what president do i want for my son? (part one of two)

Who do I want to shape America in the first years of my child’s life? Obviously, a Democrat. My political ideologies are very left wing. And my most important issues, for the future of this country, are as follows:

1) The Environment
The #1 defining factor on what kind of world my child grows up in, is the way we treat the planet in the next few years. And the US needs to get with the program and take some more extreme actions to preserve the world we live in. I believe that we need widesweeping measures in everything from our agricultural and food distribution system, to a system of penalties and taxes on non carbon-neutral businesses. I believe that we need to push harder for better cars and for better public transportation, for self-sustaining energy sources that will be more affordable in the long run. And we need to do all this fast, to slow down the terrible storms, the freak weather, the droughts that could affect food supplies, so my child doesn’t end up scrabbling for survival in some apocalyptic post eco-crash world.

2) Right To Choice & the Preservation of Roe v. Wade
AKA, “Get The Hell Out Of My Uterus”. I’m pregnant now with a wanted child, who will grow up in a happy, stable household. I’m also a productive citizen paying a decent amount of income tax and donating regularly to charities to benefit society. If I had been forced to have a child at a time when I was not able to take care of it, with a lousy, unstable father, I’d never have been able to become this productive citizen, and I would be unleashing yet another fucked-up kid into America. I have always been able to choose when I believe life begins, and when I wanted to bring that life into the world. And I believe that every woman, no matter what their color or income level or legal status, deserves to make the choice on when she wants to have that child, and when it is best for her & her baby. It’s a step, for me, that is part of women’s rights, to allow women to make the choice whether they are mother or whether they are not, and I believe a strong society is one where every child is wanted.

3) Civil Rights & Constitutionalism
This is what I believe tears the country to pieces: the discrepancy between the words of the Founding Fathers and how those documents have been interpreted and applied. The Constitution is a living document, which, at the time, was written based on a bunch of really novel, trendy ideas that were being kicked around by European thinkers in coffee houses. The Constitution is chock-full of new ideas re-interpreted for the American situation at the time, which need to be constantly interpreted to allow for changes in the country. I didn’t realize how precarious the United States was in 1776 until I heard Ben Franklin’s quip, “If we do not all hang together, surely we will hang separately.” Same thing today. If we don’t all believe in these same ideals, we won’t be able to hang together as a country, and it’s REALLY hard to believe in those Constitutional ideals when you’re getting screwed over for being a color, a different faith, or gay. Civil rights, to me, means that everyone has the same rights to and from the government, no matter what their religion, income, color, gender, sexual orientation – an idea that is truer in America than in most countries, but is still muddied by the lack of separation of church and state, the inability of gay couples to benefit from the state institution of marriage, the blatant racism against recent immigrant groups (especially against Muslims), the difference in treatment of white families and black families in the wake of disaster, even the torture facilities and the TSA that sprung up when 9/11 was used as a springboard to destroy civil rights. To have a better America, we all need to re-read the Constitution, study it, line by line – and re-interpret those lines for the times we live in. There is no Constitution in Trent Reznor’s Year Zero vision – and that scares the daylights out of me.

4. Education
This is simple: pay teachers better, put more funding into fixing public schools, and STOP FUNNELING MY TAX DOLLARS INTO CHRISTIAN PRIVATE SCHOOLS. I don’t want to put my kids into LAUSD, and it’s very difficult to find a NON-Christian private school to put them into instead. Also, obviously, education is the key to a better future – we all saw Idiocracy, right? With education and more focus on learning at all levels and ages, our nation’s people and our children can do great things. And that applies to all of them, not just those that can afford it. I want all schools to have the arts and music, to have literature and appreciation, to have great math and science programs – and most of all, to have qualified, happy, well paid teachers who are able to do their jobs.

5. Healthcare
I also think that in order to remain a competitive and healthy country, we need to keep our own people healthy. Not just by providing universal healthcare, but by encouraging disease prevention. I believe that the non-existent line between personal health and personal finance needs to be made more defined, and that more people should be able to get the healthcare they deserve without having to go into debt forever for it. I also believe that with a better healthcare system, that money could be applied to buying more American products and restoring the economy. $600 in tax credit for economic stimulus is nothing, when with any sort of universal healthcare, thousands of dollars could be going into the economy.

So these are the issues that matter to me, for the future of the country. The economy comes and goes, international conflicts even come and go, but these are the issues that I consider most important, and which I believe will have the greatest impact on this country – and my son’s life. Therefore, when I get the energy to write the entry, I will write on how the candidates stand on my issues – all four of them, including the Republicans. Now, I have to go watch CNN announce the Potomac Primaries.

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