Monday, June 09, 2008

A New Paradigm

Now that the official campaign for President has kicked off in earnest, it is time to revisit my campaign for NotPresident once more.

There is a desperate need in this nation for solutions. It is clear from the rhetoric on both sides that confrontation will be the order of the day, despite both candidates' professed belief in inclusion and reconciliation.

After all, the hateful energy spewed during both primary campaigns could power a small city for a few years.

Democrats are saddled defending themselves against programs that were dismantled decades ago. This will be the trope John McCain will foist upon the American people and will do it often. We've already seen his attempts to link Barack Obama's solutions to the challenges facing us as "failed policies" dusted off.

Republicans are saddled with, well, defending themselves against programs that were dismantled decades ago, as well as programs thrust upon America in the past eight years and proved disastrous. Here, we see Obama link McCain closely to the Bush administration's "failures of the past" in foreign policy as well as its economic policy.

Both talk of bipartisan reforms, both talk of bipartisan solutions, and both have floated trial balloons about asking members of the opposing party to work in their administrations.

Bullshit, to be polite, in other words.

The real solutions to this country's problems lie not in the politics of the now, but in the course of the future. We need to go back to the future, and right away.

There was a time, 40 years ago, when this nation could do everything: win a war on poverty, fly men to the moon, dismantle racism in government, take on every challenge head on.

We need to get back to that future. We might need to forget ALL the policies of the past and the rampant inability of politicians to fix what's not broken, and move forward, confident that our solutions will solve those troubles jusy by being implemented.

Take the energy crisis. This is largely linked hand in hand with two other major crises: pollution and global warming. Solve the first, and you are well on the way to solving the latter two. We need a comprehensive energy policy that does away with protecting the oil companies and starts investing in the future, past peak oil, past ALL oil.

I would propose the following budgetary item be included in my first non-administration: a $1 billion dollar bounty payable to anyone, and I do mean anyone, who can demonstrate a truly renewable energy source-- solar, geothermal, wind, and so on-- that will create the same rate of BTUs as crude oil, in a form that is commercially viable.

This bounty would not be payable just once. It would be paid for each new energy resource that can be so demonstrated to the country's satisfaction. If you can develop a brand new way of harnessing wind on a commercially viable scale that is new and innovative, or takes a windmill one step farther, then you get your bounty. I figure there ought to be about ten of these that will have to be paid out.

No "cold fusion" debacles. We go for the gut this time. The reduction in cleaning up crude oil spills in the future alone ought to justify that bounty. We could lower taxes without even taking a vote, because this energy would be essentially untaxable: how do you justify taxing that which the planet provides us?

In other words, forget the political and economic infrastructure the past has foisted upon us, and move ahead with changes that will actually benefit people. Changes like this and the ones I will outline over the course of the next few months, would be the backbone of any non-campaign I might choose to not run.

Some would give people hope for change. I would offer change that matters, change that counts, change that is real change and not swapping horses in the middle of a race in the wrong direction. The time is now, the people are ready for change. We need to leave the failures of our government behind us and opt to see the world in new ways.

It will be scary, to be sure, but I also think the transition to this new nation would take place more smoothly than even I foresee. It is staggering the amount of information at our disposal that we don't even begin to comprehend, much less account for.