01 September 2014

I Believe...

I Believe…

Many people ask me the question of “what do you believe in?” It’s a question worth pondering, and I find that it is essential to the proper functioning of our democracy and the jealous safeguarding of our liberty. Most importantly, I feel that ultimately at its base, our answers should transcend pettiness and differences in political or religious ideology. Our national motto has long been “E Pluribus Unum” and it is time we make good on that.

Without further ado, here’s I believe:

  • that every human being has the inherent rights to life, liberty, education, equal justice, and dignity—and that these rights cannot be deprived from somebody without due process of law—meaning that such rights can only be taken away from somebody when the have been duly convicted of a crime by an impartial and honest jury of his (or her) peers
  • that the idea of rights should have no clarifier attached to it; either we are all free or we are not—and if we are not, then it is imperative that we work tirelessly to ensure we all are free and thence to be eternally vigilant in safeguarding
  • strongly that our system of governance is rife with corruption and other abuses of power, and that it is up to us all to work to fix it
  • in strong civil liberties that are guarded jealously
  • that freedom of religion is crucial, and that such a freedom necessarily requires the freedom to choose not to participate in any religious activity at all
  • in a society that maintains a tall and impregnable wall between the church and the state
  • in the inherent necessity of a free and independent press to the functioning of our democracy; that also means that the mainstream media’s current practice of tying themselves into corporate conglomerates and then pushing political slant runs counter to that goal
  • that “free speech zones” are odious and represent naked attempts by leaders to shield their cowardice from public scrutiny while also attempting to rescind the essential rights of freedom of assembly and to petition the government to address grievances
  • that everyone has their own beliefs and conscience that should never be crossed without extraordinary reason
  • that justice is blind and open for everyone
  • in a foreign policy that rejects warfare except as an absolute last resort when every possible effort 
  • that the presence of peace does not simply mean the absence of conflict, but also mandates the presence of liberty and justice for all
  • in a society and culture that gives bigotry no sanction and firmly rejects discrimination of any kind; racism, sexism, classism, etc. are unfit and unbecoming for a free people
  • that politicians need to return to the idea of civil service and away from trying to use their positions to enrich themselves like pigs at the trough
  • in the concept that government should serve the people instead of trying to act as a cruel master—instead of people fearing the government; the government must fear the people
  • in a government of the people, by the people, and for the people instead of “government of the special interests, by the corporations, and for personal profit”  
  • in strong sunshine laws, and that anything that the government withholds from public scrutiny must necessarily have an extraordinary reason for doing so—and that such reasons cannot be used to cover up wrongdoing or illegal activity
  • that the people have the inherent right to know just what is being done in their name
  • that the concept of mass government surveillance is antithetical to liberty, and that America’s programs of spying on its citizens without regard for open and fair legal process must be ended immediately
  • that we need to establish firm term limits for politicians, ban all forms of lobbying, and put strict controls on campaigning for office
  • that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have the interests of the people in mind; both parties are equally guilty of being bought-and-paid-for by special interests
  • in a culture that affirms the dignity and self-worth of each and every person, and will work such that no man or woman will be left behind in the metaphorical dust
  • that our culture is rife with a politic of division in an age when we need a politic of unity
  • in controls over law enforcement, and that those who protect and serve (and are entrusted with the sacred duty of keeping us all safe) must necessarily respect human and civil rights
  • that the militarization of the police must be put to an abrupt and permanent end
  • that every citizen has an important voice and has a duty to educate themselves on the issues facing us on all levels (local, state/provincial, national, and global)
  • in the absolute necessities of being well-rounded, educated, and civic-minded
  • in holding all of our leaders accountable for our actions—be they in politics, entertainment, business, religion, or the military
  • in the concept that there exists not one person who is above the law
  • that everyone has the responsibility to obey the just law and to not aggress on his (or her) neighbors 
  • in personal responsibility, and that it is something we can never afford to abdicate
  • that we have lost our way, and that the American Dream is quickly becoming but a mere mirage—and that it is up to us to restore that dream into a reality
  • in equality of opportunity, but also that this does not necessarily mean equality of outcome
  • that there should be a strong right to privacy, and that any violation of this right should only be within the confines of due process and only when it is absolutely necessary
  • that life is not all about oneself; 
  • in the idea that if you need to know who needs help, one only ask
  • in doing unto others as you would have them do unto you
  • that in the end, we truly are all in this together

I know this has gone a bit verbose, but in this age, it is clear that these need to be said—and regardless of one’s politics or religion, these are all things I feel we as Americans can come to an agreement on. 

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