Thursday, March 30, 2017

Fantasy League Candidate

What this state (New Hampshire) needs is the perfect candidate for Senate, who can then go on to become President.
Trouble is, opinions differ on what constitutes perfect.
My ideal candidate would be totally unelectable, but I like him and this is my fantasy, so.

We will start with his positions, then get to his personal attributes.
Just try not to think of Josiah Bartlet. For one thing, he had multiple sclerosis, and for another he was too short. And, having been a governor, he was too often willing to compromise and do what political leaders have to do, like allow those astronauts to die somewhere above the earth when all he was giving away was a secret government program which could be used to put nuclear weapons on satellites--which the Russians must have suspected anyway.

But back to my perfect composite candidate. I will use "He" but you can substitute "She" as you like.

Here's how he answers policy questions:
1/ Abortion: He would say he would allow abortions but not infanticide and he would quickly add drawing that line has always been where the rub is. He would say he does not believe a two cell conceptus is a human being with all the rights of a human being, and he would place IUD's for free into any female over the age of 12 who wants one no matter what her parents think. But then he would offend the other side by saying he thinks while Roe vs Wade drew the line about right at 21 weeks gestation, the Court did that in view of the age of "viability" at the time in 1972, and that might have to be lowered, possibly as low as 18 weeks.  This might pose problems because amniocentesis can't be done until 17 weeks. But you might say for certain genetic defects the procedure could be done as late as even 22 weeks.

2/ Transgender rights:  He would say he believes there is too little public understanding of what a transgender person is and the first step to assuring transgender rights would be to put a discussion of the biology and psychology of sexual differentiation and sexual preference and gender identity into public schools receiving federal funds, no matter where those schools are--Alabama or Alaska.  Having said that, he believes there is a significant difference between transgenders and homosexuals, although they do share the common burden of being mistreated for something they cannot readily control about themselves.  As for "bathroom" laws, that is the wrong battlefield to choose as even public bathrooms can be made private enough. Locker rooms are another matter. For that we need an anthropologic discussion about why we have public nudity laws, and why we segregate the sexes in locker rooms and toilets and for that matter, in athletic competition.

3/ Healthcare:  He would say he is in favor of a public/private system, on the model of the British system, or possibly, the Finns or the Swiss, in which a basic health insurance would be offered as a Medicare for All, but if you have a Cadillac plan through your job, the government would do nothing to impede that. We also have to understand health insurance is not healthcare any more than auto insurance is an auto mechanic.  The government's role in training physicians, in paying for medical research at university hospitals and elsewhere should be examined and likely enhanced.  The Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the Center for Disease Control, not to mention the VA healthcare system should all be improved by dollars and by critical examination.  Take money away from the military budget and give it to the hospitals.

4/ Military spending: We have to think what we want from our military. Do we want to get the next warplane to fight the Russians or do we want, for the same money, a division of marines or SEALS or Rangers who we can transport to Iraq or Afghanistan to try to blow away the Taliban or ISIS in a brief battle and then disappear into the night?  I would vote against the warplanes. We've got enough sabers to rattle at the Russians. We now need a military we can use as a quick strike force and get the hell out. That means getting out of Afghanistan and Iraq and Syria yesterday.  The War on Terrorism is not a war any more than the war on crime. We need a military which can be used surgically and then returned home, not a military capable of becoming an occupation force.  We should not send Americans into cultures they do not understand to negotiate with mullahs or village chieftains about how much opium they are going to grow.  If the Navy needs an aircraft carrier group to launch strikes and then disappear, we can do that, but drones might be cheaper.

5/ Homeland Security: This requires extensive intelligence but the FBI has become too political. Jim Comey ought to be fired and replaced by a Director who serves a four year term to be drawn from the intelligence/police community much as Supreme Court justices are judges and lawyers drawn from a community of expertise. Same with the CIA and the NSA.

6/ Environment:  We should go whole hog encouraging wind and solar. We need the Dept of Energy to act like the National Institutes of Health, in providing funding for research and development and then you can let private companies compete to make solar panels and windmills cheaply and sell them widely. A solar panel on every roof is my motto.  Fracking has made us energy independent by releasing natural gas, but we have to look at what it does to earthquakes.  There is no such thing as clean coal. Shut down those coal mines and send those miners to plants making solar panels. They may be old and think they can't learn a new job, but I bet if you pay them, they can learn solar panel construction.

7/ The Economy: Stop worrying about deficits and debt and start spending government money to stimulate the economy bigtime. No more trickle down from the upper 1%. Screw the upper 1%. Tax them at 50% and make them pay for the winner's share, just the way we do with lottery winners.  Invest all the trillions we need to rebuild roads, bridges, tunnels and throw in fast rail and bike trails and internet connectivity right out to the farmers.

8/ Immigration:  We are all immigrants, but prior waves of immigrants--Irish, Italians, Scandinavians, Jews, Germans, Poles, Asians--for the most part arrived legally, with jobs and families or friends waiting to sponsor them. The difference with Hispanic illegal immigrants is they are the only group which can simply walk across the Southern border.  I'm not sure how many we can absorb comfortably, but we ought to make plans to absorb as many as we can comfortably and then we have to deny the rest.  That means, in tactical terms, no wall will prevent the flow. A wall can, at best slow it down or divert it, but the flood will simply flow around the wall.

One tactic might be to grant immediate citizenship to well behaved illegals already here who have demonstrated they are productive law abiding people. Illegal immigrants who have raped or murdered or become a threat can be locked up just as you would lock up any violent felon. You don't have to deport them.

Once the 11 million have become official citizens, we can expect them to help identify new illegals. If they become a problem by sheltering cousins and relatives who sneak in illegally, the whole family gets deported to whatever country we can find for them.
We have to realize none of these tactics might work. When you can immigrate by foot, there may be nothing we can do to stop you.

9/ Police:  We have to recognize while most police may be doing the job we want them to do, a portion of police have entered the police because it gives them license to exercise their sadistic impulses. These guys are simply criminals with badges. If we are going to license police to kill, we have to be sure, just as we do with doctors, they do not abuse the privileges we give them. When a policeman is seen murdering a citizen on video, he goes to jail just like any other felon.  Trust but verify. Use statistics but be critical of what those statistics mean, and get police back to walking beats, knowing the people in their communities and becoming friends not an occupying force.

10/ Trade and the Economy:  I don't know enough about trade deals to be dogmatic, but from what I can see the reasons manufacturing jobs have declined, factories closed, towns which were company towns declined are not because of nefarious trade deals and globalization.  You can reopen a factory plant and the 3,000 jobs there will be done by 2,000 robots and 100 workers.  Technology has cost those manufacturing jobs, not NAFTA.  People say they don't want jobs sitting in front of computer monitors. Tough luck. You can build solar panels, but you'll likely find yourself punching a computer keyboard in the process, although you will still need to lay hands on the panels.

So that's my guy.

What's he going to look, sound and be like?

If he's a male:
He needs to be sufficiently tall, have a good, preferably low voice, star quality hair, project aggressiveness. Maybe he was a high school wrestler or linebacker who went to college (state school) and majored in engineering or computers, or physics or biology and then to grad school in something technical. Then he worked in academia for a few years, on to industry, maybe a stint in some relevant governmental agency.

If she's a woman:
She has to be able to project aggressiveness without flaunting it. So she has to have video as a college basketball player, maybe at the  University of Connecticut or a soccer player, something which shows her trading punches or kicks. Maybe a swimmer, but at a high level.  Then grad school in engineering or medicine. I like medicine best. Maybe cardiology. Not pediatrics. Not obstetrics. Something where she treated males and brought them to their knees. Cardiology, invasive cardiology.  Or she could be a surgeon.  She's succeeded in a man's world and she cannot be intimidated but she doesn't have to prove it.

That's all folks.

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