So Bernie Sanders came to Seattle and Portland this weekend. Progressives love him. I’d like to see him beat Hillary Clinton too, because he supports worker owned co-ops and supports climate activists doing direct action blockades to stop fossil fuel projects and is against free trade deals like the TPP and the one with Europe whatever it is called. Since third parties aren’t strong enough to compete in and win an election, Bernie Sanders as president would be the best thing for the U.S and the world at this moment in time. As progressive as he is on economic issues, social justice and climate change issues, he is by no means a “radical leftist”. It will be hard for him to pass some of his legislation through congress, even if the Democrats regain the House and Senate. There are too many corporate Democrats who take their orders from Wall Street, like Oregon’s Ron Wyden. I will refrain from calling them fascists, although that is what corporatism is. Corporatism and fascism are two words who mean the same thing. Saying the word corporatism is just today’s acceptable way of saying fascism. Anyways, I’m only 23 years old, so even if I wanted to be president, I’m 13 years away from being able to do so, so writing this was basically pointless, stupid, and a waste of time. None the less, I’m far to the left of Bernie Sanders, if there is such a thing as left and right. May I entertain you with what I would do as president of the U.S if I were president starting in 2017. Since Bernie’s main platform is tackling income inequality, I’ll start with my economic policy.
Sanders wants a national $15 minimum wage and a $1 trillion infrastructure spending bill. Both great ideas and much needed. By the time he would be sworn in though, $15 an hour won’t be high enough for the minimum wage. With the republicans and corporate democrats joining forces, the progressives in congress probably don’t have enough votes to pass that anyways. Same with the infrastructure bill. Hard to pass. That said, there is a way to get stuff done, but it’d be very anti-capitalist, anti-free market and at first you’d get a lot of heat for it but what the hell.
I would nationalize a lot of big industries and use their profits to raise wages and create other jobs. With millions of workers now government workers, I would raise their minimum wage to $24 an hour, which is where it’d be right now if it kept up with inflation and levels of worker productivity. Non minimum wage workers would have their wages raised too, staying on par also with inflation and worker productivity levels. Since all nationalized companies would have those raised wages, workers of market companies would want to leave and come work for nationalized companies, thus creating pressure on market companies to raise their wages if they want to keep their workers. Here are a few industries I would nationalize…
All fast food chains and retail stores like McDonalds, Burger King, Subway, Walmart, Costco, Target, JC Penny, Five Guys and the others would be nationalized. Their profits used specifically to raise their wages. Once the wages are raised, I would push the employees of each company to organize unions and save a little bit of each paycheck so that once they have the money to match their company’s value, I can sell it back to them as a worker owned co-op. The fast food chains would connect to form a fast food network of co-ops, and the retail stores would connect to form a retail network of co-ops. This way, even if the president after me returns to a free market agenda, the fast food and retail industry workers are safe because they are all worker owned co-ops serving the needs of their communities and making living wages rather than serving as puppets for corporate profits.
I would nationalize the fossil fuel industry and use their annual profits of $100 billion to build a national high speed rail network. Eight years of nationalization means $800 billion to build HSR. California’s system is costing $88 billion to build, so $800 should provide quite a bit of HSR for the country. Hopefully enough. This would create hundreds of thousands of jobs, if not millions. I’d be able to win a re-election campaign just by talking about all the jobs I’ve created. HSR would take a shit ton of cars off the road and eliminate a lot of short plane flights, helping to fight climate change and bring down airline costs at the same time. The HSR network would be a worker owned co-op once it is up and running. If completed by the time I leave office, HSR would greatly reduce U.S oil consumption, so if the next president takes office shortly after HSR starts running, he/she could denationalize the fossil fuel industry right as its market share collapses, killing the fracking, coal, tar sands, deep offshore drilling and arctic drilling and other types of expensive extraction projects. With HSR taking cars off the road and planes from the air, oil prices would never rebound. Also, nationalizing the fossil fuel industry means for eight years, there is no funding of climate change denial, and also no fossil fuel money for politicians, thus eliminating their primary reason for denying climate change.
I would also nationalize the automobile industry and have them build buses, light rail, streetcars, gondalas for hilly cities and other forms of public transit. Eight years of no car commercials would make car sales plummet. It would be plenty of time to build up a culture of taking public transit. After eight years, everyone would be so used to taking public transit and riding bikes that cars would be shamed upon. The next president could denationalize the auto industry and they start making cars again, but cars wouldn’t seem appealing to people anymore. Car culture would be close to dead and impossible to revive because cities would see the benefits of not having cars such as safer streets to cross, fewer bike accidents, less noise pollution. Freeways would be torn out to reconnect neighborhoods, thus making cities healthier and reducing crime. Although, if the auto workers wanted to keep making public transit after I leave office and saved up enough money to buy their companies back as worker owned co-ops, I would happily sell them back.
I would nationalize the pharmaceutical industry in order to bring down medical and drug costs. Nationalizing the pharmaceutical industry also eliminates their opposition to single payer healthcare, thus clearing the way for that to be adopted. Single payer is something Bernie campaigns for that I support.
I would nationalize the big banks and the Federal Reserve, and then break them up. I would nationalize the major media companies and then get all the newspaper and news agencies in every city to organize so that I can sell their media back as worker co-ops. By doing that, I break up the control that the mainstream media has on all the local news agencies nationwide. This allows more voices and ideas to be heard even when the next president likely denationalizes everything.
As for paid leave for every nationalized company, I would give everyone two weeks paid sick leave and one month paid vacation. For maternity leave, I’d give both the mom and dad one year paid maternity leave for the child’s first year. Six months paid maternity leave the child’s second year and three months paid leave the child’s third year. I would do this because the first three years of a child’s life are its most important for development, so both mom and dad should be there. It also creates upward pressure on non-nationalized companies to give more maternity leave time to their employees, otherwise they’d come flocking to work for a nationalized company.
JUSTICE & MENTAL HEALTH
In the long run over eight years, I would push black and non-white communities to develop alternatives to police for keeping their communities safe. In the short term, I would require every officer to wear a body camera that can’t be turned off. Every officer would have to have a college degree and an I.Q above 100. Every police force would have a citizen watch group in its station that reviews all body cam and citizen filmed footage in order to hold police accountable and to make sure they are truly serving and protecting the community. Each month, police forces would hold a town hall meeting in their community to let citizens come out to meet the officers that serve them, as well as provide feedback to the police on how they are doing and what they can do to improve. This way, the police are more a part of the community that they serve.
I would legalize all the drugs and tax them. Even heroine and meth and the other really bad drugs. What you do with your own body shouldn’t be a crime. Like Ron Paul once said, everyone wouldn’t start using heroine just because it’s legal. Legalizing all drugs means that police can focus on real crimes. It’d also greatly reduce the influence of the black market. Most importantly, it means the black community doesn’t unjustly lose its young people to jail and prisons for drug use. Nobody would ever have to get their lives ruined for drug use. Prisons and jails would be cleared out. Some would shut down. The taxes from legalizing all drugs would be used to build recovery centers. The money saved by not building prisons would be used to build more schools. I would also eliminate minimum sentences.
I would nationalize the gun industry and use their profits to build mental health facilities. By nationalizing the gun industry, I can enact strong gun control and background check measures. I would also prohibit the building and selling of military like guns.
As a bioregionalist, a Cascadian, and more importantly a human being, this goes without saying, but I would open the borders. Literally. I would tear down every foot of border fences. I would get rid of border customs and just have signs that say “Welcome to the USA”. There is no such thing as an illegal human being. If anything is illegal, it is the border of every nation state in this world. Nation states and their borders are artificial creations designed to separate humans and restrict their freedom of movement. Also, having border fences infringes upon the migration paths of many species and is a violation of their right to be free from human interference. On top of that, borders in general violate the right of indigenous people’s to move about freely on their own land.
The very first thing I would do as president would be to get all the world’s nuclear countries together, even North Korea, and get a nuclear disarmament deal that gets rid of every last nuclear weapon in the world while I am president. This would make the world a much safer place, eliminates the threat of nuclear war for good and prevents a Skynet like Judgement Day from ever happening if machines took over. As long as there are nuclear weapons, the world won’t have peace.
During my first four years, I would close down half of all overseas U.S military bases. My 2nd four years, I would shut down another half, thus overall 75% of all overseas U.S bases would be closed. Every base in a European country not bordering Russia would be closed as England, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Greece and other countries are more than capable of protecting themselves. Countries that oppress their own people would lose U.S military support, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Turkey, many African countries and some Southeast Asian countries.
As president, I would put the I back into FBI. The FBI stands for Federal Bureau of Investigation. Lately, it hasn’t been doing much investigating. In fact, the FBI has plotted more terrorist attacks than any other organization in the world. Thankfully, we always have the FBI to stop its own attacks. The FBI calls them sting operations, but journalist Glenn Greenwald calls them out on their bullshit. What the FBI does is find young vulnerable Muslims exposed to radical extremist sites and rather than using its resources to steer these young Muslims toward better lifestyles, the FBI comes up with a great terrorist attack idea and then has its agents pretend to be Muslim terrorists in order to persuade these young vulnerable Muslims into wanting to carry out an attack that they would otherwise never think of or consider on their own. Since these young Muslims don’t have any resources to do anything, the FBI agents actually provide all the resources to carry out the attack. The FBI agents plan the whole terrorist plot, even the day to carry it out, because that’s when the whole squad suddenly shows up and arrests the Muslim. Then the FBI releases a press statement saying they stopped a terrorist attack. These Muslims then spend most of the rest of their lives in prison all because the FBI loves to ruin lives of people who have never committed a crime or ever had the idea of committing a crime. As president, I would make the FBI stop doing this. Instead of entrapping young vulnerable Muslims, I would have the FBI provide housing, educational, health and job support to them so that they feel part of their communities and thus steered away from the appeal of extremist sites. I would also make the FBI stop infiltrating and spying on protest movements and activist groups. By putting the I back into FBI, I would make the FBI investigate and arrest the bankers responsible for the recession. I’d make them investigate human and sex trafficking. They’d investigate corruption. Most importantly though, the FBI would investigate and bring down paedosadists, also known as death eaters. It would bring down very powerful people, including some in the FBI, and very powerful industries, but I would make the FBI bring down every single death eater.
Also, the NSA is supposed to stand for National Security Agency, but right now it is the National Spying Agency. I would end mass surveillance and require the NSA to get a warrant every time. By fighting strong encryption standards and creating backdoor channels to spy on people and corporations, the NSA is actually weakens our security by leaving us vulnerable to getting our personal information hacked. I would put the Security back into National Security by making every company and every phone and every computer have the strongest encryption standards with no backdoor channels so that companies and people don’t get hacked.
I would make the CIA and the State Department stop overthrowing governments around the world that don’t bow to U.S corporate interests. The CIA’s only mission would be to gather intelligence, nothing more and nothing less. Central INTELLIGENCE Agency, get it? The State Department would have to establish true and honest diplomatic relations with every government and when issues of disagreement come up, meet them at half-way, rather than threaten the use of military power to subdue them to corporate interests. At the start of my presidency, every country has a clean fresh slate with my administration, so every country is a friend and ally until if and when they lose my trust.
This is related to economic policy but I saved it until here because it is primarily a military spending thing, but I would nationalize the arms/weapons industry and use that money to build a peaceful economy. Instead of bombs and fighter jets, companies like Boeing would build solar panels, schools and other things. I’d also use their money to pay the victims of our nuclear bomb testing a few decades back.
I wouldn’t sign or even negotiate free trade deals. If other countries were interested, I’d be more than happy to discuss putting together fair trade deals. However, I would wean the U.S off of globalization and steer us towards localization. I would openly support and encourage freedom movements such as Kurdistan, Scotland, Catalonia, the Zapatistas and others. I would officially recognize that all of the U.S is stolen indigenous land and give back as much of it as I legally can. I would recognize all indigenous rights and push for recognition of indigenous rights and their land rights all around the world. I would provide asylum for all whistleblowers and pardon the one’s the Obama administration has locked up, such as Chelsea Manning, Barrett Brown, Jeremy Hammond, Jeffrey Sterling, Julian Assange over in London, the Pay Pal guys, the NATO guys.. all of them would be pardoned. I wouldn’t go to war unless an attack is carried out or about to be carried out on the 50 states. I would end all of our current wars and end all the drone strikes. No country has attacked the U.S since Japan in World War II, so we have no reason to be fighting so many stupid wars overseas. I wouldn’t give foreign aid to countries that oppress their own people.
CLIMATE CHANGE: MITIGATION
I wouldn’t really set a goal of how much I plan to cut emissions by in my eight years, but I know we have to get our emissions down by 80% by 2030 and 100% by 2050 to avoid the worst of climate change, so my climate policies would be everything I know that can get us to those marks. I’m sure my culture of public transit and lots of HSR make a large dent in emissions. However, transportation isn’t the biggest source of greenhouse gases. That would be the animal agriculture industry, which is responsible for 51% of global greenhouse gases.
I would nationalize the animal agriculture industry and use their money to quickly speed up the growth of the three sustainable ways to grow food; agroforestry, aquaponics and permaculture. These methods of farming produce more food on less land using less water than conventional farming, and all produce healthy organic food. All three methods can be used to make cities self-sustaining if front yards, rooftops and parking lots are transformed into food growing areas. Only 3% of the U.S population are farmers, but if just 3% of each city became city farmers, it’d be enough farmers to grow all the food a city needs. In Seattle, 3% would mean we would have 18,000 farmers. I think that does the job. Every neighborhood would have its farmers that grow food in parking lots, flat rooftops and front yards. I would make it so that my first year, every city has to grow 1% of its own food. Year two, it’s 2%. Then 4% and then at the end of my first term, every city is growing 8% of its own food. My 2nd term, it goes up to 16%, then 32%, then 64% and by the time I leave office, every city is growing all of its own food, thus cutting U.S emissions in half by completely killing the animal agriculture industry.
Since all the farmland would be empty, I would give it all back to the indigenous so they can restore the natural ecosystems like oak savannahs, forests, grasslands, wetlands and what not. This would sequester a shit ton of carbon. It also lets the indigenous return to their traditional lifestyles and live with the land again. I would recognize their nations and their lands so that they are independent and no longer under U.S jurisdiction. They’d be free on their land. Ideally I would give back the entire U.S to the indigenous but as president you can’t do that because patriotism or treason or some other stupid shit they’d say. Anyways, lots of native species and endangered species would return to these lands and yea.
I would also give every household four free trees. Trees provide shade, which helps keep your house warm during the winter and warm during the summer, thus reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions. Giving four free trees to every household is actually a program Seattle did a few years ago but hardly anybody knew about it so it never caught on.
Block style apartments and buildings taller than three stories would have vegetation such as vine growing on their outside walls. This reduces a buildings heating and cooling energy consumption by 90%. It also sucks in carbon, so it greatly reduces and eliminates the urban heat island effect in cities, especially downtown areas. It also creates oxygen, which makes it easier to breathe. Cities notoriously have low levels of oxygen because of the lack of plants due to all the concrete.
Lastly, I would make every house have rainwater collection systems, so that aquifers, resevoirs, lakes and rivers aren’t sucked dry. If you collect and reuse your rainwater, you can actually be self-sustaining with the amount of rain that LA receives on average each year. Water wars would never become a thing, even with droughts. Dams would then be removed so rivers can move freely and allow fish to get upstream.
I would recognize that all living organisms have inalienable rights, thus all animals, trees, wetlands, rivers, lakes, grasslands and other such ecosystems and habitats would have personhood rights that include legal rights.
CLIMATE CHANGE: ADAPTATION
Even if the whole world cut its emissions to zero right now, the planet would keep warming up a little bit because of all our past emissions, unless somehow of course the U.S, Canada, Brazil, all of Europe and Southeast Asia regrew their forests, and we turned the Sahara and Arabian Deserts into forests. That would suck so much carbon out that it’d stop global warming dead in its tracks, if not cool the planet down slightly. That won’t happen though, so even with my drastic emissions reductions, even if I get the U.S to zero, we’d need to adapt a little. Obviously, the four trees for every house keeps everyone cooler during the hot summer months.
I would spend $10 billion to build 100 large dope-ass waterparks around the country at $100 million each. You can build a good waterpark for like $25 million, so basically a $100 million waterpark is huge and kick-ass and yea. 100 of those, an average of two for each state. This way, everyone gets to be outside and still remain cool. Also provides tens of thousands maybe a few hundred thousand summer time jobs for college kids. I’d also spend $10 billion building 10 indoor ski-resorts at $1 billion each. Washington, Oregon, California, Utah and Colorado would each get two indoor ski resorts since they will be losing their ski resorts to warmer winters. This way, skiing and snowboarding doesn’t die because of global warming.
I don’t neeeeed to do this, but since I seriously do not think arm wrestling or guys lifting weights at the CrossFit Games should be on ESPN even during the slow summer months for sports, I would create an NFL like rugby league so people can have a real sport to enjoy. I would also create a national dodgeball association that has its final tournament each year in Las Vegas televised on ESPN 8 The Ocho. I’d also create or push for more TV exposure for pro lacross and softball leagues. Maybe I’d also try to create a national pro kickball league. Anything would be better than having arm wrestling on ESPN.
During my first term, I’d get the media companies to open up the presidential debates to 3rd and 4th parties if they are on enough state ballots. I’d also push the media companies to sign like 20 year contracts for televising the primary debates of key third parties. If FOX does the republicans and MSNBC does the democrats, surely CNN can do the green party while CBS or NBC does the libertarian party or whatever other alternative parties are doing well. This way, even when I leave office, the elections continue to be democratic and money doesn’t have the power it does and the two party system stays away for a while. I would get the Supreme Court to overturn Citizens United and all other court decisions in U.S history that have recognized corporations as people. I would ban corporations from political spending, create a 50 mile no lobbyist zone around every state capital and mandate a four year no lobbying period following leaving office to reduce the influence and power of fascists in government. I would make everyone automatically registered to vote once they turn 18.
So yea, by the time I leave office, millions of people would be out of poverty with all the jobs I’ve created. The middle class would be stronger and bigger than ever with worker owned co-ops everywhere. Pollution would be way down, habitats restored. Cities are healthier. Animal agriculture is dead. Fossil fuel industry would be close to dead. The world would be safer. The media is back in the hands of the local communities. Everybody would have healthcare. No matter what the next president does, the country would be better off than it has ever been. To try to reverse what I did or go back to a corporate market economy with cars and borders and wars would be political suicide for a candidate.
Anyways, I’m only 23, so writing this was just a waste of time because even if I actually wanted to be president, I’d have 13 years to wait. I would never get elected though because this is all like a million miles to the left of Bernie Sanders’s platform, and he’s sometimes considered a radical leftist, even though he isn’t, so I’d have no chance of getting elected with my ideas. They would all work though, my ideas. The only way I could even have a chance would be running as a Democrat and run a Bernie Sanders like grassroots campaign, because no rich donor would ever support my ideas. I’d prefer to run as a Green, but I’d just be playing spoiler. I would be the target of a shit ton of negative political ads for my “radical” ideas, so unlike Bernie, I would throw dirt back. This will all never happen though, so I should just stop dreaming even though I know how to fix the world.
I’ll keep paying attention to Bernie Sanders though, because he’s the least bad candidate that has a realistic chance to become president. Sorry Jill Stein, but I’ll vote for you if Hillary beats Bernie. I’m not going to invest any emotional energy into supporting Bernie Sanders, but I’ll cross my fingers and hope he beats Hillary and then the republican.
Anyways, since nothing I say matters in the world, spending a day making notes for this, and spending three full days writing this and two days typing it was just a useless waste of time. Oh well. Maybe by writing a lot this summer, even if it’s just stupid dreams of mine, will help throughout the rest of college by building me confidence in my own writing, since I’ll probably have a shit ton of writing to do when I finally reach U of O.
Soooooooooooo…. Yeeeeeea… what should I write about next? My guy friends want me to write about all the crazy funny idiotic ways we would run my campaign to actually make people want to vote for me, but it’d just be more writing about something that’ll never happen so yea.. I could write about our other crazy fantasy of coaching the Kansas Jayhawks football team. Or I could write about love, but I’d prefer not to because that scares me. I have like two months left of summer, so give me ideas.. what should I write about? Writing kinda helps distract me from my voices when I’m by myself.