Social/Cultural Hot-Button issuesWomen's Rights
: I support the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, as well as the final ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Gay Rights
: I applaud the Supreme Court decision
striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, and support the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act
banning LGBT discrimination in the workplace. 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 re-authorization of the Voting Rights Act (while taking into account Supreme Court concerns
); ending the abuse of authority
by law-enforcement agencies; and ending the 'War on Drugs'
and the new Jim Crow regime
by overturning the Controlled Substances Act, ending mandatory minimum sentencing, and instead direct our attention and funding towards prevention and treatment of addicts. Also support abolishing the death penalty given our broken criminal justice system
. 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. Economic issuesEducation
: 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. Tax Code
: In addition to closing tax loopholes, sun-setting the alternative minimum tax, and setting the top individual income tax rate at 40%, 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) with the intention of encouraging savings and investment, expanding manufacturing, as well as increasing revenue.Entitlement programs
: I believe the Bismarck model of Germany and Switzerland is better suited to the United States than the Single-Payer system of Great Britain and Canada, and I support whatever measures that would help the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
evolve accordingly. Among them, I favor federalizing
Medicaid, a single national health insurance exchange, universal (and federalized) childcare, and medical liability reform.
To ensure the future of Medicare and Social Security for generations to come, I favor raising the eligibility age to seventy, raising the payroll tax as well as eliminating the cap on it, preserve as well as raise the estate tax, and indexing benefits to inflation as opposed to wages. Free Trade
: Strongly support free trade, and favor the establishment of the Free Trade Area of the Americas, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Trans-Atlantic Trade & Investment Partnership with the European Union, and the completion of the Doha Development Round of the WTO. Also favor the upgrading and passage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, setting the stage for a free trade agreement with the region. Immigration Reform
: I fully support the provisions in the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act
. Energy Independence and the Environment
: I support the federal coal-leasing program; increasing investments into clean coal technology; construction of the Keystone X-L pipeline
; strictly regulating the fracking practices of the natural gas industry; as well as lifting the ban on exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) and oil, especially to Europe.
To build a more ecologically sustainable society over the long-haul, I favor expanding research into nuclear fusion and hydrogen fuel-cell technologies; increasing investments into alternative renewable energy sources like wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass among others; 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; increasing the fuel economy standards for newer vehicles; gradually eliminating taxpayer subsidies for the fossil fuel and ethanol industries; implementing a carbon tax
(superseding existing state and federal fuel excise taxes) to further spur these changes in energy usage; as well as beginning a 'nuclear renaissance' through the building of enough new nuclear power plants, and updating those already in existence
so that 50% of our energy needs would be based on nuclear power.
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. NASA -Space Exploration
: Strongly support President Bush's initiative to refocus the space agency away from the International Space Station (instead letting private companies and international space agencies fund the ISS upon its completion) and towards the exploration and colonization of the Moon and Mars. I also support reviving the Constellation program
; moving manned and unmanned rocket launch facilities HQ from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico -and distributing funding accordingly. Foreign Policy
Support the ratification of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
. 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 the reshaping
of our military to better handle the twin challenges of counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency, including a major expansion of the Special Forces.
Favor moving our bases in Germany and Italy to Poland and Romania to counter Russian revanchism, and the leasing of bases throughout Southeast Asia (including Subic Naval Base in the Philippines) to help deter Chinese aggression. Also support the modernization of our nuclear arsenal and expansion of our missile defense system to better protect our allies.Democracy-Related IssuesDistrict 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. Election Reform
: I support mandatory, universal voter registration; and full mandatory public disclosure by all of all political donations and expenditures.
I also support replacing the First-Past-The-Post system with mixed-member proportional representation
with regard to the federal House of Representatives and state legislatures.
In addition, I advocate eliminating the Electoral College and having the President elected by the national popular vote alone
, contingent on Congress and the states ratifying the Right to Vote Amendment
In sum, I consider myself a liberal Democrat, heavily influenced by the 'Third Way' as exemplified by Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.