Source of my Core Beliefs
My core beliefs concerning government have been greatly influenced by my extensive travels to over thirty countries (in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia), my having twice lived overseas, and my interest in international and national news. These experiences have given me ample insight into the pros and cons of various forms of government, including that of my own country, the United States of America.
Core Beliefs Concerning Society and Government
I am an unabashed Liberal (liberty), Progressive (progress), Social (socialism), and Democrat (democracy):
As a liberal, I believe in liberty. Specifically, I believe in:
- Government by the consent of the governed
- Government by the rule of law with absolutely no person, organization, or corporation above the law
- Equal protection under the law (e.g., equal rights in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and country of origin)
- Governmental guarantees of civil liberties and individual freedoms (e.g., freedom of speech, press, peaceful assembly/protest, and religion)
- Equal opportunity (e.g., education, health care, and financial security)
- A rejection of all forms of tyranny (e.g., by authoritarians, oligarchs, corporations, and by the majority over the minority)
In today’s interconnected world, I believe in:
- Internationalism (e.g., valuing economic, political, and military alliances) rather than nationalism (e.g., isolationism and nativism)
- Limiting military funding to the level needed for national defense rather than an offensive projection of power
- Limiting warfare to wars and engagements that are explicitly declared by Congress
I believe in progress (continual improvement) based on facts, evidence, and science rather than political ideology and religious dogma.
As a socialist, I believe in a limited form of socialism in the western European sense of the word:
- Government (international, national, state, and local) has a major role to play in improving the lives of citizens (especially the middle and lower class) via beneficial laws and regulations.
- Human rights (especially for minorities) such as:
- LGBTQ+ rights (e.g., marriage equality, adoption equality, job security, and rest-room access)
- Women’s rights (e.g., equal pay, bodily autonomy, and abortion)
- Immigration rights (e.g., comprehensive immigration reform, DACA, and welcoming refugees)
- Capitalism should be well-regulated capitalism and constrained by law and regulation to avoid the abuses caused by the unrestrained combination of wealth, greed, and power (e.g., political corruption and unsustainable income inequality).
- Progressive taxation, including individuals, organizations (including churches), and all corporations so that everyone pays their fair share and excessive wealth does not result in an oligarchy.
- Financial security as a right (e.g., through a livable minimum wage, minimum basic income, and social security for the elderly and disabled)
- Universal health care as a right (e.g., Medicare for all including 100% coverage of doctors, hospitals, medications, dental, vision, and ambulances with no annual or lifetime maximums)
- Universal public education as a right, including four years of college and vocational schools as well as training to offset job loss due to technical advancement
- Environmental protection (including aggressive prevention of and adaption to the climate crisis, pollution, and habitat loss through the replacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy production) and sufficient, sustainable conservation of natural environments and resources to ensure availability for future generations
- Labor Laws (e.g., 40-hour work week and overtime, work safety, child labor laws, disability insurance, and parental leave
- Critical infrastructure (e.g., highways and bridges, mass transit, national electric grid, Internet, water, and sewage)
- Food and drug security and safety
Wealthy individuals, organizations, and for-profit businesses should be well-regulated and heavily taxed so that they adequately support the public good (via taxation) and do not amass dangerous levels of economic power over society, the economy, and the Government.
- Certain resources, such as a large percentage of the natural environment and its resources, belong to society as a whole (i.e., to the citizens collectively) rather than to individuals and for-profit businesses.
- Certain critical services (e.g., health care, social security, mass transit, police and prisons, and military) are best supplied by the Government rather than by for-profit businesses.
I strongly believe in democracy. Specifically, I believe:
- Voting is a fundamental right that cannot under any circumstances be infringed upon. All citizens, age 16 and above, should have the right to vote, including current and former inmates. Voter registration should be automatic and universal.
- All forms of gerrymandering, voter suppression, and voter fraud are fundamentally undemocratic and should be abolished and appropriately punished.
- All elections should be free, fair, and secure (i.e., protected from domestic and foreign attacks).
- Freedom of the press is critical to ensure an informed electorate (based on unbiased information).
- I am opposed to authoritarianism in all of its forms.
Although technically an independent, I primarily vote as a Democrat because its platform most closely aligns with my beliefs and because third-party candidates are currently unelectable and therefore act as spoilers.
Core Beliefs Concerning Religion and Philosophy
I am a secular humanist:
- Atheist (secular):
Despite being raised a Southern Baptist Christian and having spent several years studying the world’s major current religions and former religions (mythologies), I find that there is no credible evidence for the existence of any deity/deities or transcendental entities, miracles, life after death, or other superstitions that would justify a religious belief. Neither do I find sufficient justification to be agnostic.
I believe that humans have the right and responsibility to live ethical lives that are informed by science (using its methods of critical inquiry, logical reasoning, empirical evidence, skeptical evaluation of conjectures and conclusions, and peer review to obtain reliable knowledge), inspired by art, and motivated by compassion. I believe human efforts should be used to meet the needs and desires of both individual humans and humanity as a whole.