The 12-point platform (basic version) [beta 3]
[I'm not sure I can revise this today because I have to digest 63 comments. I'm going to call out the reforms for special attention. --lambert]
[The prospect of being hanged concemtrates the mind wonderfully -- lots of good comments. More like this, please! And if you don't like a plank, propose a new one! --lambert]
[I just made a PDF version of the 12-Point Platform (basic version) and attached it at the end of the post; it fits on one sheet of paper, front and back. I'd be grateful for any improvements to the design, which is as low-key as the text. The typeface is Myriad, which is not only a propos, but AFAIK widely available. I'm thinking one thing that's missing is a logo.... --lambert[
[Readers, please look at this carefully. I'd like to release it as soon as possible (maybe only the basic version?) Shortly, I will produce an advanced version, with the bullet overlays. Then I can start writing the material and collateral to support each of the points. And that's got to be done before the mid-term rotisserie Inside Baseball wankery really gets started! As usual on this project, I've tried to keep the style very low-key. Comments and revisions welcome! --lambert]
"The 12-Point Platform" is a simple and self-explanatory list of common-sense programs that will benefit every American, no matter their class, gender, race, or age. "The 12 Reforms" are the programs needed to secure the benefits of the Platform. The Single Value ties the Platform and the Reforms together: Government is to be used for "public purpose," and not for privilege (which means "private law").
The 12-Point Platform
1. A Living Wage
2. Medicare for all
3. Tax the Rich
4. Job and Income Guarantee
5. Debt Jubilee
6. Retirement Security
7. Post Office Bank
8. Enforce the Bill of Rights
9. End the Wars
10. Slow Food (Too)
11. Clean Air and Water
12. Carbon Negative Economy
The 12 Reforms
1. Net Neutrality
2. Fairness Doctrine
3. Local Ownership of Media
4. Public Campaign Financing
5. Electoral Integrity
6. Self-Organizing Web-Based Citizen Deliberation
7. MMT Macro-economic Policies
8. Preserve and Expand the Commons
9. More Co-operatives, Fewer Corporations
10. Fiat Justitia. Ruat Caelum
11. Strategic Non-Violence
12. Points and Reforms Are Indivisible
The Single Value
- Public Purpose
How to use the Basic Version
1. To define "the left"
Nobody knows what "the left" is. Conveniently for all factions and parties of the political class, "liberal," "progressive," and "the left" all mean more or less the same thing, which means that "liberal," "progressive," and "the left" mean nothing at all. Some factions would throw "Marxist", "Socialist", and "Communist" into the mix. Equally conveniently, "Marxist", "Socialist", and "Communist" have all become mere sounds that trigger engineered reactions, exactly like "liberal," "progressive," and "the left."
Rather than worry about what the left is, the 12-Point Platform defines what the left should do; that is, it's an operational definition. Anybody who supports the 12-Point Platform, the 12 Reforms, and the Single Value is on the left. People who support individual Points or Reforms are allies of the left. (Anybody who supports the Single Value without supporting any of the Points or any of the Reforms isn't on the left; they don't want to do what the left wants to do.)
The 12-Point Platform is reformist. There is no point to abolish capitalism, as communists would like to do. There is no point to abolish the State, as anarchists would like to do. There is no point to replace democracy with aristocracy, as conservatives would like to do.
The 12-Point Platform is not about identify politics. The Platform is designed to set society's baseline for public purpose high enough for all so that each will benefit, regardless of their gender, race, ethnic/national origin, age, etc.
The 12-Point Platform is not partisan. It makes no matter who supports the Points and the Reforms, or who passes and implements them. Again: Those who support the Platform, Reforms, and Single Value are the left; those who support individual Points or Reforms are allies of the left.
2. To enforce compliance
Since the Dean campaign of 2004, much of the left has pursued a strategy of "more and better Democrats." Much of the left has also devoted a lot of attention to tactics: Petitions, polling, messaging, the election cycle, strength in the district, and so on. After a decade, it's time to be honest, look at outcomes, and say that strategy and those tactics have failed.
Looking back over the last decade, it's clear what the problem was: Since "better Democrats" were never defined, there was never any real reason to elect "more" of them. The people doing petitions (MoveOn), polling (Kos), messaging (everybody and their sister), and all the rest of it have had the same effect on political outcomes that fans cheering on their team in a bar have on the action up on the TV: Nothing. No matter how knowledgeable in tactics and statistics the fans are, they are down in the bar, and whatever happens on the screen happens on the screen. The disconnect is total. FDR said:
It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.
The 12-Point Platform, the 12 Reforms, and the Single Value are FDR's "something." The vague "better Democrats" is replaced by a clean and simple checklist you can use to enforce compliance on your candidates. Either your candidate complies, and supports A Living Wage (#1), or they do not. Either your candidate complies, and supports Medicare for All (#2) or they do not. Vote for the candidate that's most compliant, and don't vote for the non-compliant. The12-Point Platform replaces voting for "the lesser evil" with voting for "the greater good."
The 12-Point Platform, the 12 Reforms, and the Single Value provide a simple checklist to hold those who seek your vote accountable for their promises in the campaign and their actions while in office. When the Platform and the Reforms are completely enacted and implemented, all Americans will greatly benefit, and the world will be a more humane and happier place.