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Conservatively liberal, moderately well-educated, and highly opinionated...

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Sunday, January 29, 2006

If Polimom was President

Sundays on the blog are fun for me. It’s the lowest-traffic day of the week, generally, which means I can talk about oddball topics and hardly anybody will care. So I’m assuming nobody will notice when I say that I’m declaring myself for the Presidency of the United States. (uproarious laughter)

Of course I’m kidding. I can’t imagine a worse job – unless maybe it’s Mayor of New Orleans. But I do have some ideas, and since I probably won’t be pencilling in “Polimom” on any ballots, I’ve decided to drop my ideas out into the world. Maybe somebody more masochistic than I can borrow them.

The United States’ bipolar bipartisan political system just isn’t working for me at all. I can’t get behind either party, and I find myself disengaging more and more from the democratic process. I simply don’t feel that I have a voice.

That is not to say I haven’t got ideas and opinions, though – and those are the basis for the Planks of…

Polimom’s non-Platform

The federal government has grown beyond all reasonable or manageable proportions – in large part because it attempts to define and administer every aspect of American life.

Polimom feels that States, like their populations, are not homogeneous. The proper role of Washington is to set high-level policy structure, within which the States work to provide for their unique needs and populations.

Polimom believes in competition as a healthy vehicle toward excellence in education, health care, etc...

Polimom is OH-so ready for honest government. No more behind-the-scenes PAC's, SIG's, or lobbying. Groups are required to disclose all contributions and sources of funding.

The federal government is the proper authority for National Defense and Homeland Security.

Domestic Policies

Health Care

In the United States of America – the richest and most successful system the world has ever known - nearly 20% of its population is without health care. This is an embarrassment, and a failure of nearly criminal proportions.

The federal government, in its role as policy-definer, must mandate health insurance for all Americans. Each state will create and fund its own health care insurance funding plan. States that have smaller populations may band together to create regional plans.

To ensure choice and quality, insurance companies will offer plans as they do currently, but the premiums will be funded by the states. States may derive money from any combination of sources, including corporations, bonds, taxes, natural resource revenues, etc. The states may NOT place more than 20% of the burden on individuals (such as taxes). Furthermore, Polimom feels that a sliding scale must be implemented to allow full access by the poor.

Polimom sees health, and access to care, as a fundamental right in the United States. Polimom does NOT see the federal government as the proper administrator. Ultimately, a healthier population will lead to enormous financial benefits to the American economy.


America’s bipartisan system has created a schizophrenic approach to social problems – including crime. The swing from left to right (and back again) - from treatment models to deterrent models to punitive models - has left America’s Criminal Justice landscape littered with failed programs.

Each of these approaches has meritorious aspects, but they should not be mutually exclusive. A further traditional flaw is their total reliance on government. We’re missing a middle layer: the people.

Polimom feels the crime problem requires a 3-way approach: bottom, middle, and top.

  1. Bottom : Proactive. Treatment oriented. Values (teenagers who drop out of school to have babies), EDUCATION, EDUCATION. Maybe some education.

  2. Middle: Proactive. Community efforts. Somehow, society has totally lost connection to one another. Somebody else is always expected to fix a problem. There will NEVER be enough police in the US to be "in the right place at the right time", every time. And frankly, if there were that many police, we'd not be in America anymore. People have to engage with both the top and bottom levels.

  3. Top: Reactive. Prison. We need some hard-core legislative reform, particularly on the drug laws and sentencing disparities. The failure of the “War on Drugs” make Vietnam and Iraq both look like resounding successes. We also need to understand that the damage to society is vast, and there are many who cannot be "saved" (treated) and returned to society.

If the American political system would allow for all sides to bring their best approaches together at the same time, I think we could actually make progress.


If we (the United States) do not turn immediately toward domestic (North American) energy sources, I believe we are likely to move into global war as the supplies run out. The federal government must put enormous emphasis on development and implementation of non-fossil-fuel energy.

By 2007, all cars should have engines powered by an alternative source of energy. For example: diesel fuel (which can be created from any biomass).

Beginning in 2007, each year for the next 10 years, every state must increase its domestic energy use by 10%. At least 60% of the domestic source must be renewable.

Foreign Policies

Middle East (tightly intertwined with the Domestic Energy position)

We (the United States) are embroiled in issues that require re-examination, including historical and traditional alliances, and oil.

It is the second of these - oil - that worries me the most. We are involved in a region that, for the most part, does not want our help. It is our dependence upon their natural resources that has driven our foreign policy there. This policy is short-sighted, misleading, and destructive, because those resources are not only non-renewable, there are less of them than people seem to realize.

It is highly likely that within this generation, the oil supplies will dwindle to critical levels.

We need to disengage totally from the Middle Eastern countries at the earliest opportunity.

In terms of Iraq, we are committed to their stability and rebuilding, and until they are “on their feet”, we must stay engaged. However, if the Iraqi government at any time asks us to leave, we must honor their request. It is not our country.

So – there ya go. Polimom’s Sunday morning contribution to the blogosphere. It’s unlikely to change the world, but at least it’s out there.