Democracy-Related IssuesConstitutional Reform
: While keeping the federal system of government, I support completely rewriting the Constitution such that there would be a unicameral parliament with mixed-member proportional representation
with a 5% electoral threshold, and relegating the Presidency (like the Governor-General in British Commonwealth countries) to a mainly ceremonial position.
The judiciary system would also be transformed along the lines of the New Zealand model
, with the Chief Justice being appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister, and subsequently voted upon by the full Congress. All other justices and judges (at the federal level) would be appointed by the President upon the advice of the Chief Justice, Attorney General, and Solicitor General, and also voted upon by the full Congress.
I support incorporating the original ten amendments of the Bill of Rights, as well as including additional amendments explicitly guaranteeing the right to vote
and equal rights, while strongly encouraging the various states to adopt automatic, universal voter registration
. Second Amendment
: The Second Amendment
was intended to be seen as protecting an individual right as with all the other original ten amendments that comprised the Bill of Rights when it was added to the Constitution. When it was originally written, 'militia' connoted the entirety of the citizenry
, not just a government-created body.
Accordingly, I support concealed-carry, castle-doctrine laws, and other liberalizing measures. I strongly oppose gun-bans at any governmental level. However, as with every other amendment, there are limits.
With greater freedom comes greater responsibility in using that freedom, and it is in that spirit that I support measures like mandatory firearms training and universal background checks before any gun or permit is issued, to ensure that the unorganized citizens' militia is well-trained and well-regulated. District of Columbia
: Support having the non-federal areas of DC retroceded to Maryland as the city of Washington, thereby enabling the residents within to be represented at all levels of government. Social/Cultural Hot-Button issuesWomen's Rights
: I support measures closing the gender wage gap including raising the minimum wage, fair scheduling practices, pay transparency, universal childcare
, paid sick leave, and paid family care leave.
I also support the final ratification of the UN conventions on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Rights of the Child. Gay Rights
: I applaud the Supreme Court decision
legalizing gay marriage nationwide, and support the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act banning LGBT discrimination in the workplace, as well as other efforts
to ensure that the LGBT community is accepted as full and equal members in our society. Race
: Favor keeping racial/ethnic preferences for college/university applicants while adding new emphasis on socio-economic status and poverty so as to ensure that it is not just the middle and upper-middle classes who are the main beneficiaries of affirmative action. Support ending housing discrimination against racial/ethnic minorities, as well as fixing and preserving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (instead of scrapping them); the full restoration and re-authorization of the Voting Rights Act; ending the abuse of authority by law-enforcement agencies; and ending the 'War on Drugs'
beginning with overturning the Controlled Substances Act, criminal justice reform
including ending mandatory minimum sentencing, and instead direct our attention and funding towards prevention and treatment of addicts. Economic issuesSecondary Education
: Favor adapting the Finland education model
to the United States, including a major expansion in after-school tutoring programs as well as universal pre-school education; and changing the traditional school year to a year-round schedule
for struggling schools. Higher Education
: Support making community colleges and vocational schools tuition-free, and encouraging prospective college students to fulfill their introductory course requirements in a community college, while subsequently completing their bachelor's and master's degrees in the four years they will spend at a traditional college/university. Tax Code
: In addition to closing tax loopholes and setting the top individual income tax rate at 50%, I favor tax reforms including cutting the corporate income tax to 25%, and introducing the Value-Added Tax
(superseding all preceding sales and use taxes).Entitlement programs
: I favor improving upon (as opposed to repealing) the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
by boosting subsidies, implementing price controls, federalizing
Medicaid, create a single national health insurance exchange, and medical liability reform.
To ensure the future of Medicare and Social Security for generations to come (and perhaps even expanding them), I favor allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, raising the payroll tax as well as eliminating the cap on it, and to preserve as well as raise the estate tax. Free Trade
: Strongly support free trade
, and favor the establishment of the Free Trade Area of the Americas, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, trans-Atlantic free trade agreements with the European Union and the United Kingdom, and the completion of the Doha Development Round of the World Trade Organization.
Also support transforming the African Growth and Opportunity Act
into a free trade agreement.
To ease the economic disruption caused in part by these trade agreements, I favor replacing the inadequate and ineffective Trade Adjustment Assistance program with the more muscular Adjustment Assistance program
. Immigration Reform
: I fully support the passage of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act
. Energy Independence
: I support the federal coal-leasing program; increasing investments into clean coal technology; strictly regulating the fracking practices of the natural gas industry; as well as lifting the ban on exporting liquefied natural gas and oil, especially to Europe.
In addition, I favor expanding research into nuclear fusion; newer forms of nuclear fission technology; increasing investments into hydrogen fuel-cell technologies, and alternative renewable energy sources like wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass among others; better battery storage technology for utilities; rebuilding our electrical grid to make it more compatible with renewables; promoting energy efficiency in government as well as in private industry, using the LEED Green Building Rating System as a model; tax credits for hybrid vehicles; and increasing fuel economy standards for newer vehicles.
I also support opening Yucca Mountain as a storage site for spent nuclear waste, as well as increasing our capacity for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel so that they can be reused and to reduce the total amount of waste that would have to be sent there.Infrastructure
: To ensure sustainable economic growth for decades to come, we need to rebuild our infrastructure for the 21st century, covering everything from transportation
to water/sewer systems, and ports to cope with a growing population. Foreign Policy
Support the ratification of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
, and an expansion of foreign aid through the Millennium Challenge Corporation
. Advocate cultivating our relations with India through such agreements like the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Agreement, with the ultimate objective of making India into an ally as special and important to the United States as the United Kingdom is today. Support reforming military procurement and compensation
costs, as well as reshaping
our military to better handle the twin challenges of counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency, including a major expansion of the Special Forces and the Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund
Favor moving our bases in Germany and Italy to Poland and Romania to counter Russian revanchism, as well as gradually moving US military units from Okinawa to Guam and the Philippines to deter Chinese aggression. Support the modernization of our nuclear arsenal and expansion of our missile defense system to better protect our allies, and keeping our armed forces on the cutting edge technologically to meet any threat posed.