The Progressive Manifesto 2017

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We the progressive people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, question whether or not justice was ever truly established, whether domestic tranquility was ever allowed to occur and to last, whether the common defense is what our military is actually being used for, whether the general welfare is being promoted, and whether we are truly able to enjoy the blessings of the liberty that our forefathers gave us. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal no matter their race, gender, religion or sexual orientation; that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights, that among those are a life free of financial oppression or institutional racism/sexism, the liberty to maintain a life of our own choosing without undue government surveillance or privacy violations by the wealthy, and the pursuit of happiness free of legislative dictates regarding the use of our bodies.

Article 1

a)    All people should be entitled, by law, to equal pay for equal work and equal opportunities for advancement and/or salary increases, regardless of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation.

b)    The right to abortion should be considered basic medical care, and not restricted by federal, state or local laws. Clinics that offer women’s healthcare or general care, that receive any government funding, should be required by law to offer abortion services.

c)    Rape must be recriminalized with vigor. The skin color or social class of either the victim or the predator should not be used as a basis for investigation or prosecuting. This includes all forms of rape, without exception. Soldiers that rape other soldiers should be tried by the standards of U.S. law, and not protected by the military. Past rape kits, which are sitting on shelves in police stations, must be given priority over all but the most urgent crimes.

 

 

Article 2

a)    The people must have universal healthcare. Every other major industrial country in the world provides for its citizens better than we do, including all of the countries that are atop the “Happiest Countries” list. We are tired of being told that our country cannot afford it while we offer the wealthy outrageous tax breaks and corporate welfare and while we spend far more on our military than any other country in the world.

b)    Mental care, dental care, optometric care, chiropractic care, and abortion care should all be considered basic medical services.

c)    Education, including college tuition should also be socialized. We want our children to be educated and successful. We do not want success to be determined by a person’s level of wealth, or for that matter by their skin color, gender or sexual orientation.

d)    Social security must be expanded. It must be illegal for Congress to borrow from social security.

e)    Veterans’ benefits should be expanded and paid.

 

 

Article 3

a)    Citizens United must end. Corporations are not people. That’s only common sense. There is no one who seriously believes that, only people who seek to influence our elections with their money. Our government, and our courts, should protect against this. A government or court that does not has failed.

b)    The big banks must be broken up. Glass-Steagall must be reinstated.

c)    The big cable companies must be broken up.

d)    The big energy companies should be broken up.

e)    The media deregulation of the Clinton era must be rolled back, and the Fairness Doctrine that the FCC eliminated under Reagan must be replaced.

f)     Corporate prisons should be outlawed.

g)    No corporation turning a profit should be exempt from tax, should receive no tax breaks and no corporate welfare. If these companies want to do business in America, they can pay their fair share of taxes.

h)    Off shore accounts must be outlawed.

i)     Taxes on the wealthy should never fall below 60%. In truth, we believe they should be even higher, as they have always been before the 1980’s, but we understand that budgeting decisions like this are up to the president; however there simply is no need for it to fall below the baseline of 60%.

j)     The Federal Reserve must cease to be the central bank of the U.S.

k)    The minimum wage should be $20 per hour. No one should work 40 hours per week and still not be able to feed their family. Additionally, the rate of the minimum wage should be permanently and directly tied to the cost of living in each area, recognizing that a big city may have a much higher cost of living than the rest of the state, and that some states may have several cities with different costs of living, each of which differs from that of the state in general. We define cost of living as including 1) rent on a family sized apartment  2) the cost of reasonable utility bills, including electricity, gas, telephone, internet, cable, garbage and water  3) the cost of food and clothing for a family 4) other reasonable expenses which may be defined later.

 

Article 4

 

a)    We must have no more regime change wars or oil wars. No war should be fought because another country’s leaders don’t like the U.S, because that country’s leaders don’t want to let in American businesses, because that country has stopped using our dollar or doesn’t want our Central Bank. We must stay out of other countries’ matters unless truly needed, in times of crisis, and requested by the UN. Further, we must not coerce the UN, or anyone at the UN to request our help.

b)    NAFTA and other unfair trade “agreements” have hurt our economy and hurt our jobs. They must be dissolved. Any further trade “agreements” must prove to not take jobs out of this country or be repealed within 3 years. The WTO and World Bank, which keep poorer nations poor, must be dissolved. All further trade “agreements" must be classified as treaties, as they should have been in the first place, so that they must be subjected to the more stringent rules, so that the rights of the people can never again be given away to international corporations.

c)    The U.S. should maintain no alliance, sell no weaponry and give no money to any country without a decent record of Human rights. The only exception should be money given in relief of disaster, and even then, the money should be distributed directly to the people and not to that country’s leaders. Currently, this may appear hypocritical, because of the way many of our own citizens have been treated by authorities, but we’re going to fix that.

d)    The illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine must end. We should give no money or weapons of any kind to Israel for as long as this goes on. Israel is a relatively wealthy country with a strong military, and can fend for itself if it wants to oppress people.

e)    Additionally, we should support the people of any region when a popular vote indicates the people of that region wish to become an independent nation. We should not send our military, bombs or otherwise destabilize the region, but show our support by officially recognizing that country.

f)     The CIA must stop perpetrating unofficial acts of war.

g)    All U.S. politicians responsible for war crimes, or commonly thought to be responsible for war crimes, must be extradited to The Hague for trial by the International Court Of Justice. If that politician is innocent, they will be found innocent, but there must be a trial.

 

Article 5

A)  The police must be reformed and demilitarized. The courts must also be reformed in the way police officers are treated when accused of crimes.

B)   End the war on drugs. End the war on terror. End the war on things, in general. Wars are meant to be won or lost. You cannot beat a thing. These faux wars only cause terror and help raise money. We believe this is not the American way.

C)  All undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S. should be granted permanent citizenship, or if they desire, permanent residency status instead.

D)  All corporate/ white collar crimes must be reformed, so that thievery be called thievery, and punished accordingly, meaning jail time and not fines.

E)  All Wall Street and/or banking executives found to be responsible, at least in part, for the economic collapse of 2008 should be prosecuted. If they are found to have had no knowledge of wrongdoing, then they will be found innocent.

F)    All corporate executives that knowingly deceived the people on climate change should face prosecution.

G)    All corporate executives who knowingly price gouge the American people, or who deceive the people in order to risk the public health in any way should be prosecuted.

H)  The FBI must stop finding disgruntled citizens that are living in poverty, arming them and giving them targets, and then arresting them for terrorism. These people have neither the access nor the know how to commit these crimes on their own. These are crimes of the FBI; however no prosecution shall be sought for this “method” of fighting terrorism. It is misguided, but not illegal.

I)    There must be no more gerrymandering of our districts. Fair and impartial district lines can be decided on by a multi-partisan commission, if need be.

Article 6

a)    We must move to 100% renewable energy as quickly as possible, and it is possible.

b)    We must begin taxing carbon immediately.

c)    We must ban fracking in the United States, but that’s not enough. We must also ban fracked oil to be sold through the U.S.

d)    We must ban construction of any new pipelines. With fracked oil banned and a move to 100% renewable energy, we won’t need them anyway.

e)    We must have stronger environmental regulations and protections than ever.

f)     We need more protected lands and waters.

 

Article 7

a)    We must have free and fair elections. In primaries, each candidate should receive equal debate time and equal coverage/air time from the media. During general elections, each candidate should receive equal debate time and equal coverage/air time from the media. There should be no minimum a candidate must reach in polls, in order to qualify for the debate; however in order to prevent overcrowding of the stage, only the top 10 candidates in the polls can be allowed to participate (including a maximum of one candidate from each party and no more).

b)    Election Day should be made a national paid holiday.

c)    People should be registered to vote automatically, upon turning 18.

d)    Voter ID laws must end, without exception.

e)    Voters should never be purged from voter roles based on race, immigration status or criminal background without strict checks of full name, date of birth, and government issued ID number. Conclusive proof of wrong doing must be found before anyone is purged. Any purge without such checks beforehand is invalid.

f)     Washington D.C. should be granted “state” status. So should Puerto Rico, Guam or any other U.S. territory that votes popularly to seek “state” status. Representation is part of what this country was built on, and having Americans living in unrepresented areas is un-American.

 

 

Most of us do believe, I think, in a person’s right to accumulate wealth and more wealth. This is not a problem for us. It becomes a problem people are dying because they can’t afford to go to the doctor. It becomes a problem when hard working Americans, working 40, or oftentimes more, hours per week are unable to provide for their families. In times like that, to have a handful of people who have far more than they will ever need in this lifetime, wasting billions on military spending, giving out tax cuts to the wealthy and even voting to give themselves pay raises, then it becomes  a problem for Humanity. When civilians are murdered for the profits of the wealthy, it is a problem for Humanity. When corporations are willing to dirty our air and dirty or waters for the sake of their profits, even if you don’t believe in climate change, it is a problem for Humanity. We, therefore, unelected representatives of the United States of America, assemble our names in support, to publish and declare the will of the people in a country that is, in theory, run by the will of the people. We will be free!



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