Dean vs Revolutionaries

Been thinking about a run for public office at some point, despite my dismal performance in my last campaign. I had considered a number of possible parties, including the Greens and the Libertarians (which share more commonalities than either would like to admit–and no, I didn’t say “librarians”), but the party that comes the closest is probably the revolutionary party.

So, as an exercise, I figured I would line up my current choice as a candidate, Dean, with the Revolutionary platform. He actually does better than I would have expected. What the revolutionaries and some of the other candidates forget is that in a democracy you have to win a majority of the votes, and the majority is rarely right. The best you can hope for is someone who hits at the minds of the thinkers and the guts of the feelers equally well.

So, without further ado, I give you the blow-by-blow:

Revolutionary Platform Howard Dean
1. Convert to clean energy now by promoting research and environmentally-friendly
practices.
Dean has come out clearly behind clean energy promotion. This
is one of the major planks in his platform.
2. End of the "War on Drugs," including the immediate
repeal of all prohibitions on Cannibis, followed by a more rational policy
toward other drugs.
Dean has advocated more funding for a War on Drugs. He has,
however, promised an open mind on the issue of medical marijuana.
3. Repeal twice as many laws as we pass. Dean is a big one for local/state control. I doubt he would
differ with this in spirit, though he might in letter.
4. End corporate welfare and require corporate information
to be open to the public.
While he has used the recent scandals as fodder for his tax
plans, he has not made a clear indication of what he would do to stop similar
problems in the future.
5. Radical simplification of the tax system, end of income
tax for first $100,000
Recommends that tax cuts to the top 2% of earners be repealed,
but moderate regarding taxes beyond this.
6. No ownership of genetic information Would like to see a clear position on ownership of pharma-research
and genome data.
7. Pardon all non-violent prisoners convicted of victimless
crimes. Dismantle prison-industrial complex.
Need to hear more on this. Suggests that spending on education–especially
in early childhood–can offset later spending on prisons.
8. Defend civil liberties, have ACLU and EFF members in the
DoJ.
His take on gay civil unions has been widely applauded, but
it is not yet clear how he falls on civil liberties more generally. "As
President, I will lead the war on terror in a way that protects civil rights
and civil liberties while protecting our safety. I will ensure that the
United States is not merely a military or economic leader in world affairs,
but a moral leader as well."
9. Stop the War on Youth, no "zero-tolerance" prison
schools.
Advocates, as in many areas, local control of the schools.
Not clear where the "local" is–but local communities are often
the perpetrators of this sort of nonsense.
10. Advocate a global minimum wage and environmental minimums;
limit corporate ownership of intellectual property.
Dean raised the minimum wage in Vermont twice as governor.
"Dean will also support an International Right to Know Law, which would
require US based multinational corporations to disclose information regarding
their environmental, human rights, and labor practices abroad."
11. Stop policing the world, decrease defense spending by
30%
He has called for more multi-lateralism, and a shifting of
the defense budget, but has not at all called for a reduction of that budget.
12. Emphasize human rights in international affairs. "I believe that the United States has a special role
to play in world affairs. We have long been an inspiration to all those
around the world seeking democracy, freedom and opportunity." Speaks
widely about shaping a new global opinion by behaving morally.
13. Close down the CIA and totally reform national intelligence. "As President, Howard Dean will increase our intelligence,
police and military special forces capabilities abroad to thwart and disrupt
terrorist operations." He does, however, hope to deal with the "root
causes" of terrorism: hatred of American policy.
14. Reasonable environmental policies rather than profits. Again, Dean has spoken at length about his plan for the environment.
15. Federally-funded birth control clinics. While strongly pro-choice, I don’t know that he goes this
far.
16. Allow "autonomous zones" for those who opt out
of the system.
Er… no word on this one.
17. Re-establish social services to at least pre-Reagan levels.

At least within the health field, the good doctor has suggested one of
the most thorough plans among the candidates.

He has also pushed the "success by six" plan to visit the homes
of new mothers and help track children to make sure they are prepared
for school–and idea that has reduced domestic violence and increased
children’s preparation in other countries.

18. Examine alternative value-systems, money-systems. No word here.
19. Fund a "Manhatten Project Toward Utopia" No clear statement on federal research funding.
20. Victory over horseshit: cuban embargo, landmine treaty,
funding for international birth control, [and I’ll add in one here: nonsense
about "traditional marriage"]

While he is generally no-nonsense, he has been called to task by other
candidates on changing positions.

More specifically, he favors lifting sanctions on Cuba (while holding
them to human rights standards), has suggested ratifying or renegotiating
the landmine treaty, Kyoto agreement, and international criminal court
endorsement, among others.

Sources: Dean for America, The
Golden Path
, Issues
2004
, 20 Point Platform

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