Thinking as a Hobby
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2004-11-08 4:36 PM
Eagle Platform -- First Cut
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All right...anyone who was interested, here are some position statements on various issues.
We'll hash it out in the comments section and see what comes out. I'll post revised drafts in future posts, and maybe organically we can come up with a cohesive identity.
Or maybe we'll just be too damned far apart to agree. :)
Anyway, here's a first draft, in alphabetical order:
EAGLE PARTY PLATFORM
We recognize the inherent rights of a woman to make decisions about her own body, while acknowledging that personhood is contingent upon an individual's level of development. As a pregnancy progresses, an increasing amount of rights should be conferred to the developing child, and accordingly balanced against the rights of the mother. We agree with the wisdom of the Roe v. Wade decision, in allowing women unrestricted abortion rights in the first trimester, allowing states to limit those rights at their discretion in the second trimester, and allowing states to completely ban the practice, if they choose, in the third trimester.
While the death penalty might be just in principle, for any civilized society, it is impractical. For the state to put a citizen to death, the burden of proof of their guilt must be far beyond the normal threshold for reasonable doubt, facilitating multiple appeals and a prolonged process that in itself could be considered cruel and unusual punishment. We therefore find it reasonable and humane to eliminate the use of the death penalty at the federal level as well as prohibiting states from using it.
While recognizing that gender and racial inequalities still exist in our society, and noting that a great deal of progress has been made in the past few decades, we feel that at this point in our history, government policy that is neutral with regard to race and gender is the most fair, and most likely to contribute to an egalitarian society. We are therefore against racial or gender quotas in hiring practices, and are against scholarships or other programs that show preferential treatment for a particular group based on race or gender.
We still believe in government support for our neediest citizens, but feel that aid should be based on just that factor: need.
We feel that the criminalization of drugs has been a costly, wasteful, and unneccesary distraction. Recreational drugs, if regulated by the FDA, and sold under restricted conditions, would lead to less crime, less abuse, and would contribute an additional source of tax revenue.
We support school vouchers, and believe parents should have a choice in where their children are educated. That said, we believe in strengthening our public schools so that they will be the prime choice for most parents. We need high standards and accountability not only for our students, but also for our educators. Student performance is directly correlated to the quality of the teacher, and all too many teachers quit early or forego the profession altogether. We need a strong program for recruiting, supporting, and keeping talent in our schools. And we need higher teacher salaries, supplemented from the federal level if need be.
Energy & Oil
We need to increase our energy independence so that we are not beholden to corrupt oil regimes in the Middle East. This will not be solved by drilling in new places, which only delays the inevitable, for those are finite resources. And renewable sources such as wind and solar would still only provide a fraction of our energy needs, even if exploited much more than they currently are. The best medium-term solution is nuclear. We need more nuclear power plants, not only to supply our own electricity, but as a source for creating energy for alternative fuel for cars. By converting nuclear power to emerging hydrogen cell technology, we can gain a huge amount of energy independence, and be less beholden to foreign sources of energy. We must also work to make nuclear energy safer, while exploring alternative fuels.
Combined with our energy policy, we believe that less reliance on fossil fuels such as coal and oil will continue to help improve the quality of our air. We believe in strong continued regulations on industrial waste, in vigilance in protecting the cleanliness of our air and water, not just for ourselves, but for the global environment.
We believe in strong ties with democratic governments with respect for human rights. We believe in complete withdrawal from the United Nations, a corrupt and ineffectual organization that has become a second League of Nations. Instead, we propose the formation of an alliance of democratic governments, a democracy of democracies, as a channel for debate and diplomacy, but not in itself a governing body. It would allow free societies to combine their efforts to deal with global economic and health issues, and form military alliances as the need arises. We believe in diplomacy first and foremost, but in cases where that is ineffective, and there are overriding concerns, such as genocide, we will act swiftly and aggressively, hopefully with an alliance of like-minded allies. We also believe in contributing much more foreign aid than we currently give, focused primarily on health and infrastructure. As the world becomes smaller and more globalized, we need to become more engaged and more responsible.
We believe that fewer restrictions on trade lead to greater prosperity among trading nations. That said, we should constantly pressure countries with poorer working conditions to reform up to minimal global standards. But economic isolationism is not the answer; responsible engagement is.
We follow the dictum of Thomas Jefferson that "the government is best which governs least". We believe strongly in states rights, and note that the cutting and dissolution of many Federal programs (especially those such as Social Security) is necessary.
We believe that ownership of rifles and shotguns sufficiently satisfies the mandate of the 2nd Amendment, but that concealed weapons (i.e., handguns) should be severely restricted.
We do not believe in a socialized healthcare system, but one in which all citizens receive a basic level of care.
We believe in providing channels for those who want to contribute to our society to do so. We believe that those who sneak into this country without notifying the government are violating the principles and good will of our country, and are more likely to be exploited as cheap labor. We are for increases in the quantity and quality of border patrol, strict enforcement of existing immigration laws, but an increase in the availability of legal immigration.
We are for phasing out Social Security in its current form, as a government-mandated retirement plan, and replacing it with a needs-based welfare program specifically targeted for senior citizens. We also support encouraging Americans to work longer by providing greater tax incentives for companies to keep on elderly employees.
We believe a flat tax is fair and sensible, and would save greatly in efficiencies to the IRS.
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