I’ve been blogging about politics for almost two years now and have been obsessing about politics since high school. On more than one occasion and as of late, fairly regularly somebody makes the suggestion of me that I stop all of my ruminating, kvetching, carrying on, and criticisms of our beloved government and do something about it myself. Now some mean that I should take up arms and storm the White House doors yelling, “No blood for oil!” or some such thing, but the rest believe, and oddly enough quite seriously, that I should run for public office.

What happens is that I will inevitably be conversing with someone, either in real life or in virtual life, and as it always does with me in the room, the conversation will drift to politics. It might be a particular issue or an event in the news that brings said person and I together but at someone point casual musing will always veer into heated debate and then either an agreement to disagree, a girlfriend appears to drag said conversational adversary away, or the person simply says, “You know, you seem honest enough and have really interesting ideas, you should run for place political office here.

Run for office? Me? For those that don’t know me, I’m an unlicensed masters level social worker (which means I can perform therapy cheaper than a psychologist). I’m currently working as an inpatient adolescent substance abuse therapist for a non-profit agency. I get paid almost 13 dollars an hour for about 40 hours a week (and I’m not counting the hours I stay extra that I don’t get overtime for on the occasion that one of my kids has gone bat shit loco and needs me to stay and talk to him/her). Though I am newly married (May 27th, 2006) and my career woman wife makes more than I do, it’s not by much and together (barring flights of fancy or any unforeseen calamity) we just barely make our bills. I’ve already worn out the welcome at my parents house for asking one too many times for money so that we can get out of the horrible debt we are in.

Running for office takes money. There’s no other flowery way of putting it. You need enough to pay your bills with while you are not working because running for office without a political machine (which I don’t have outside of my one friend who thought it was good idea to give my blog a MySpace page) is a full-time job. Without said political machine in place you have to do all the leg work yourself and your two main priorities are first, going door to door to get people to sign a petition that allows you on the ballot and once you’ve got the oodles of much needed signatures, then you need more money. It takes a ridiculous amount of cash to run for office in America. Advertising alone for a local campaign rivals some third world nations GDP. It takes so much money (how much money Mark?), it takes so much money, that the fictional character Monty Brewster (Richard Pryor) decided to run for Mayor of New York City purposely because he knew that in doing so he’d go completely broke.

Unless I meet my George Soros somewhere out there, I’m sorry to say that it’s not going to happen. As much as I’d love to campaign and debate and at least run for office the way Al Sharpton did (no intention of winning but instead to bring light to a host of neglected issues), I’m fiscally unable to do so at this stage of my life.

But I’m a man of fantastic dreams and imagination so let’s pretend for a moment that I’m blessed and I inherit a tidy sum of money in the near future – enough to make a go of trying to challenge for a political seat in our nations Democracy. If I were to run for office, these are the issues I would run on and this would be my platform (this should also satiate those people who have been e-mailing me about where I stand on XYZ issue).

War on Drugs: I personally abhor drug use. I’m so anti drug that I won’t even take over the counter drugs like aspirin or use my inhaler at rugby practice for my asthma. I don’t have an issue per se with the people that really need prescription drugs for their various physical and mental illness so long as they don’t abuse said drugs. After my wife’s third surgery last year she was given a prescription of pain killers, America’s latest abused obsession, and much to her credit, once she was feeling a little better she stopped taking them as she did not want to take something she didn’t absolutely need. Perfect. If more people were life my wife in this respect I wouldn’t have to have even written the preceding paragraph.

However, people do in fact, and always have, abused mind-altering substances for one reason or another. Heroin and Cocaine were actually legal and used by physicians once upon a time. After the civil war, the most addicted population in America was white women and their drug of choice was morphine. Today the kids love them some zany bars (Xanax) and Triple C’s (Coricidin Cough & Cold tablets available at any drugstore). As Chris Rock once said, people just want to get high.

If I were able to affect policy change, I would probably leave the federal investigation of high level drug production, smuggling and proliferation alone as it is tied to sex slavery, illegal immigration, weapons proliferation and other assorted nasty criminal enterprises, alone. Instead I would decriminalize small amounts of possession (meaning not enough to distribute) of all drugs (even cocaine/crack and heroin) and instead would institute a federal Marchman Act. The Marchman Act of Florida basically means that you can mandate someone into treatment if you prove in front of a judge that they have a drug problem. I would then divert money spent on funding private prisons housing low-level possession offenders and street level enforcement resources into more and holistic treatment programs with insurance to cover long stays in said treatment. Any cop will tell you that the War on Drugs is failing and the only way we will really make changes is to make net of treatment wider and stronger. Enforcement for the sake of big busts and bigger headlines is not making people with depression, trauma, and a million of other issues that lead to drug use stop using drugs. Take it from me, the kids and their parents could care less if they end up in prison while they are in the throes of addiction.

Education: The biggest mistake I see in our national education plan is that we have a national education plan. Our public schools are in many cases a disaster for two reasons: the first and most important being that parents in these failing schools (for the most part) do not parent. Whatever their reasons are (some good and some ridiculous) many parents in America have become completely self-centered and selfish to the point that they are harmful to their children. If feel like your child is a burden and is cramping your style then quite simply you are a bad parent. I realize this is not the most electable of stances but it is the truth. Being a parent means sacrifice and the ability to pay attention to your child or children before satiating your own needs. In doing that, you actually have to be invested in your child’s education.

My Aunt Classless (long story) once said that it wasn’t her responsibility to make sure her son (who was in elementary school at the time) did his homework. That attitude is the real reason why many schools are failing throughout America. Parents not only neglect their children but they enable their bad behavior (through suing teachers or not bothering to talk to teachers at all), which in turn corrodes the school from the inside. In the end, parents too lazy to take care of the children they so carelessly and selfishly brought into this world, cry for George Bush (the man who can’t pronounce nuclear correctly) and the federal government to parent for them. We don’t need a “No Child Left Behind” Act. What we need is parents who give a hoot about their kids and not who is going win the next American Idol and we really don’t need parents who are neglecting their children so they date half of the local city phonebook or smoke crack (or in some cases, both).

The other issue is the teachers union. That is a whole other column but suffice it to say that public schools should not the breeding ground for one political ideology of any stripe. Nor should it be the resting place for the incompetent. In other words, dumb teachers who don’t teach shouldn’t get to keep their jobs because of their union and any teacher using their position of authority to indoctrinate children toward their own political belief should have their license to teach revoked. If I had the power, teachers unions would be a thing of the past or I would have to enlarge the school voucher program and just shut down the failing schools altogether.

Abortion & the Death Penalty: Nobody listens when a man brings up this subject. For some reason, if as a guy you have an opinion on killing babies in the womb, it is tantamount to being an anti-woman, wife-beating, Nazi, and possibly a latent homosexual. Well multiculturalism aside, I have some definite opinions on this issue. I’m against it, plain and simple. If you don’t want children, don’t have sex. If you can’t stop yourself from having sex (and that again is a whole other column) then use protection. If that doesn’t work or you choose not to, then you should take responsibility for your decisions and quite frankly, grow up. Killing another human being because you don’t want or feel you can handle a baby is not a good enough excuse. God forbid a woman is raped or bringing the baby to term will kill her then you make the best decision for the life of the mother. However, being an irresponsible putz is not a reason to crush a baby’s skull while in utero. If you can be grown enough to lay your body down next to a man, then you must be grown enough to be somebody’s momma. If not then maybe sex at this juncture isn’t for you. If the guy you are with doesn’t understand that, then he’s not worth the effort anyway.

I also do not believe in killing felons either. Death is death. Once we’ve decided that these people over here are worth keeping alive and these are not then you open up Pandora’s box. Moral relativity will rule the day and then social structures meant to protect society being to collapse. Killing people is wrong whether it is babies or felons. Decided who gets to live and die is above human consideration. Rehabilitation, life imprisonment and hard labor are much more humane and retributive than the death penalty. Let’s not rise to the level of our enemies in the Middle East by proclaiming an eye for an eye.

The last major policy I would want to enact would be instituting a Basic Income Guarantee. Senator John Kerry’s delusion aside, jobs are not coming back to America. At some point in the not too distant future, robotization will replace human work. If you’ve seen the Animatrix story, “The Second Renaissance Parts 1 & 2” that is the clearest picture of the future I’ve ever seen. I our future Robots will be doing the work for BIG companies and humans will be on permanent vacations, sad but true.

Aside from this rather glum future, there is the more immediate problem of absolute and near absolute poverty in the world. Without getting into all of the nuts and bolts of how this works, a BIG will replace the unwieldy and effectively useless means tested welfare system of today with a sleeker and more acute system of distributing wealth. Enough to live on for everybody without causing riots for scare resources.

I pretty much stand with the pro-business environmentalists and I’m absolutely against illegal immigration and for putting up a fence (more on that next week). I’m for a bigger and stronger military but I’m not for adventures or being the world’s police. I’m also vehemently against being or hosting the UN.

By now you should have realized I’d make a terrible candidate for any office. I outright refuse to let the federal government parent grown ass adults or their children and I’m a proponent for personal responsibility rather than fairy excuses. I’m for the cheapest solutions regardless of which political party comes up with it. As long as it gets the job done right and for the least amount of taxpayer dollars, I don’t care if either Ted Kennedy or Pat Buchanan wrote the bill. That is what being a Progressive Conservative is all about. However, that is also why I can never run for public office (drafted on the other hand is a different story).

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