Luke’s Log- My Three Issues, and then some
My mentor, Dan Schnur, has repeatedly told me and his other students that in politics, it’s crucial to find your three top issues upon which you’ll never compromise and for which you’ll always fight; everything else can be compromised on.
Well, I think I’ve figured out my three for the moment, and I think they say a lot about my political identity.
First- American National Identity. Nothing is more important for our perpetuation as a people than the abandonment of multiculturalism and the white backlash, and the restoration of a unified, inclusive national identity based upon our shared culture and political creed. I want as many good Americans as possible- and this involves comprehensive immigration reform, Americanization in immigration, increased focus on civic education and civic culture, including mandating passage of the American naturalization test in order for a citizen to vote, remedying of the ailments afflicting minority communities to bring them up to economic parity with the white majority, and gradual abandonment of multicultural holidays, hiring and education practices, and other influences precluding the development of a multiracial but monocultural American nation.
Second- the Renewed American System. Nothing can be more important to our economic growth than the encouragement of federal and state investment in infrastructure of all kinds, education at all levels, and research in all phases. We need to work to modernize our transportation and transportation regulation systems for a world of clean, networked, driverless cars and ultra-fast aircraft; we need to invest in clean, advanced nuclear energy and build a grid capable of providing power for free to every American thanks to the heat of a thousand suns being produced in our new reactors; we need to improve our water infrastructure with better storage and recycling capabilities down to the individual and we need to begin looking at a series of desalination plants on the California Coast to water our parched Southwest; and we need to update our wireless law and infrastructure to provide fast, reliable, secure and free internet to every American everywhere. This easing of movement of goods, ideas, resources, power, and people will be crucial for establishing the United States as a more networked nation for the 21st Century. Moreover, we need to reinvest in the education of our citizenry at every level, ensuring a minimum standard of funding for every school while opening access to greater competition between all sorts of schools. We need to make basic college education a right available to every worthy American for free just as K-12 education is a right; we need to drive down the skyrocketing costs of higher education and shift degree-granting to a things-learned rather than time-served model. We need to open up alternative educational opportunities and re-establish individual educational mentorship as a cultural norm; and we need to do away with the requirement-checklist model of education and shift toward a more creativity-inspiring, self-learning-inducing system of grading and teaching. Finally, we need to invest massive resources in the development of technology, for both military and civilian uses. Hi-tech energy, hi-tech computing and communications technology, biotechnology, and advances in transportation are some of the basic examples of what public-private partnership can do. We need to invest in our national research institutions and universities to help our scientists discover the true complexities of life and of the universe; and we need to set a national mission to colonize Mars and turn humanity into an interplanetary civilization. The striving for of these goals will do innumerable blessings to break up out of our current malaise and lead us onward to greater things. It is the government funding and coordination and agenda-setting of infrastructure, education, and research that will bring us to the next century.
Third- A Program of Increased Equality of Opportunity aimed at Middle-Class Growth. Not everyone can be a John Rockefeller or a Steve Jobs; but everyone can be a winner, and it is government’s and society’s job to expand so far as possible opportunities for Americans to enter and remain in the Middle Class, to allow them to follow their dreams and live as they see fit. The current system privileges the economic advancement of the top 1%, and disincentives those at the bottom of society to work hard, save, and make new opportunities for themselves. We need to fix that, and strive to provide opportunities for the broad majority of American to enter and maintain middle-class status. This program involves a reform of taxation against loopholes and towards higher taxation of the very rich, and towards tax breaks for entrepreneurs and middle-class families; an imposition of national social insurance for laid-off workers to account for the negative effects of creative destruction; an encouragement of small business growth through a favorable tax environment, and an encouragement of big businesses providing jobs through a favorable regulatory environment; an emphasis on bringing down the cost of living in areas where housing and rents, food costs, utilities costs, and childcare are very high; an attempt at opening up pioneering new regions through the sale of federal lands and the federal subsidization of space-launch; a federal backing of the creation of new jobs in areas across the board, from hi-tech manufacturing to tech to construction to service jobs to creative jobs to resource extraction to finance and insurance and real estate to everything in between. Broad-based economic growth and middle class opportunity go hand-in-hand; let’s push for them.
Beyond these three primary issues, I see three other major issues upon which I’d be willing to compromise, but which I still hold close to my heart-
-The devolution of powers to those political and social entities best capable of resolving the issues at hand, through a generalized system of subsidiarity and local governance, coupled with an emphasis on strong and responsive centralized governance for those issues requiring national solutions; this will require a systematic look at public policy and analysis of where problems are best solved.
-A re-emphasis on the formulation of social capital at every level, to generate those bonds of public trust which grease the organic machine of society, coupled with measures to get out of the way of the growth of- and therefore to encourage- the growth and autonomy of a strong, vigorous, healthy civil society in which Americans will find their home across diverse climes and locales; this is a problem that can’t be solved by government action, but can be nurtured in a garden-like setting by government stepping out of the way and assuming its proper role.
-Democratic political reform for the perpetuation and expansion of our democratic traditions. This includes the reform of campaign finance, the abolition of formalized gerrymandering, the adoption of electoral systems and campaign systems that allows third parties a voice in the public debate, and general redistricting and reform to ensure that responsible American citizens have more avenues to communicate with their civic leaders in the spirit of American democracy.
These six issues form the core of my vision for a strong America in the 21st Century. I will fight for them with my writing and my career. As you can see, I hardly fit into either major party; I take ideas and ideologies and policies from each, while scaring both and satisfying neither.
Are there more Americans out there like me? I would hope so. Time will tell.