Preston Picus On "The Issues"
Money Controlling Politics
If we don't change how representatives get elected, it doesn't matter what they say they believe in. They believe in getting reelected, and they believe that means taking "large donations," or bribes. Instead of focusing on legislation and what is best for the American people, our representatives are focused on fundraising and pleasing the funders.
Stop the flood of money=get a better America. No more bribes. Vote for small money, independent candidates or you can expect more of the same bad business. And remember: Democrats are just as bad as Republicans, and in many cases worse. Just because Democrats say things many of us like to hear doesn't mean they share our values.
Finally, the Supreme Court gets something right! But the fight is not over. Sure some states will continue to fight against marriage equality, but more importantly our friends and families will continue to be discriminated against for their sexual orientation.
It's a woman's body. The government shouldn't be involved in an individual's choices, but should ensure universal access to services.
We need to do more to fight for equality for women, from closing the pay gap to expanding access to child care and paid leave for new mothers. But it starts with expanding and protecting the reproductive rights of women.
We need reform. It's complicated. Racism and 'fear of the Other' goes too far. Matt Taibbi is right - There's too much money to be made in deportation. Oh, and undocumented workers aren't the ones taking your jobs. Tax dodging corporations are shipping your jobs overseas.
We must do more to give immigrants access to healthcare, protections from abusive working conditions, reform the visa systems and create a sensible system that treats immigrants, regardless of status, as human beings.
The 'privatize' education group is destroying our public school system. Greed and pursuit of power has convinced too many folks that you can treat education like a business. You can't.
Worse - political pundits are blaming our failing school systems on bad teachers. We do have some bad teachers, but what we see is that when you focus on firing bad teachers without working to make the job of teaching more attractive you just end up with not enough teachers. Teaching is among the lowest paying jobs in the United States which require an advanced degree.
Schools in wealthy areas are able to do great work in education because they have plenty of funding. Schools in less wealthy areas struggle. We don't have a crisis in education as the so-called reformers would have you think. We have a crisis in how we treat middle and lower income Americans in this country.
College should be tuition and debt free, and we can make this happen with a tax on the wealthiest 0.01% who haven't been paying their share. However, it all starts with early education and strengthening our public school system.
When you do something bad at your job, you should get fired. When a group of people are targeted by government employees because of a bias, we have to change that system. Without accountability there is no social justice.
I fully support the efforts of Campaign Zero. We need comprehensive reform. It will be hard work, but this is a crisis we must face together.
Treatment of Veterans
It's horrible and it must change. Both sides of the aisle wave 'I Support Our Troops' flags when they send Americans to die in war, but when those same Americans come back home neither major party is willing to do what it takes to support them. This is a national embarrassment, regardless of anyone's personal opinion of our national tendency toward waging permanent war.
Too many Americans face utter bankruptcy and financial ruin in the event of a single health emergency. Insurance companies make massive profits on this broken system. The ACA was a step in the right direction, but it has significant flaws. We can't rest until ALL of our people have access to health care.
Government Spying and Torture
Your private life should be private and the government's actions should be public. It's how this nation was founded. When the government does things in secret, it's probably committing a crime. When a whistleblower gets sent to prison while the criminals are not punished, our nation loses an important piece of itself. It's gone on far enough. It's gone too far.
Just about every smart person agrees that extreme inequality of wealth is very bad for everyone. Our society is more unequal today than it has been at any time since the Great Depression. Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz may disagree with famed economist Thomas Piketty about the cause of this great inequality, however nearly every economist fully asserts that our extremely divided society endangers us all.
As a people, we must begin to wonder why we continue to let the wealthiest few buy up our politicians without calling it Bribery, especially when this bribery results in increasing levels of wealth inequality and destabilization.
Our government of bribed officials takes money from lower and middle income Americans and gives it to the super wealthy corruptors (the portion of the top 0.01% that buys our elections). Stop the bribery and you close the gap between the 0.01% and the rest of us. Close the gap between the super rich and the rest of us and you get a healthy economy and a robust middle class - something we haven't had since the 1970s.
Why are we arguing if the earth is getting hotter or colder? We are creating too much waste and we are burning too much fuel! You can't go in the ocean after it rains without getting sick. With 7 billion people on the planet we have to slow down! Anyone who says differently is either making money from the destruction (oil companies) or a complete idiot (Fox News).
And Last But Not Least...
Why do we continue to vote for Republicans and Democrats? Because they hold us hostage with our values. They try to convince you that if you vote for an independent you're 'wasting your vote.' They try to tell you that voting for an independent is a vote for the other team, the one you hate.
If you're reading this page and you're thinking to yourself "I don't agree with any of this," - let me say one thing...
Think about how much money your party raises because you care deeply about these issues. Think about what would happen if one of these things was settled, once and for all. Whether it's gay marriage or abortion or immigration, as long as it is a question to be brought up and you are passionate about it - politicians can find ways to motivate donors for their campaigns.
Whether or not we agree on these issues, please understand: You're not going to get anything real out of the Republican and Democrat politicians. They've been bribed. They want to be bribed again. Even if we disagree entirely on the well-tread national issues, I'm still your best bet as the anti-corruption candidate for California's 12th District.