Want to join the unicorn party?
by Kelvin Wade
I’m sick of overreaching, intransigent Republicans and weak-kneed, spineless Democrats. It’s why I’m an independent. Now, of course, independents don’t really exist. The overwhelmingly majority of people lean to a party. I lean Democratic because I used to be a Democrat. But I haven’t been in the party for eleven years.
The first presidential vote I ever cast was in 1984 when I was one of eight people who voted for Walter Mondale.
In the spring of 1992, I backed Ross Perot. He made sense to me. He didn’t get involved in social issues and wanted to balance the budget. He even had the guts to call for a gas tax. He spoke to me (until I found out that his crazy aunt in the attic was speaking to him or whatever happened to him). His subsequent nuttiness lost me.
After supporting Bill Clinton in the 90’s, I grew disillusioned with the Democratic Party. Clinton brought the Democrats a muscular new persona but weak-kneed Dems didn’t take the ball and run with it. I became an independent and voted for John McCain in the primary in 2000.
The thing that bothers me about the Democratic Party (other than their spinelessness) is that, like the Republican Party, they’re corporatists. They’re part of the oligarchy that runs this country. No matter if a President is a Republican or Democrat, they have a revolving door policy with Wall Street. They not only collect their money from Wall Street, they get their marching orders from them.
I want a party that’s not beholden to Wall Street or corporate interests. I want a government that represents the people who sent them to Washington. I might as well say I want a unicorn.
I couldn’t be a Republican, though. They’ve been playing footsies with bigots since the Civil Rights Act of 1965. As Bill Maher says, I’m not saying all Republicans are racists but if you’re a racist, you’re probably a Republican. Plus, they don’t even ask for minority votes. If you don’t even ask for my vote, you’re sure as hell not getting it.
Their anti-tax stance means they’re not serious about governing. I admired the fact that traditional Republicans were for low taxes. I believe in low income taxes for the middle class because I believe the middle class is the true engine of the economy. But now they’re for no taxes. That’s asinine.
I want a party that believes in a strong, smart defense. We don’t need U.S. troops in over 120 countries like we have right now all up in everyone’s Kool-Aid. But we do need highly trained, motivated, troops with the most technologically advanced weapons in the world. I want Predator drones crashing terrorists’ parties.
I want to belong to a party that believes in universal health care. I have no problem with single payer. As a military dependent, I grew up with government health care. If that makes me a socialist, so be it.
I want the Army on our southern border. I can’t stand when Democrats conflate legal and illegal immigrants. It’s not fair to legal immigrants. Like any country we need to protect and defend our borders. With that said, we need comprehensive immigration reform including a guest worker program and a path to citizenship. Everyone else is deported and businesses who hire illegals outside of the program would be prosecuted. But that can’t happen without secured borders.
My party should believe in means testing entitlements and raising the age for Social Security and Medicare. We have to make the tough calls to keep these programs viable regardless of the pressure from interest groups. There should be no sacred cows. You don’t play politics or demagogue something this serious.
My party should believe in progressive taxation with the wealthy and corporations shouldering a higher burden. By the same token, I believe in tax breaks for businesses that reinvest in America.
My party would believe in higher energy taxes to encourage conservation and to allow us to invest in alternative energy. Maybe have a Manhattan Project for the next fuel source.
My party would value education. To compete globally, I’d make schools year round. I’d let teachers innovate. I believe the reasons we’re falling behind isn’t because of crumbling schools or bad teachers. It’s a crumbling social compact due to crumbling families. So I want to belong to a party that truly believes in family values by instituting policies that strengthens families. I’m talking about straight families, gay families, single parent families, and grandparents raising grandkids or any other family construct.
I’d require two years of compulsive service. Many countries, like Israel, have compulsive military service for everyone. Why not service to our country in a variety of capacities? Teaching, mentoring at risk youth, childcare, cleaning up parks and roadways, removing urban blight and other things to instill a sense of community in everyone.
Here comes my libertarian streak. I want to belong to a party that doesn’t get involved in people’s private business. Abortion, marriage equality, gambling, prostitution, marijuana legalization may be things that are frowned upon in the pulpit but government should let consenting adults do what they will. Jesus Christ was the original proponent of separation of church and state when he said to render unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar; and to God, that which belongs to God.
I’m a gun owner and agree with the Supreme Court’s recent rulings on the Second Amendment. I’ve got no problem with closing the gun show loophole or reasonable restrictions.
Many people hold views that don’t neatly fit with one party or the other but they go with the party that represents most of their views. I can’t do that. It’s too hard to stomach the disappointment when they eventually sell out. Guess I’ll keep holding out for that unicorn.