Wednesday, June 22, 2005
A Contract with America
"We'll Bless America."
FOR DEAN & COMPANY. Republicans keep referring to Democrats as "obstructionist," implying that the minority party doesn't really have any ideas for changing the status quo. I think this does them a disservice. If they'd known about John Kerry's Yale grades beforehand, they might have picked a standard bearer more adept with words than George W. Bush. And since the election, it may be the case that the Democrats have been too caught up in their anti-Bush emotions and rhetoric to articulate a set of proposals for definitive action, but that doesn't mean they can't be articulated. All that's required is to draw some logical inferences from the views consistently espoused by those who speak for the party and convert them into an agenda that could be presented to the voters in the next two elections.
Here's a first draft of what such an agenda might look like in several broad areas of policy:
If the American people vote to return Democrats to a majority in the Senate and House and to the Presidency:
1. The Democrat Party will immediately pass legislation making it illegal for any American troops to serve as instruments of national imperialism in any way whatsoever. All U.S. troops presently serving overseas will be brought home immediately and put to work rebuilding the infrastructure of our impoverished inner cities.
2. The Democrat Party will immediately pass legislation declaring an end to the illegal and undeclared War on Terror. Further, legislation will be passed to ensure appropriate reparations to all nations and demographic constituencies who have been victimized by American bombing, troop actions, prisoner abuse and humiliation, U.N. resolutions, and domestic and international propaganda efforts.
3. The Democrat Party will immediately nominate and assure the approval of a U.N. ambassador who will work tirelessly to repair the damage done to America's reputation abroad by the current administration's unilateral efforts to conquer alleged enemies, overthrow alleged tyrants, and undermine international efforts to secure a more fair and equal distribution of the world's wealth.
4. The Democrat party will immediately nominate Former President Jimmy Carter as a cabinet-level Ambassador-at-Large-for-Life to negotiate mutually acceptable peace terms with North Korea, Iran, al Qaida, and the Palestinian people, including terms for ending the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and for executing the prompt relocation of Jewish people from Palestine to other countries, including the United States and our closest allies, such as France, Germany, and Russia. Mr. Carter will be specifically chartered to conduct all negotiations in a spirit of true tolerance for the cultural traditions of other countries and their historical mistreatment by the United States of America.
5. The Democrat Party will immediately pass legislation authorizing the World Court in the Hague to begin war crimes proceedings against all U.S. government and military personnel who have been complicit in the undeclared war on terror and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
1. The Democrat Party will immediately pass legislation creating a new commission to identify the perpetrators and/or accomplices in the September 11, 2001 attack on New York during the period of time between January 2000 and October 2001. All those identified and proven complicit by the commission will be prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law, including George W. Bush, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, and their aides and representatives.
2. The Democrat Party will immediately triple the budget for 'first responders' to domestic attacks by aggrieved foreign constituencies, including the first ever budget for education and sensitivity training to prevent the possibility of hostility or acts of revenge by American victims of such attacks. All Americans must understand and accept the abiding rights of other peoples and civilizations to freely express their resentments against their historical oppressors. This initiative, combined with the Carter initiative to negotiate a peaceful resolution with al Qaida, should speedily end the irrational aspects of international relations which have fueled the cycle of violence.
3. The Democrat Party will pass legislation to reduce the military budget of the United States by 90 percent. This will preclude the possibility of inadvertent provocation of other foreign nations and constituencies by the fact of American military power, reinforce the importance of diplomatic negotiations as the only appropriate road to peace, and vastly reduce the federal budget deficit created by the Republicans.
4. The Democrat Party will pass an employment bill guaranteeing minimum wage jobs to all unemployed Americans and undocumented aliens as security guards at nuclear power plants, chemical plants, truck depots, shipping docks, and other facilities which might be targeted by foreign insurgents prior to the attainment of lasting peace. Any American citizens killed while so employed will receive compensation equal to that received by civilian victims of the September 11, 2001, tragedy.
1. The Democrat Party will immediately pass legislation raising the minimum wage to a level equaling the minimum annual income of the nation's highest tax bracket, thus eliminating the nation's recent history of giving tax breaks to the rich at the expense of the poor. Any increases in revenue associated with this legislation will be used to guarantee the continuation in perpetuity of the current social security system, as well as to radically refund affirmative action programs designed to offset any new disparity between rich and poor, and to finance reparations from the federal government to African-Americans, Arab-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Native Americans, women, and Undocumented Aliens -- all of whom have created wealth for the rich without being fairly compensated in the past.
2. The Democrat Party will immediately pass legislation creating a single-payer national health care system, so that Americans can finally enjoy the unparalleled benefits of the health care enjoyed in such countries as Canada, the United Kingdom, and France, where all share equally in such attributes as access and expertise, as well as delays and scarcities.
1. The Democrat Party will immediately pass legislation banning all new domestic oil exploration and requiring automotive and energy companies to find a replacement for petroleum-based fuels in 12 months.
2. The Democrat Party will immediately pass legislation endorsing the Kyoto Protocols, so that the ensuing worldwide economic slowdown will be shared equally with Europe and Asia, thus forestalling the potential for military and diplomatic conflicts arising from inequity.
1. The Democrat Party will immediately pass legislation to realize the historical dream of Franklin Delano Roosevelt for a Supreme Court consisting of 12 justices. All subsequent nominations to the Court will dispense with the Republican litmus test on abortion and will instead focus on the highest principles of constitutional justice, such as the need to continuously rehabilitate the obsolete verbiage of 18th century slaveowners with the more enlightened judicial principles practiced by our closest allies, such as France, Germany, and France.
2. The Democrat Party will immediately pass legislation extending legal protections afforded American citizens under the U.S. Constitution to all living human beings on earth, without exception.
1. The Democrat Party will immediately pass legislation banning all forms of voter registration as intrinsically discriminatory against the poor and uneducated. In future, voters may vote where, when, and as often as they choose during the entire month of November, and all disputes will be resolved by the new, larger, and more democratic Supreme Court, thus ensuring that every voter's voice is counted.
2. The Democrat Party will immediately pass legislation creating a commission of our country's most prestigious academicians to develop standards for the politically correct use of the First Amendment, thus ensuring that our national political discourse will no longer be impeded or diverted by language insulting to disadvantaged minorities, including women, African-Americans, Arab-Americans, Native Americans, undocumented illegals, and so-called "liberals." The recommendations of this commission will be enacted immediately after the swearing in of the new Supreme Court.
3. Immediately after the signing of the political reform act described above, the Democrat Party will pass a series of special reform measures banning the Fox News Channel, political talk radio, political abuse of the internet, and the participation of any avowedly religious persons in the political process, with the exception of muslims, hindus, buddhists, taoists, new age spiritualists, wiccans, and some Jews.
I think it's a good start. Did I leave anything out?