Voting for freedom, democracy and a better future
Freedom is not free. I became complacent, taking for granted that we have a democratic society and the rule of law that protects all of us. But we’ve seen too many Breonna Taylors and George Floyds that show we’re a long way away from the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for every person. We have to keep fighting for freedom and democracy.
According to Plato, justice is for those in control. If we the people stay in control of our government, we can maintain our freedom and democracy. If we give up control to the oligarchs or the fascists, then they become in charge and take control.
There are so many things we need to change to make the United States more able to let people enjoy the promise of The Constitution:
- Electoral College: If you don’t want to participate and support a democratic society, then you don’t belong here in the United States. I want the majority to elect the President and all of our representatives in our Congress. As long as we can elect people freely and fairly, we are better off than a Parliamentary system in which people are appointed, and only a small fraction is elected by the people. This means we need to get rid of the Electoral College, an archaic concept that no longer works. The popular election of Senators came with the 17th Amendment in April of 1913. Let’s expand this concept to the Presidential and the Representatives.
- Voting: To keep elections free and fair we should consider shifting all voting to vote-by-mail or drop off in a voter dropbox. This way you can keep your vote private, without intimidation and threats. Your signature can be checked against the signature from your registration, and you can check the status of your vote online. In Oregon, go to http://oregonvotes.gov/myvote. This will help reduce voter fraud and potentially encourage more people to vote because it is easy.
- Human Rights: We need to remain a land of law instead of falling into control by a minority. We need control by the messy democracy that we are. We need to codify:
- A woman’s right to abortion; abortion is healthcare. We should never have old pasty white guys telling a woman what she can do.
- Early education and daycare programs (birth to age 8) allow working parents to continue working and provide for their families. The first eight years of life are crucial developmental years for children. Providing care and education may help us find the next Neil deGrasse Tyson, for example, because the children got an early start.
- Free college (at least through Bachelor’s degree) or vocational school with the ability to change along the way.
- Universal healthcare like France and Canada. If we had universal healthcare, people would not be tied to a job. We’d have more entrepreneurs. It is also less expensive and more inclusive. Everyone is covered.
- A living wage. My view is that a living wage is $80,000-$120,000 a year, ($38-$58/hour) at least to support two adults and one child. In a study conducted by Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton, the findings suggest that “low income is associated both with low life evaluation and low emotional well-being,” and continues, “Below $75,000, many factors become gradually worse, at least on average.”
Voices have to speak up. I want to win this at the ballot box with a blue wave that is for our messy democracy. Let’s keep it! Let’s fight for a better future. Get out and vote.