If you live in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Missouri, or Illinois, remember to vote today!
My name is R. K. Bishop. Today, from my sick bed, I am announcing my candidacy for President of the United States (US).
I am of age, born in the US, and meet the citizen and age requirements. Lately, I began to realize that no candidate with a legal degree, business experience, or political background exists to perfectly represent 98% of America. I am infinitely better than most of the Congressional body that only represents the top 2%. Furthermore, I am announcing the formation of a new political party.
As a voter, I do not affiliate with the current two party system. The Democratic and Republican parties no longer stand for the interests of the poor, working poor, and the middle class citizens. Most Democrats give into their frustration and have stopped fighting for the health and well-being of the American people. Some are Democrats in Name Only (DINOs) who will vote with the tyrannical Republicans to keep their salaries and benefits following upcoming elections. Republicans are interested in money and power, which has them pandering to their religiously extremist base and their greedy corporate donors.
While I could run as an Independent, I feel America needs a new party, a third option that stands behind basic facts. A party that places the inalienable rights and well-being of Americans first. My party is the Common Sense Party.
I can write a litany of promises, everything I would do on the first day in the Presidential office simply repeating Mitt Romney’s favorite line in his 2014 bid. During the course of several speeches, Romney promised to change the American way of life on his hypothetical first day in office.
Yet, in the heat of a general election, candidates often forget, or would like the American people to forget, our government is a Democracy and not a Dictatorship. (Lately, it has turned into an Oligarchy – a government controlled by the uber-rich). A majority from the House of Representatives and Senate pass proposed legislation, and the President signs it into law.
Aside from signing laws into the fabric of American society, the President can suggest laws and fight to get certain laws passed. That is what I promise to do: suggest and fight for the passage of laws.
The following list is a brief sample of the laws I will champion. In later posts, I will introduce more laws and detail each idea.
First, I will fight to strengthen the Wall Street regulations championed by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D- Massachusetts). While many important issues need immediate attention, we need to control those who would squander our money and prey on the weak. We must stop the two key causes (i.e., consumer debt and risky financial practices) of the Great Recession from happening in the future. We must end Too Big to Fail banks and their monopolies returning to smaller, manageable factions. Credit card companies and bank interest rates must accept federal regulations or they will continue to create an undue financial burden to the consumer. Financial institutions like JP Morgan will never receive tax payer money to bail them out of their own financial messes, especially when the corporate bailout money was used for CEO golden parachutes, bonuses, and vacations.
Second, I will fight to close tax loopholes for the wealthy and corporations. Taxing the top 2% of American earners and big corporations would allow the government to strengthen social safety net programs for the most vulnerable citizens. Senior citizens and the disabled should have enough money to pay for life sustaining utilities, vital medications, and an adequate food supply. The unemployed should never worry over the starvation of their families because of insufficient unemployment compensation as they search for gainful employment.
Third, I will fight to raise the national minimum wage to a living wage that will increase with the cost of living. If a citizen finds full- or part-time employment, it should be sufficient to support their families, reduce their dependency on social safety net programs, and increase local economies.
Fourth, I will fight for affordable education. America should have Universal Childcare and K-12 education. Many nationwide schools offer fee waivers for needy families. Yet, education should be free for families of all incomes. Hence, money normally spent on education would be spent on extracurricular activities, which provide many enhanced academic and psychological benefits to the students. The Federal Government would pay for the first four years of college tuition for students who maintain at least a 2.5 GPA. The money does not need to be paid back if the student has completed a four year degree. If a student wishes to continue their education, student loans will be available at extremely low interest rates in addition to grants and fellowships. All internships will be minimum wage employment rather than free labor.
Fifth, I will fight for the protection of unions. Any activity designed to dismantle, diminish, or disable unions will be unlawful. Workers have a right to organize and negotiate with their employers regarding wages and working conditions.
Sixth, I will fight for mandatory paid family leave, maternity leave, sick leave, and vacation time. As a nation, we should expect reasonable leave when we have immediate relatives depending on us, are sick, or to recuperate from injury without the added worry of wage and job loss. Currently, fast food and restaurant workers will work while sick since they are paid on an hourly basis. If they do not work, they do not receive a salary. They are likely to pass their illnesses to paying customers. Maternity leave is essential for the health and safety of the mother and her unborn child. Plus, the first six months of a child’s life is important to establish a bond with the parents meaning that maternity leave will be offered to both parents. Mental health is as important as physical health. Paid vacations are necessary to help reduce stress, which can consequently affect physical health. A healthy workforce is a more productive workforce.
Seventh, I will fight for restructuring the American Healthcare System and Universal Healthcare. Restructuring the healthcare system is daunting, but something that our society desperately needs. As it stands, the health of the American people are primarily in the hands of investors of the insurance and health industry. Their mandatory bottom line removes medical decisions from the doctors working directly with their patients and gives authority to people with no medical background (e.g., insurance companies). A Universal Healthcare system (or single-payer system) is a big step towards repairing the system and ensures that patients do not have to choose between dying or living their life under a financially debilitating medical debt.
Eighth, I will fight to reduce the defense budget and redirect the funds to house the homeless. America spends more in defense than the next thirteen countries combined. That is 20% of our national budget. Redirecting a portion of that funding will go a long way in providing and building homes for the homeless. In addition, 12% of America’s homeless are veterans. In an advanced society, no one should be homeless.
Ninth, I will fight to protect the health of sustainable natural resources. I will work to reform the 1872 Mining Law by ending the billions in subsidies companies receive and establish fair royalties that they have never paid. All government revenue from mining operations will fund abandoned hard rock reclamation costs. I will place a permanent moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (i.e., fracking). Also, I will strengthen and vigorously enforce all environmental laws and tirelessly work to improve them. Responsible stewardship is in the best interests of our national security and survival on this planet.
Finally, I will fight for infrastructure. Our nation’s roads and bridges are subpar. The U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has rated almost 200,000 bridges or one of every 3 bridges in the U.S., as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Furthermore, investing in far reaching, reliable, and fast public transportation will drastically reduce the need for constant road and bridge upkeep while reducing the country’s carbon footprint and increasing the health of our ecosystems.
America once led the world in education and innovation. It is time we do it again.
It’s the day before the Presidential election and if most Americans are like me, they’re ready to hang themselves by their own entrails. Sure it’s a gruesome death. Yet, it’s preferable than being subjected to the barrage of campaign commercials. I find the ones that blatantly lie to be the very worst. To the fellow Americans that happen to live in swing states, I feel for you. The amount of campaign ads aired are likely ten times worse.
Despite the sickening multitude of campaign ads, I urge my fellow Americans to vote. If they haven’t taken advantage of early voting in their state, then they should consider dropping by the poll on election day tomorrow, take some time, and cast a ballot. I’m not going to tell you who to vote for. Like religion, it’s a personal choice and nobody’s business.
Although, while I tell my own joyous voting story, my personal preferences will be revealed and it may offend Republican, or Tea Party, readers. (If I haven’t already done so in previous posts.)
I took advantage of early voting the weekend before last like most Americans did last weekend. The Rachel Maddow Blog has posted many pictures and videos of early voting lines from their readers and they’re absolutely amazing.
Through the years, I’ve heard concern for lack of voting participation. I’ve even explained why people feel an absence of motivation to vote. They perceive whatever happens in government doesn’t effect their personal lives or that all politicians are corrupt. Why bother?
Since the beginning of the 21st Century (more accurately 2001), American have discovered that the Federal Government does affect them in several ways. The government declares wars that risk the lives of fellow Americans, they provide disaster relief when it’s desperately needed, they can make college financial assistance more difficult, they can restrict women’s preventive health services, etc. Increasingly, Americans are discovering the government can interfere or assist our lives in fundamentally profound and frightening ways.
Recently, the American people paid closer attention to the candidates. I would never want to run for government office because everything in the lives the candidates are scrutinized. Most of the microscopic lens is necessary to get a feeling for the candidate in question. What are their personal morals? How close are they to their religious affiliation and are their beliefs going to affect a state or country filled with people of differing religions?
Yet it isn’t as simple as choosing a candidate that seems to have the best interest of the American people at heart.
***Even I question the motives behind those running for office except a few like Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont). Sadly, the truly awesome politicians don’t represent me.
It’s the instances of voter suppression by the Republican party that are galvanizing citizens all over the country to vote. Americans are contrary by nature. Try to revoke our fundamental right and we’ll exorcise that right in droves. We’ll even begin spontaneous protests in front of the polling places if we must.
It’s this very contrary nature I witnessed when I voted.
When I use the early voting option, I prefer to go to my local court house. They usually open at 8 am and close at noon. I like to vote around 11 am and the whole process – standing in line included – takes roughly 5 minutes.
This year was another story. I arrived at the court house and was greeted by a line. Not a flimsy line with a few people, but an actual long line!
Perhaps in a normal situation, long lines would mildly annoy me. Instead, I was elated.
Before, voting was an obligational job, and a form of protest against our elite two-party mentality. Now, it’s a patriotic duty I was honored to participate. I happily stood in line for half an hour while watching it grow even longer behind me. As I stepped up to the voting booth, I slipped my card in the slot, voted on a state constitutional provision, and proceeded to vote an all Democrat ticket. I didn’t look at the name of the person I was voting for. To me, this year’s vote was personal. I’ve spent more than a year being sickened and insulted by the Republican party. As President Barack Obama stated recently, voting was a form of revenge.
Yes, I knew about most of the candidates I voted for. I also knew about the Republican agenda, what they’ve tried to do in other states, and the damage I perceive they would cause if given complete Federal control. Headlines raced through my mind as I marked each of those Democrat boxes: Restriction of women’s rights, “getting rid” of the Affordable Care Act, the force feeding of religious ideals against my will, the multitude of shameful lies, etc.
My only regret is that I had to pick between two elite parties as a matter of survival.
Monday afternoon as I was driving home from work, I saw a sign on the front lawn that said, “Vote all incumbents out!” I loved that sign and everything it said to me.
Unfortunately, I could’t do that in this election. I feared the Tea Partiers that are challenging incumbent Democrats and the Tea Partiers already infesting our government too much to indulge in such ideologies. After all, I set aside my own ideology for this election.
Among all the lies, the mudslinging, and fear mongering, I was happy to find a positive that was the euphoric feeling I received from voting. I try to block out the past months and subdue my anger at the continuing political battle by remembering that my vote is already cast.
Yet, I sometimes wonder what I would do if the Republicans took over out government and dramatic changes were to occur. Would I leave the country and change my citizenship? If the opportunity presented itself, I would. Otherwise, I’ll likely fight back through my words and signing as many petitions as necessary to subvert Republicans and any unscrupulously radical laws they try to enact.
Tea Partiers are crazy, hostile creatures bent on continental domination. Often mistaken for regular middle class Americans who believe in Traditional Family Values, small government, and creating jobs, in truth they are deadly viruses in disguise. Do not be fooled by their fake smiles and clean cut lines.
Their Traditional Family Values is code for continental religious reformation. They want to shove their beliefs down your throat in a forceful attempt to change everything you believe in. If you refuse to conform to their religious ways, you will be branded an Anti-American Communist against wholesome Christian values.
When they say small government, they really mean cutting desperately needed government jobs like police, fire fighters, and teachers. While they cut those jobs, they intend to create and enforce strict government regulations regarding your private life (e.g., bedroom antics, sexual orientation, etc.).
Creating Jobs is yet another disreputable code for restricting or taking away the rights of women. They infamously use the term to create a type of smoke screen while they pass regulations on contraception and abortion. This is an attempt to strip away the rights of women to satisfy their deluded religious beliefs that women are inferior objects incapable of taking care of their bodies.
In truth, these little creepy viruses are closeted children that are unaware of the real world and are willingly led by their churches and purse strings. They refuse to acknowledge the part of the First Amendment that states Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. Meaning Congress should not make a law that favors one religion. For making a law favoring one religion essentially establishes that religion as the country’s religion. Since Americans enjoy several religions and (in some cases) no religion, it goes against the very foundation of the American establishment to favor one religion.
Instead, Tea Party member prefer to acknowledge the second part of the sentence regarding religion in the First Amendment that states Congress shall make no law…prohibiting the free exercise of religion. If a religious fanatic wants to get on a soap box and scream scripture at the top of their lungs in a public forum, they are allowed to do so without worry that Congress will enact a law prohibiting such actions.
Yet, as the Tea Party understands it, they have the right to force their beliefs on the entirety of the American people by passing laws that infringe on the religious beliefs of others.
Common Traits to Look for…
There was a time politics made me groan and roll my eyes. It wasn’t something I was interested in, and it wasn’t something worth my time. I can honestly say I used to be an idiot. Voting is a privilege that every American enjoys. It is a responsibility everyone should take seriously at every opportunity…especially women.
Thankfully, I realized as a young adult the vast importance of the voting process, and I have been exorcizing my right since.
Whether we like it or not, politics touches the lives of every American citizen. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small touch or a large touch no American should consider it inconsequential. I’m not saying that they should make it the most important topic in their life. Most people do have more immediate concerns to occupy their minds. Yet, Americans should never rule out politics especially when they’re living through a critical time in American history.
This is our critical time.
As several speakers reiterated at the Democratic National Convention, we have seen the bottom drop out of our economy. From there it was a domino effect or free fall into a recession on the verge of a depression. It had all the devastated glory of an epic myth.
The crumbling, tarnished spire known as the failing “American Dream” began to fall into an oubliette of despair. From that bottomless fissure rose a party oozing with hate and venom that’s beyond deadly. They may or may not be the most radical faction that this country has ever seen. Yet, they are powerful, fueled by backers with more money than any one person or company should attain. That radical faction is known as the Tea Party.
Venom infiltrates a living body through injection and rapidly spreads throughout the system of the living organism for the express purpose to cause a painful death. The Tea Party embodies that in every possible way.
I attempted to watch the Republican National Convention. Surprisingly, I couldn’t watch a single speech for more than a few seconds without the alarming rise of bile traveling up my esophagus. Perhaps it was the chronic lying triggering my delicate gag reflex, the noxious flow of hatred wafting from my TV, or a combination of both. I know that an entity (i.e., person or party) that inspires such a negative reaction is not a party that I should trust with the future of my country.
In contrast was the Democratic National Convention. While I watched (and I didn’t turn the channel once), I was moved to tears and boundless inspiration. I feel the Democrats were able to connect with the American people on an emotionally positive scale while the Republicans attempted to connect through hate, anger, and fear. I imagine those are the attributes of a horrific dictator only interested in controlling a country for the express purpose of powerful greed.
I’m not going to sit here and wax poetic about the Democrats. Before 2010, I protested the illusory exclusivity of our elections.
Since the Democratic and Republican parties have monetary clout backing their political power plays, they can easily swamp the media and squash the chances of a new party’s bid for election. They take advantage of the laziness infesting the American people regarding politics since they neglect properly researching candidates.
Instead, Americans rely on TV, newspapers, and talk radio to inform them of their candidate choices, naively trusting those sources to adequately educate them on each candidate. What they neglect to realize is that political ads are essentially propaganda. Television news moguls can be bought. Talk radio hosts use their windbaggery to express their personal political views. Writers for print media infuse articles with literary bias.
Despite everything, there have been instances of Independents and possibly an obscure party or two winning a political office either local, state, or federal – my hero Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is one. Yet, the ballots are still dominated by Democrats and Republicans meaning they control government big and small.
My protest consisted of exercising my right to vote for a third party option. In all elections until this year, I voted for the Green Party. If a Green Party candidate wasn’t available, I looked for another party (NOT Libertarian *shudder in horror*) or I left that section blank. I knew the Green Party or any alternative wouldn’t win because most Americans are two party-centric. That means they’ll vote for a Democrat or a Republican and ignore the rest.
While I knew the futility of voting for a third party, I hoped that enough people would think like me to send a message to the two powerful parties: Think of Americans first and turn your back on the greed.
Unfortunately, my protest must wait for another election because I am forced to choose a side and go to metaphorical war.
Since I abhor pure, unadulterated hatred I feel that the Republicans have embraced with the Tea Party crazies, I chose the Democrats as my champions.
There are two big reasons among many why I was disgusted with the Democrats. While their ideals echoed the ideals that I hold dear, they continually frustrated me because they didn’t fight for those values. In my opinion and the opinion of most lefties, the Democrat federal officials were content to let the Republicans make fools of them like an annoyingly bratty kid takes advantage of a tired, haggard parent.
Meanwhile, on a state level, I was used to gangster Democratic officials favoring a certain lakeside city while ignoring most of the state. I live in the part they ignore.
In 2008, that’s how I viewed then Senator Barack Obama. I didn’t vote for him since I didn’t think he had my values at heart. Furthermore, I thought that he made too many promises he couldn’t possibly uphold. Even I could see that some of the damage done – even though I was ignorant of the extent of the damage – couldn’t be fixed in a measly four years.
America took more than a decade to overcome the Great Depression. It took a global war to get us out of the depression. This time a war almost created another depression. Logically, recovery from a recession in the 21st Century would certainly take more than four years.
I feel that candidates seeking election should not make outlandish promises. In my opinion, any promise they make is outlandish since American government is a group effort. What they should promise is to do their hardest to convince their fellow elected officials that achieving a consensus on certain policies is beneficial for the American people.
Now Republicans are targeting specific inalienable rights of the American people. They are insidiously and systematically stripping the reproductive rights of women, stripping the voting rights of American minorities, and denying the rights of immigrant children who are American citizens in their hearts and souls.
During these attacks Democrats are fighting back. I am confident that they will hold the Republicans accountable for their mendacious madness. Democrats are incensed on behalf of their constituents to the point of protest. I find that they are setting aside their acquiescent superfluous mentality to grow a backbone and live up to their potential.
As I watched the Democratic National Convention and listened to the speeches, I heard them promise to fight. That was a promise that I could accept. As President Obama delivered an incredible speech, I heard him promise to do his best and not make the impossible promise to move mountains. For three days, I shed tears of fierce hope that the President and several Democrats would win the election, that they would triumph over an obsequious party that secretly embraces the worst in humanity in the guise of Christian and Catholic zealotry.
The Democrats that represent my state pioneered 20th Century bureaucratic double-dealing. Yet, in this election, I will welcome them as my friends because my reproductive and voting rights are still intact and they make me feel protected from the chaos of the Republican states.
In the 2012 Presidential election, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Last night was a disappointment to Democrats everywhere. For reasons beyond my understanding, there were Democrats who broke rank and voted for the odious Scott Walker. I won’t question their reasoning yet this might be a blessing in disguise.
No, I haven’t lost my marbles. Look at the strategy used by the massive grassroots campaign in Wisconsin. It was huge, energized, and organized. The media is saying that Walker’s financial edge over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) was nearly eight to one, thanks to far-right support from across the country and was the reason Walker won. That may or may not be the case.
Scott Walker didn’t win by a landslide no matter what Fox news insists. I consider a “landslide” to be if Barrett’s numbers were in the 30% range and Walker flying high in 60%. The actual 53% to 46% shows me that the hard efforts of Democratic grassroots organizers had an effect. Otherwise, those numbers would be drastically skewed.
Let these numbers sadden you. Take a week to wallow in crushing misery and thousands of pints of ice cream. Then pick yourself up, look at what the Wisconsin Democrats did for their “on the ground” campaign, and improve the plan. What happened in Wisconsin should be a buoy, a beacon of hope. This so called “crushing blow” should galvanize and further energize. Democrate candidates and volunteers should gear up for war, break out that war paint!
Democrats across the nation have been lax in these elections and their jobs. They think that Republicans have messed up to the point where the election is in the Democratic bag no matter how much money is spent. This should show Democrats that nothing is ever certain…that is, if they haven’t learned that lesson from the 2010 elections.
Congressional Democrats and our President should get angry and use that anger to discover a way to strong-arm the Republicans into listening, cooperating, and acting. They should make the Republicans work in the best intrest of the American people. There has to be some creative way of doing this.
Candidates should get off their butts, roll up their sleeves, and work off that ice cream binge by “getting their feet on the ground” and meeting their constituents face to face. Those who are Democratic voters should give to the campaign of their choices and they should get off their butts and vote Democrat!
I’m not saying that Democrat supporters should donate percentages of their paychecks to the candidates of their choices. If they can, they should set aside $1, $2, or $5. Maybe they can brown-bag their lunch for a while and use those savings to donate. How about curbing that weekly or monthly outing for a while and give your pleasure money to the candidate of your choice? (Pleasure money meaning movie, theater, water park, etc., and in some cases strip club.)
Why enjoy the pleasure outings now when no one will be enjoying them later? If Republicans are in control of the Federal Government, loads of middle class and working poor people will be taxed up to their eyeballs and they’ll be out of a job. This way, support your candidate with that pleasure money now and enjoy your pleasure outings later.
If donating isn’t an option, then volunteer to the local campaign. Those campaigns will likely need a lot of people walking around promoting their candidacy. If that isn’t possible, blog or get your voice out and be heard.
The laziness of Democrats and their voters must stop. It was that lax attitude that allowed the Republicans to grow insanely stronger…not just insane. Democrats must rise up and knock them back in their place…not just knock some sense back into them.
Republicans want this country to go back to the 1950s when conservatism ruled (albeit not to the extreme extent as the Republicans have become). The 21st Century is not a time for us to walk back, we should be walking forward and changing with the times. It is this resistance to change that is causing so many problems in the world. Respect the past and traditions, but celebrate the new and different.
The Republicans have painted themselves as the sympathetic villains, oddly compelling yet still evil. The Democrats are the reluctant heros. Unfortunately, this is not a movie and if the reluctant hero doesn’t fight hard, everyone loses.
To the people of Wisconsin that feel the oppression of Governor Scott Walker and his wealthy backers. I hope those who are able to vote in Wisconsin elections do so today. You are sending a precedent for the November election and future elections in America.
Please remember that Unions aren’t the Sci-Fi alien monsters that Republicans have labeled them. Unionized workers are not making loads of money hand over fist. They can’t afford gigantic two story houses with finished basements complete with a game room and stocked bar. That’s what Republicans want you to believe. That’s what corporations and billionaires who buy those Republicans want you to believe.
Jobs were not lost because of the Unions demanding unsurmountable wages from businesses. They were lost because corporations and their CEOs’ saw dollar signs, a way for them to pocket more money while cheating hard working middle class people out of their livelihoods. That’s why they shipped jobs overseas.
Union workers live like everyone else and they are paid less than they should. Teachers, firefighters, and police should be paid more than what they are getting. There should be more people employed in these professions. Instead they’re being fired due to lack of funding. Why is there a lack of funding? Because puppet Republicans such as Scott Walker are taking away funding in the guise of “balancing the budget” when it, in fact, goes to pay for lower taxes for the rich.
People of Wisconsin, show the Republicans, the Tea Party, the Koch brothers, and other greed driven individuals and organizations that our government cannot be bought by unimaginable spending. The citizens of America are in charge of the American government. Our Declaration of Independence was a statement of these beliefs and our Constitution was written to preserve them. This truly is a country “for the people by the people.” The President, Congress, Senate, and their State equivalent work for the American people and it is within the power of the American people to fire those who are not listening to our voice. It is the job of every American citizen to hold these people accountable for their actions.
Right now there are Republican politicians who want to play political games with our country and the lives of the ordinary people. This game is completely dangerous and can explode in their faces. If that happens, if the American people let it happen, everyone loses not just Republicans. When Wisconsin recalls their tyrannical Governor, they are being good citizens by doing their jobs and voting. Every vote counts in this election. Don’t think otherwise.
My heart, hope, and best wishes go toward the best outcome for your election…throwing out Scott Walker and welcoming Tom Barrett as your new Governor.
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