Here’s What I’m For

I often get asked, “Well Benji, it’s fine and good that you’re against all these things. But what do you actually stand for?”

And it’s a good question.

Here’s my answer: I take my ethics from my personal heroes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Henry David Thoreau, Bayard Rustin, Franz Kafka, Tony Judt. I’m for full equality — for all ethnicities everywhere, in the law, in pay, travel, etc.; I’m for full equality for women everywhere, in the law, in pay, in travel, etc.; I’m for full equality for sexual minorities, in the law, in pay, in travel, etc.; I’m for a living wage for all workers; I’m for free and equal access to healthcare; I’m for closing tax loopholes and lowering taxes on *work* while ensuring that unearned wealth is taxed properly; I’m for the environment and taking whatever measures necessary to ensure greater energy conservation — this is not just an economic, but an ethical issue — there must be a tangible cost on energy excess. I’m for peace; not just in Syria and Iraq; not just in the Ukraine; not just in Palestine, but as a general principle. I am for the use of military force if and only if it is the last possible resort. I am for research and science, and believe firmly (as an eventual medical doctor) that science, not partisan politics, should dictate national policy regarding any medical issue, from a woman’s constitutional right to choose to developing an ebola virus vaccine.

That probably isn’t a comprehensive list. Lacunae I can address as they arrive. If that makes me a Democrat? I’m not. I vote for Democrats. I vote for Democrats because I’m a pragmatist and a rationalist, and voting for a Green candidate is akin to voting for a Republican, given the American political system. (I’m also *for* amending the Constitution to realign the U.S. Congress along parliamentary lines, in which seats are assigned according to proportion of the vote received; the German Bundestag is a model example, IMO.) I’m to the left of Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and not ashamed of it. I view “socialist” not as a dirty word, but as an ideal toward which we must asymptotically strive. True socialism would ensure a prosperous life for everyone, an equally prosperous future for every child; that, however, is an ideal, never to be realized in actuality. That fact, however, does not mean we should not strive toward it.

If this sounds like an announcement of a campaign, don’t worry — I am not nor likely ever will be a candidate for office. Change comes in many ways. I’m content to remain a snarky subversive. Politically-active? Always.

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~ by Benji on 4 September 2014.

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