Monday, December 24, 2007

What am I Looking For in a Presidential Candidate?

A few days ago I sat down and wrote out what I want out of a Presidential candidate- where I stand on the issues I care about most, and where I want the President to stand. Here's the list:


Out now, out completely. No war in Iran. Terrorism to be treated as a crime, not an act of war. War on Terror to be stood down. Military to be rebuilt.


Dismantling of the imperial Presidency. No domestic spying. Transparency in government. Right of Congress to oversee the executive branch upheld.


No individual mandates. Tort reform to take punishment out of the civil courts and relieve good doctors from the fear of malpractice suits. Focus on making healthcare cheaper and more affordable and reducing dependence on insurance corporations.


STOP BORROWING MONEY NOW; pay down national debt. No new general-revenue taxes. Fair Tax, or failing that flatter income tax. Failing the Fair Tax, higher corporate and capital gains income taxes- should be the same as the individual income tax, income is income is income. Cuts in spending, particularly on foreign aid, corporate welfare, industrial and agricultural subsidies, and failed social engineering programs (inc. Federal Department of Education) to lower net taxation.


Freedom of speech. Rigid separation of church and state. End Guantanamo, renditions, “black sites,” warrantless searches, tribunals. Restore habeas corpus.


Impeach Bush, or try him for war crimes after he leaves office. Ditto Cheney and as many of their close Cabinet as possible.


Liberalization of immigration restrictions. Path to citizenship. Absolutely no concentration camps, stormtrooper roundups, or shoot-to-kill border enforcement.


End NAFTA, GATT, WTO; replace with more fair trade negotiations. Tariffs on China.


Nuclear. Hydrogen and electric fuel-cell vehicles. Reductions on restrictions on fuel refinery construction. Abandon subsidy of corn-based ethanol, end mandate to use same in vehicles. Increase gas taxes to adjust for inflation since last rate change; use increased revenue for exploration of alternative energy sources, feasible public transportation, and getting old polluting/gas-guzzling cars off the road and replaced with more efficient vehicles.


Focus should be on improving efficiency and making it feasible for the common man to reduce energy use. Plan to actively filter athmosphere and sequester carbon to reduce greenhouse gases. End seizure of property for parkland, restrictions on land use without compensation.


End punitive damages; punishment should be an issue for criminal court, not a means of making a handful of lawyers immensely rich. Loser-pays system. Stronger punishment for frivolous suits. Restrictions on the ability of lawyers to go drumming up business.


I will not vote for any candidate who supports any of the following:
• Gun control.
• Supports indefinite war in Iraq.
• Voted for Military Commissions Act of 2006.
• Voted to declare Iranian Republican Guard a terrorist group.
• Statements supporting theocracy.
• Supports draft or universal mandatory public service.

I'll go through the candidates one at a time, beginning with Ron Paul and following with the other Republicans, then moving on to the Democrats, making posts to compare their positions to mine. That'll begin after Christmas, of course.

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