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writing for godot

PUTTING THE CART BEFORE THE DONKEY Meets NOT IN MY NAME

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Written by Judy Pasqualge   
Sunday, 20 January 2019 22:34

PUTTING THE CART BEFORE THE DONKEY Meets NOT IN MY NAME

Judy Waters Pasqualge

Every day there seems to be a new person announcing a run to be the Democratic Party (DP) presidential candidate in 2020. No doubt, many of their funders and advisors have positively portrayed the chances for such candidacy ‒ or perhaps the aim is to increase exposure to gain another position, such as vice president.

Certainly, all are welcome, and it will be useful to hear the candidates’ positions on many matters, and how these are similar or differ.

For this, information is needed on policies and their details ‒ and not vague statements of support for others’ policies of the past, or short one-liners.

Such policy information, for myself, falls under six main categories, although there are more:

1. The Earth crisis: does the candidate speak of this wide crisis, and not just the increase in CO2 levels and temperatures (climate change), and do policies go beyond the Paris climate accord, and how far.

2. Nuclear weapons: positions regarding stockpiles, disarmament and negotiations, and regarding the larger defense budget issue.

3. US domestic policy (not limited to, but especially):

a. position on how to change the now Republican Party tax code and, beyond, policies on income and corporate taxation, and on Social Security tax exemptions;

b. healthcare: position on single payer, the Medicaid option, fining people who do not have health insurance ‒ and details on any alternatives;

c. education: position on publicly assisted charter schools;

d. minimum wage: in favour of $15 an hour, or not.

4. Foreign policy: do policies uphold the rights of people outside the US, in the areas of: use of drones and targetted assassinations; economic sanctions; overthrow of other governments; training of police/military in actions against individuals/groups; funding of other country political parties and nonprofit groups; war authorisation by Congress; the economic austerity system of the IMF/World Bank (including conditions that override a country’s laws on labour, the environment, etc.).

As an immediate and urgent concern: is there support or not for (this and previous) administration attempts to overthrow the governments of Venezuela and Iran?

5. Tenor of a campaign: especially in light of the patronising and disrespectful model so unfortunately seen in the 2016 campaign, and after, in many mainstream media and DP officials, directed at dissent whether on the right or left ‒ this too is a policy position.

6. Positions that include any idea of the supremacy of one group, whether national, ethnic, religious, gender, etc. (as already seen in Rep. Gabbard’s support for Hindu nationalism and the far right in India, belying any claim to progressivism).

Likewise, any appeal based on a candidate’s ethnicity, gender, etc., rather than policy positions, is unacceptable.

There are many people who next time will not vote for a DP candidate only to counter the Republican Party or Trump. There is a special burden now on the DP Clintonites, Joe Biden, DP hawks, the DNC and aspiring people in the administrations of 2008-2016.

There is a need for candidates to explain positions, justifications, and recognition of the consequences of them, and to not assume that voters are not interested, or are unable to understand.

Absent that, this time, many people will go for an alternative: mainstream policies that actually benefit a small percentage of people, in the US or abroad, cannot be supported ‒ at least, NOT IN MY NAME.

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