We the People or What is a Progressive

(This article was originally published on realprogressivesusa.com)

The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

We all are familiar with the opening three words of the US Constitution, “We the People”.  It is from the preamble, written to introduce the purpose of the Constitution. The body of the Constitution describes the structure of the government.  These are two discrete functions and all too often, the Supreme Court neglects to examine if a law that qualifies as Constitutional when it adheres to the structural description also satisfies the purpose.  In fact, the preamble has never been applied by the Supreme Court in any ruling, and has been mentioned very infrequently.  Reading it, the intention of the preamble is pretty clear, it is America’s mission statement.  It stands separate from the details of the Constitution and establishes a set of standards for the United States.  For example, the Patriot Act passed after 9/11 obviously provides for the common defense (sic), but it does not secure Liberty.  Is that direct violation of the preamble instructions enough to declare the law unconstitutional?

There is a majority on the Supreme Court who claim to be Originalists.  Their guideline for determining if a law is Constitutional is grounded in establishing what the framers meant when they wrote whatever clause or clauses gave Congress the authority to pass the law.  The preamble makes it apparent that the founders were well aware that conditions would change over time. It is rather unlikely they believed why they wrote each clause would determine future Supreme Court decisions.  The very words they chose to place immediately after “We the people”nullifies the idea that the document is intended to remain static, and closed to interpretation to fit the times.

“In Order to form a more perfect Union”. Go, ahead, back up your eyes and read it again.  Prior to the US Constitution, the 13 colonies formed a Confederation in 1777, under a document called The Articles of Confederation.  After the Revolution, there was unrest across the country due to shortcomings in the Article’s design.  The central government was extremely weak, with the power to mint coins, but not to tax.  US currency effectively remained worthless and all business transactions used local currencies issued by the states and banks.  In the North there were local militias taking up arms against the individual states and the central government.  In the South, slaves were escaping in the desire to reach a state that had little or no slavery.  James Madison called for a convention in order to revise the Articles.  They met in 1787 in Philadelphia. Instead of fixing what was broken, they created the present Constitution.  The only reference to the document they intended to make better and ended up replacing was referenced as a “perfect union”.  The wording was used to sell the Constitution.  Even though the Articles were “perfect”, the new Constitution would be “more perfect”.  A deliberate choice of an impossible phrase, but heavy with meaning.

Under the Articles of Confederation, the self-declared independent colonies fought a war against the most powerful military in the world; they also made a treaty with France to improve their chances of victory. And, they won the war under the Articles and signed a peace treaty with England.  There was justification in saying The Articles operated perfectly.  But as a peacetime independent nation, it’s weaknesses became evident.  Unpaid debts or debt paid in worthless money, escaped slaves, the Whiskey Rebellion and finally just prior to the convention Shay’s Rebellion, made it evident that the country was in chaos. More perfection was the necessary cure.

The framers who met in Convention faced the reality that what was perfect only 10 years prior was no longer perfect.  With that realization, not only did they recognize that over time circumstances change, but they also made certain to embed change into the new Constitution.  They wrote in three ways to amend the Constitution. That fact alone is a recognition that meanings and usefulness change over time.  Further proof of this recognition is that in the first 20 years after the first 10 amendments were passed – itself a recognition that the more perfect document itself, could be made more perfect – there were multiple changes made to Presidential elections and how Senators are chosen.  On the difficult issue of slavery, the framers inserted an end to the slave trade into the Constitution.  An indication that they recognized that slavery was not going to remain forever.

The people that sat and sweated during the summer of 1787 recognized that circumstances would change.  The Originalists on our current Supreme Court do not recognize the lesson, pointed out by the framers themselves in the preamble, that as circumstances change so does the purpose of individual clauses in the Constitution.  To account for change they created the preamble as the standard by which laws are made and judged.  Instead of attempting to divine what the framers meant back when the US was predominately an agricultural nation. Or before communications even indicated the possibility of happening instantaneously worldwide, before medicine had fully elevated itself from the belief that all disease was carried in the blood and sickness could be cured by bloodletting, and before anyone dreamed that a single weapon could wipe out dozens of lives in a mere moment.  If Originalists follow the declared intentions of the framers provided in the preamble, they would recognize that their responsibility is to continually make the union more perfect. They would make certain that there is justice for all, and people should expect to have a comfortable life with little to fear.  America should strive to be a nation safe from any enemies but also provide that the welfare of all be assured. Lastly, the US should do nothing that would jeopardize Liberty in the United States for Posterity.  So, when anyone asks “what is a Progressive”? – Tell them it is the preamble to the US Constitution.

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Had Enough Yet?

The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Clause 1 – A well regulated militia

This clause introduces the right for the existence of well regulated militias. It be hard to argue against the words “well regulated” means anything other than subject to laws and regulations. It clearly also means that militias that are formed outside of the laws and regulations created for militias are not covered by this amendment.

Clause 2 – being necessary to the security of a free state

This clarifies who is responsible for creating the militia and why. The states will create these militias, not the federal government. The reason was to allow states to keep their citizens safe. The underlying reason for that was that post revolutionary America was in turmoil, with numerous rebellions popping up all across the country. The Articles of Confederation did not provide for state militias, and so the federal government was responsible for putting down the rebellions. Additionally, in the chaos many slaves in the South were escaping to the North. A state level militia would allow states to enforce their slavery laws.

Clause 3 – the right of the people to keep and bear arms

Here we have the first clause of this amendment that provides the right to own and carry weapons. If it had been stated first then it would not subject to the limitations in the first two clauses. The people here are members of the citizen’s militia, regulated by the state to secure the safety of their fellow citizens.

Clause 4 – shall not be infringed

The kicker, the clause most used to emphasize that the government is powerless to regulate the ownership of weapons. But, by looking at the entire amendment, which is one sentence consisting of four clauses, each clarifying the previous clause. But what the entire sentence means is that State regulated militias manned by citizen/soldiers shall be allowed to carry weapons, and the federal government cannot outlaw state regulated militias.

Its time for the US to move into the 21st century and restrict with sensible legislation that reduces the number of guns owned. If you participated in the orgy of thoughts and prayers for the kids and teachers who died the other day, then remember that your prayers are only as good as your actions. If you don’t act, then your prayers are not answered.

In Order to form a more perfect Union

As we can tell by the terrible choices that President Trump has made even just recently, it is obvious just how little he understands economics, business, social norms, international diplomacy, and anything else that has to do with being a chief executive of any organization. The question must be asked, should he be fired? And that begs the question, would Hillary Clinton have done better?

If your metric is can she perform the duties of the President of the United States without exposing her own incompetence at nearly all the same measurements that Trump has exposed? The answer is yes, of course. For many that is sufficient. And she most certainly has an understanding of social norms, there would not be any 5 am rambling nonsensical tweets to entertain and frighten us. Hillary Clinton is much too disciplined and calculating for that. Again, for many that is sufficient. And after close to a year, can we say that Donald Trump’s presidency has failed at moving the country to a more egalitarian and productive society? Absolutely. And if Hillary Clinton had won, is there any chance she would have succeeded with those goals? Legislatively, not a prayer of any success. We have already seen how the Republicans react to a mostly moderate black man’s agenda, is there any evidence that a woman would be treated any better? None.

In the international arena, her past history as Secretary of State gives us a glimpse into how she would run international policy. Simply put, her policy would align a lot closer to the McCain / Graham view than Trump’s. Of course, Trump runs US foreign policy almost exactly like Rufus T Firefly ran Freedonia’s foreign policy; no comfort there. Economic policy which is a large piece of what happens in a country includes fiscal policy, tax policy, government management of how the economy operates including the government funding of education, health care, retirement, banking, infrastructure development, anti-trust enforcement, environmental issues, public spaces, and many more. Clinton would have made appointments to head the agencies that manage all these areas that are much more appropriate than the appointments made by Trump. There are two caveats to this observation, Clinton would not get the best people available to head these agencies due to inevitable Republican obstructionism, and her favored appointments would all, to a person, represent neo-liberal economic policy. In other words the same policy initiated under Reagan, slightly made more compassionate under Bill Clinton so that Democrats could adopt it and so on. The history of neo-liberal economics is a slide that over it’s nearly 40 year lifespan has expanded the wealth of large corporations, very rich individuals, and created ever wider income inequality. Clinton, during her campaign never disavowed her allegiance to the continuation of neo-liberal economics. Trump, is most certainly worse. His appointments are almost entirely unqualified for their positions, often they are the antithesis of the selection that should be made. Trump too, has not disavowed an allegiance to neo-liberal economics. In continuing a failed economic explanation and putting incompetent persons in charge, he has exposed the weaknesses of the policy, himself, and Republicans.

If you have read along this far, then permit me to point out the reasons I did not vote for Clinton (or Trump for that matter) since all the items I listed above were essentially expected before the election. I feel this is important because as I have listed Clinton would have been a better President based on optics. But not based on the impact of her policy choices, except of course, in the area of understanding social norms and utilizing rhetoric considered appropriate for a President. In order to reverse the decline of American shared wealth I cannot abide a President that will not run on a platform that continues the neo-liberal economy and also supports the neo-con international agenda. No matter who, no matter what the optics, it is a continuous slide downhill with history’s dustbin at the bottom of the slide.

Here are a few things the Democrats have done since Trump’s election that convinces me even more that unconsciously America made the only choice it had available to save itself from the dustbin.

Once Trump was elected the Democrats called themselves “The Resistance” implying that the party and it’s followers would actively do anything legally allowed to prevent Trump (and by extension, the Republicans) from implementing their agenda. Recall, it was the Democrats that ran all of their campaigns as a plebiscite on Trump and the Republicans, essentially in place of advocating any full throated policy, and never addressing the concerns of a large portion of their presumed base – Progressives.

The Democrats in their role as “The Resistance” rolled over and allowed Trump to put in place people clearly not qualified for their job. The Democrats allowed Trump and the Republicans to expand military spending after publicly stating how much they distrusted Trump’s foreign policy. The Democrats failed to back candidates that ran against Republicans in special elections that would not swear allegiance to neo-liberal economics. Democrats stood mute and voted no on a bill for tax reform that was not ready for a vote. It had hand scribbled notes on the margins, there was not enough time for anyone to read the bill before deciding their vote, voting no instead of abstain was capitulation and allowed Republicans to claim victory while demeaning the tradition of deliberation and debate on critical policy. Democratic leadership has stated that impeachment is currently off the table, a statement a Congressperson should never utter. Impeachment is a tool that the founders gave to Congress so that a President cannot overstep his bounds or prove incapable of performing the job of president, as defined solely by Congress. After the election, Democrats chose not to challenge vote totals in very close states. Utter capitulation. There is no resistance from the establishment Democrats, and there is no sign that any is forthcoming.

I could go further and discuss how Democrats took Progressive voters for granted. Instead I will wrap up this rant.

What we have now is a President who is supporting idiotic international agendas and a few sane ones too. His economic agenda is everything the Republicans have dreamed about, since daddy Bush’s lips were found to be lying lips. But the Republicans have been clamoring for these policies, insisting it will jump start our economy, and Trump insisted he alone could shut down our enemies (real or perceived). I guess we will find out about the economic policy. It is obvious that the Democrats half assed economic policy was not doing anything for us, let’s see what Republican economic policy does. Sliding down into a dustbin at a slower speed is not going to help anyone.

This is democracy. A flawed system on its best days. On its worst days, all the parts fail and we end up with candidates unworthy of representing us. The election of 2016 was possibly the worst day in American history, but it did not happen without cause. Both candidates for president and nearly most candidates for office across the country were the result of years of political malfeasance and willful neglect of two of the Constitution’s guiding principles as stated in the preamble. To provide for the General Welfare and to create a more perfect Union. When only the admonition followed is to provide for safety and ignore all the other is to force all of us into fearing for our safety, worried about our own welfare, and ready to rip up the very document that asks us to strive for perfection – a plea to keep making improvements from our founders who knew their document was anything but perfect.

Thomas Jefferson famously wrote that “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” We have an opportunity to refresh the tree with metaphorical blood, and that can only happen if we stop allowing establishment politics, Democrats and Republicans, to define the limits of our choices. Part of the American experiment has failed. I contend that failure is attributable to our two party “system” and we should dismantle it, impeach Trump on grounds of incompetence and force other politicians to resign that are not capable of doing their job according to the Constitution’s “Mission Statement”.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”

Keep Political Parties Away from our Elections

The evidence proves that Political Parties running elections is bad for Democracy.

Ideas for election reform have been flowing across my facebook screens nearly daily for the last month. Many of the ideas individually have a lot of merit, but there are some that are downright dangerous. The most common ideas are ranked choice voting, eliminating gerrymandering, open primaries, making election day a holiday, even more early voting, vote by mail, automatic voter registration, and mandating paper ballots. I am sure there are others that I missed listing and others that I have not heard about.

Why is election reform such a hot topic all of a sudden? A major driver was the recent election for president that did not turn out in any way how the experts all expected it would.  Their malfeasance has turned into a state of shock all across America. So the next question is, what went wrong that never went wrong before. As far as I can tell, nothing went wrong that hasn’t gone wrong before. That means that the problems that need fixing haven’t changed. Why all the fuss now? My thesis is that nobody wants to admit that anything was going wrong before. Especially the pundit class, that group of people who sit around tables that are near TV cameras and pontificate just as I am doing now, except my laptop camera is turned off and I don’t get paid. Also the pundit class keeps getting to talk into cameras and say stuff and two weeks later when they are all wrong, the same group gets brought back in front of the cameras and are asked to pontificate some more. Instead of looking back and asking what are we missing, they pretend that the real problems with our entire election are not consequential, and as the cognitive dissonance distance between what is broken and what the pundit class bases their predictions increases, the less reliable the predictions are, and the less the public believes them.

A reliable election process is where the best candidates are selected and those candidates should represent as much of the spectrum of ideas as possible. It also depends on all the votes being counted, and anytime the count is in doubt, a recount should be expected as a matter of course. Enforcement of election procedures along with the same level of audits used to validate that a bank is responsibly and honestly counting all the money individuals have handed to them for safe keeping is the minimum we should expect if protecting democracy is a true government objective. Are any of those standards happening in our election system? I don’t think so at all. In fact until we implement procedures to assure we have a process that brings forth candidates that advocate a broad spectrum of ideas, and elections whose results are trusted by the electorate, then any changes that do not directly address those problems will remain small band-aid patches on a deep wound. And if that is all we implement, then the band-aid will fall off and the wound will open even wider.

In order to bring forth multiple candidates with differing philosophies the two-party system has to be relegated to back of the line. It was obvious to the Founding Fathers that as odious as political parties are, they will form nonetheless. That should be accepted but in no way be legislated as a requirement for candidacy nor should parties be outlawed. People will do what they always do and form cliques, it is government’s role to make sure that parties do not make the rules.  Right now, our election system is so locked down as Democrat vs. Republican that around 98% of all elected officials in the US are members of one of those parties. That only two candidates are considered viable in at least 98% of our elections means that other ideas are literally stifled. Actual discussion is diminished and the voter finds nobody that truly represents their personal point of view, resulting in lower voter turnout. Counting ballots must take place on paper, but technology should not be eliminated. While scanner software is easy to manipulate, there is no reason that programming the machines cannot be done using open software, data entered (such as candidates names and their related printed information that appears on the ballot) should be in plain language. The program code should be written in an interpretative language so that any literate individual can read and understand how the program tabulates the votes .  Audits of at least 10% of the polling places must be mandatory and the audits must be a hand count of the scanned paper ballots.

There are two more critical issues that must be addressed since their impact on elections is profound. First, a law must be passed overturning the Supreme Court decision to release certain states and other jurisdictions from Justice Department oversight of changes to their election laws. It became obvious within days that the court had made a mistake since one state after another passed voter restriction laws as soon as the oversight was removed. Along with that, the law should provide tools for any polling places that are insufficiently supplied with voting machines or ballots to have those ballots printed at any nearby printing facility via a temporary eminent domain authority.

The second critical point is to remove any political party restrictions for Primary elections. This has become a frequent point made by many, but most do not go far enough since they only require that anyone can pick which party’s ballot they want. But consistent with my earlier point that parties must be relegated to the back of the line, each person showing up to vote in a Primary gets only 1 ballot with all the candidates on it. This becomes more critical when there is more than one office on the ballot. A person can then vote for the person they want in the primary no matter what parties their choice of candidates aligns with.

Incompetence and Misleading the Public is a High Crime

After years of observing President Trump demonstrate an ineptness that astounds even fans of the 1962 New York Mets, I have determined that for the benefit of the nation, the world, and to allow Melania Trump to return to the relative safety of the nearest Women’s shelter that she can buy; Donald J. Trump must be impeached.  His impeachment cannot be for his shady business dealings with Russia or any of the other rather unsavory business types he has done business with over the decades.  When he was elected, his past connections was fairly well known.  An astute, diligent press could and should have been able to report on all that, but then there would not have been any ink left or air time available for writing about and covering his wonderfully, enlightening tweets.  We certainly cannot impeach him for collusion with the Russians for affecting his election, mainly because.  OK because it didn’t happen and even if it did there is the slight (sic) problem that both Democrats and Republicans committed much more election tampering than the Russians could have.  See Post

 

How about impeaching Trump for the recent implied allegation by former FBI Director Comey of Obstruction of Justice? Good, but it still has that Russian stink to it and for the sake of world peace, we need to avoid any impeachment that revolves around Russia.  Any issues with Trump’s staffers, or even Vice President Pence, regarding Russia; we can resolve after we impeach The Donald. No, not Russia, not even the alleged Prostitutes in Russia will have the lasting positive impact that an impeachment trial on the grounds of incompetence will have. But only if the trial takes place and found guilty.  Trump cannot be allowed to resign, and then be pardoned. The trial must happen.  Sure, I know, it would be a bend over backwards by Congress to write up the impeachment articles but they are all experts at bullshit. I am certain they can wordsmith incompetence into legalese so that it can be described as a high crime or even a misdemeanor.

 

Just for starters here is some of the examples of The Donald’s challenge to the ’62 Mets.  He has a majority in both Houses, he claimed he had the best health care plan to replace the ACA.  He has failed, not for a lack of trying; but instead his attempts have been miserable failures.  This failure to deliver anything that resembles his campaign pledges is clearly evidence that he either ran his campaign based on total fabrications of what he intended to do once he won, or just did not care. He has admitted openly that he had adopted phrases on the campaign trail that implied policy, but were only included because the phrase elicited a positive reaction from his supporters. On the few occasions that he has actually tried to implement policy that aligns with his campaign either the Courts or his own party has thwarted him. The Courts, due to unconstitutional policy, the Republican Party leadership due to political constraints. In both cases, a competent President would have made adjustments to his proposals so that they could, in some manner be implemented.

 

Perhaps you are reading this article and are thinking that all politicians make claims and policy proposals on the campaign trail that they do not keep. Why impeach Trump?  That is very simple, because we can. Because running for president in the manner that happens today was not foreseen by the founders. Because, by running a campaign built on promises made to the electorate and then abandoned once elected most certainly in a functional democracy be considered and impeachable offense and a high crime. Because, not having the skill set required to execute the duties of any job, let alone presiding over a nation of over 300 Million people, should not be allowed to continue performing that job. Being incompetent and should the Congress awaken and do their diligence to remove Donald J. Trump via impeachment, American Presidential candidates will be restrained in making promises they are unable or unwilling to keep. Congress will also reestablish their Constitutional role of being a check on the President. But only if Trump is impeached for incompetence. His most glaring defect as President. Even his most ardent supporters are starting to realize that.

Deep State – sounds ominous

BRADFROMSALEM

The deep state is in revolt! The deep state is controlling everything. Elections don’t matter, even the President is vulnerable to the deep state. Deep State. DEEP STATE. DEEP STATE. At what point did you get scared? No, Perhaps two more iterations. DEEP STATE. DEEP STATE.

I give up, if you are not terrified by now, then perhaps you are familiar with what makes up the deep state.

Contrary to much of the fear whistles being blown about our friends working for the deep state, by and large they are people just like you and me. II bet the majority of people do, and many of those people are the dreaded DEEP STATE. Whoops, I mean deep state. Especially if they have any sort of decision authority. Yes your next door neighbor that manages the local Agriculture Department office is part of that deep state that operates inside the grey and beige corridors of Federal office buildings, immune to elections, Presidential authority and the will of the people making decisions about the lives of everyday Americans. And while her garden is lovely, her kids pretty normal, and she even invites you to her cookout every summer, will you ever look at her the same?

Of course you will, and you should. She is just an everyday American working a job, but with a special added responsibility. She has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution and defend America from enemies foreign AND domestic. That’s right, the lady next door that runs a small office for the Agriculture Department has taken an oath that actually allows her to interpret the Constitution of the United States! Is that as friggin’ democratic as you can get? The fears that you hear about the deep state acting on their own to stall or even block Mr. Trump’s agenda is part of the design that created the Civil Service which is a large portion of the deep state. So while most of the deep state consists of average Americans doing the best they can at jobs that are mostly thankless and often reviled, there is also the deep state permanent government employees such as the CIA, the FBI and the other 15 spy agencies not to mention other parts of the Defense Department, State Department, and Treasury Department. These people include many, many people with as wide a range of viewpoints as you will find in any other large enterprise. The deep state is not a group of people with similar outlooks and agendas. And many of the ones in the agencies I noted can and do have an impact on serious and dangerous and controversial issues affecting everyone in the nation and potentially the entire world. But, there is one thing they all have in common with our neighbor who runs a small office for the Agriculture Department; they have all taken that same oath to uphold the Constitution. Even the ones with guns. Sure many will abuse their power, but if a large number perceive that the President of the United States is a threat to the security of the United States isn’t their first responsibility to protect the nation against such a domestic threat. And, if the method chosen is to leak information to the press about activities that shows evidence of incompetence are they not fulfilling their oath?

What are they supposed to do? Sit quietly while someone that up close may be demonstrably incapable of handling all aspects of such a critical job. They cannot go up the chain because the top of the administrative chain is the danger. It’s not as if big huge government secrets are being revealed. The worst was that it was leaked that Flynn spoke to the Russian ambassador. It happens every time a new guy takes over as President, and it ain’t even illegal. So far, the deep state is doing their job, fulfilling the oath that each and every one took. This is how our democratic government is supposed to work. Certainly, there is opportunity for abuse, but we have laws against that and the elected state is not afraid to use those laws against the deep state, just ask Edward Snowden.

Progressive Policy Defined

BRADFROMSALEM

The components of a Progressive policy is unclear. How is it different from Liberal policy, or is it just an alternative name? It is both. Progressive policy is long term policy, while Liberal are the immediate policy. Progressive is larger in scope and is less forgiving of compromising on principles. Liberal is practical, Progressive is aspirational.

I have defined Progressive as being the sum of 3 non negotiable components. In order for a public policy to be Progressive it must be morally based, compatible with the principles of Democratic Socialism, and finally must seek out peaceful solutions as a primary objective.

Public policy in the US is any law legally enacted, Executive Order issued, or regulation published. For any policy to be considered morally based it must adhere to what is often called by Christians the Golden Rule; “Do unto others as you would have done unto you”. This is but one version of the Golden Rule which is a consistent teaching of all religions and other moral structures. A policy is moral when it applies to all equally and any that are affected would apply the same benefits to their fellows and those that are not affected would want the policy to apply to themselves.

When a policy is morally based it already contains a critical component of a true Democratic Socialist society. Democratic Socialism is already consistent with the US Constitution in the clauses regarding eminent domain, the postal services, and interstate commerce; as well as the preamble’s commitment to “the general welfare”. Democratic Socialism also does not prohibit Free Enterprise or fair and open elections. Any policy that restricts government’s ability to act for the general welfare, restrict Free Enterprise, prevent or hinder fair and open elections, are not Progressive policies. To clarify, Free Enterprise differs from Free Markets by some critical criteria, which is that Free Enterprise promotes open markets for competition of any business that does not impinge on the General Welfare. Free Markets on the other hand promotes less regulation over the markets and prefers the market to provide all services even those that affect the General Welfare. Free Market capitalism is not compatible with Democratic Socialism, Free Enterprise as I have defined it is compatible.

Lastly, seeking peaceful solutions is worthy not only in international relations but also with domestic problems as well. Internationally, entering into discussions over differences with the stated and demonstrated intention of a peaceful resolution makes a solution much more likely. A show of force by the US is totally unnecessary, the world is well aware of America’s firepower, there is no need to flaunt it. Domestically, the threat of prison and other harsh punishments that do not fit the crime are not only immoral (see above) but pits citizen’s against each other and diverts precious resources of people, land, and facilities from being into uses that enrich the entire country.

Progressive Policy = Moral + Democratic Socialism + Peace

Within that short formula is not a rigid one size fits all, but instead a means of determining where compromise can be made, and a wide range of viable positive policies can be derived.