to function as a central advisory and resource coordinator to serve states, but to have no power to require states to do anything. States are perfectly capable of being responsible governing bodies of their citizenry, as guided by good judgment and local conditions and traditions dictate.
20. Should illegal immigrants have access to government-subsidized healthcare?
No. Illegal immigrants (as opposed to legal ones) have no rights beyond the basic human rights to be afforded them as they are escorted back to their countries of origin, or to incarceration as applicable laws dictate.
21. Should Muslim immigrants be banned from entering the country until the government improves its ability to screen out potential terrorists?
I think all immigrants should be prevented from entry until some sort of threat assessment can be conducted. I don’t if this is practical though.
22. Should the government fund space travel?
Yes, as well as other scientific exploration. I also believe in government-supported art, though I believe it should be in the form of supporting historic cultural art belonging to America, and the fostering of art community that in turn can choose for itself what actual art to support.
23. Should the government tax the wealthy at a higher rate?
I believe that a modest tiered system is valid to allow those working at the lower levels the ability to attain a healthy standard of living, but disagree with a dramatic percentage increase at the higher levels.
24. Should the government close loopholes and tax corporations at a higher rate?
This is, unfortunately, one of the classic misdirection questions that so often lead to political opportunism at the expense of actually addressing one of the most pressing issues in American Economics. The real issue of unfair competition practices cannot be resolved with complex taxation schemes. In fact, I believe that corporate taxation should be simplified and reduced – it is not the job of government to play economic engineer. The singular role of government in business is to ensure that anyone who comes to the market with an idea can do so without harassment, or any one of the myriad anti-competition practices engaged in by the biggest competitors. To that end, an examination of anti-trust, monopoly, and competition law needs to be made. Small Business will always be at the core of a healthy, vibrant economy. To the extent that an economy suffers, it can often be shown that one player has gained dominance over others and has begun to operate aloof of the principles of free market. Taxation schemes cannot fix this.