The Pragmatic Democrat
Update: 6/07- I am now an INDEPENDENT...but most everything I say here...I still
By Larry John
society most of us have agreed that we need some form of GOVERNMENT in order to
are going to have government (and as I said, most of us believe we need some
degree of government in a civilized world), we must decide PERSONALLY what kind
of government we think is best for us, our families, our communities, and our
an individual choice. Getting two people to agree on anything is hard. Getting a
nation to agree may be impossible.
that reason I have decided the following for ME, personally, in relation to my
ideas, ideologies, concepts, and political views and my position on how that
relates to government’s role in my life.
on this foundation of thought I can “think” more clearly about government’s
direction, policies, party platforms, laws, elected officials, how I vote, and
what’s important to me….personally.
MY pragmatic political position:
choose to label myself as a “Pragmatic Democrat” striving to be as progressive
in my thinking as possible and trying to see issues and ideologies as
practically as I can. I think government should be fiscally and socially
responsible; looking closely at each issue, concern, question, ideology, etc.
on its own merit and not seeing issues as conservative or liberal, republican
or democrat, but just issues that must be addressed for our nation to continue
believe a Democracy is a good form of government. I do not believe that it is
the only true form of government. A benevolent dictatorship could work with
the right benevolent dictator. But there are very few, if any, “right”
benevolent dictators such as: Buddha or Jesus … so a democracy will do. A
Parliamentary form of government works. Many Monarchies work. But Democracy in
my opinion, and in most cases, is a good form of government.
believe the Constitution of the
can work if people try to work together and not change it to the advantage of
their own special interests.
believe in our “RIGHT TO CHOOSE” over all other rights, privileges, and
believe that all men may have been created equally, but because of the fact
that people are people, equality among men is very seldom achieved.
believe that people can always rationalize their point of view. Having the
right to THINK AS WE MAY is a must as long as we can
THINK AS WE MAY!
believe that a Representative Democracy is actually better than a Democracy in
that normal people are in general uninformed and ignorant by their own choice.
believe that politicians are only as good as their personal special interests.
Greed and the fact that politicians need to get elected and re-elected makes
it hard for a politician to become a statesman.
believe that there are some things in life best served, provided for, and
cared for by the Private sector (i.e.: business).
believe that there are some things in life best served, provided for, and
cared for by government (i.e.: roads and highways).
believe that there are many things in life that must be protected by the
government, some of which are: life, liberty, happiness, property, civil
rights, equal opportunity, the environment, protection from within and from
without, etc. And most of these things in life can ONLY be protected by
believe that government is OURS….by the people and for the people….and NOT
am a secularist. I believe that religion should not be involved with the
ordinary social and political activities of a country
believe that government must always be allowed to evolve based on the times
and specific situations of ALL people, but not on the whims of a special few
believe that RELIGION has no role in government. Using “religious influence”
to control governments, laws, and politics went out with the Crusades.
believe we should withdraw all support for
over Palestine. This senseless alliance is at the root of all our problems in
the Middle East.
believe in protecting our homes, communities, and our nation with force if
need be, but I do not believe in WAR for reasons of retaliation, revenge, or
an eye for an eye mentality.
Protection and Aggression are not interchangeable in relation to military
action. Aggression is wrong. I see all military action outside the borders of
our nation as acts of aggression.
believe that going to another sovereign nation to war is wrong. The “war”
stops at our borders. We must protect our land, not destroy other sovereign
nations by causing more and more war. Killing doesn’t stop others from
killing….it just fuels more killing. War breeds more war! I am a pacifist! We
must encourage discussion, compromise, negotiation, talking, and alliances
rather than WAR!
believe that we must sometimes be “more fair” with some races and people who
did not receive equality in the past because of their race, creed, color of
skin, etc. Many times we need to do this because we need to encourage rapid
societal change. For this reason I am in favor of Affirmative Action.
don’t believe in capital punishment. Killing the killers makes killers of us
all. You can’t separate yourself from killing by allowing others to kill for
don’t think that all laws are fair, but if we are going to live in a civilized
society, we must have laws. And it is our duty to make them as fair as humanly
possible by the election process or by lobbying for change.
believe that we must strive to be an ally to all countries of the world. I
believe that if our allies are attacked we are responsible for aiding them in
the defense of their country, in their country for protection alone ….I do not
believe we have the right to invade sovereign countries and kill their people
regardless of the anger we may feel or the retribution we think we deserve.
believe that we need to take an active role in government such as being active
in a political party or as activists for a cause. Participation starts with
the individual and expands out to a person’s center of influence. One person
can influence many to take action.
- I vote
for the individual and/or party that shares my personal views and ideologies
first… making sure that individual and/or party which shares my ideas still
has a chance of winning the election i.e.: Democratic Party vs. the Green
Party. In other words, should the Green Party with which I share most of my
ideals or ideology ever have a chance of winning an election, I would vote for
the Green Party Candidate as long as the candidate represents the view of the
party….until then….most of my views are better represented by the platform of
the Democratic Party and, hopefully, most of their candidates.
- I know
my ideas about government and politics are constantly evolving and I joy in
thinking, discussing, evaluating, and judging the wisdom of my beliefs. If I
see a better idea, I reserve the right to change my thinking.
- I do
not believe that the MAJORITY is always right. I believe that many times we
must take up the cause of the MINORITY.
is NO national religion! We are a nation of many religions worshiping many
Gods. It is not the duty of government to promote or crusade for a specific
religion. We must never WAR in the name of OUR God.
- I DO
NOT believe we need military bases all over the world to protect our business
or political interests. We can use the money wiser here in our own country for
protection of our homeland.
believe that the educational system is bankrupt. The school and educational
paradigm has changed and the public school system is a dinosaur. We must
change our system of education to better educate ourselves, our families, and
our nation. Technology has drastically changed what, when, where, by whom, and
how we learn.
believe that TAXES need to be kept to a minimum but that some taxes are
important in order to do things that we can’t do as individuals i.e.: roads,
protection (police and military), health care, social security, wage
protection, civil rights, etc. We must choose our taxation wisely. Never allow
government to do what we can do on our own.
believe that our dependence on OIL needs immediate reformation. Many of our
government’s decisions, allegiances, policies, etc are made because of this
dependence. Many of these decisions are not good for our country. There is no
independence while we are dependent on OIL that is controlled by other
countries. Due to the fact that the OIL reserve is quickly disappearing, we
MUST reward research and application of alternative energy sources for our
homes, cars, power, etc. We must do this immediately. Time is of the essence.
- I know
that there will always be poor and needy among us, and it is my duty and many
times the duty of government to take care of those less fortunate than we;
realizing that some will take advantage of the system. Regardless, we should
strive to have no poor and needy among us.
believe the broadcast airwaves and all frequencies of the TV and Radio
stations belong to the PEOPLE and not to private enterprise. Too few companies
controlling all the available information is not good for our country. The
EQUAL TIME policy or fairness doctrine must be reinstated to protect us as a
nation. Stations that are too “right wing” or too “left wing” are dividing us
as a nation. We need to hear all points of view.
believe in the advancement of science. Our nation should also fund, as richly
as possible, scientific discoveries to find cures for diseases and to know
more about the universe in general. I choose to believe science over
superstition and thus believe it is government’s responsibility to aid private
enterprises and individuals in their attempts to fund science.
believe that we must protect all life. Vegetation and animals need to be
protected against man’s desire to exploit and destroy the earth for his own
selfish concerns regardless of dominion theories and beliefs. I don’t think
the world is going to be destroyed unless we destroy it. We must protect the
world and all life on it.
- I am
anti-abortion. If babies are not wanted we must use contraceptives and
abstinence as methods to stop all unwanted pregnancies. When the life of the
Mother is at risk or pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, the lines gray
and the appropriateness of abortion in these instances must be determined on
an individual case by case basis. I am, however, pro-choice. Even though I am
anti-abortion, I cannot take away the freedom of choice from women, even
though I do not agree with their decision to have an abortion. Free agency is
more important than “legislating” my morality and enforcing it through
- I am
anti-drugs and am not in favor of people using drugs including over use of
“over the counter” drugs. That said I am in favor of legalizing drugs for many
pragmatic reasons including over crowded jails. I do not believe it is the
role of government to protect us from ourselves, even when it is for our own
good. Prohibition didn’t work for alcohol and it is not working for drugs.
Even if drugs are legalized, I will not use them because of my freedom to
choose. Our freedom to choose (as long as it does not impede the freedoms of
others or hurt others) must be protected even if that allows people the
freedom to be stupid, wrong, self destructive, unethical, and immoral. That
same freedom of choice allows me to be smart, right, self fulfilling, ethical
and moral. You can legally drink alcohol as long as you don’t hurt others…as
for me; I choose not to drink most of the time. That’s my freedom of choice!
believe our country is great and strong because we have a great and strong
middle class. We need to do more to protect the middle class. Right now the
rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer and the middle class
is rapidly disappearing.
believe that people of our nation must be rewarded directly by government
through laws that encourage paying employees more and giving them better
benefits rather than rewarding industry and business in hopes that they will
take care of their employees through “filtering down” the riches. The “filter
down philosophy” may work in theory, but pragmatically speaking, the riches
never filter down to the worker. The national “minimum wage” needs to be more
than doubled immediately and then increased as inflation increases.
American companies and industry in general need to be rewarded for keeping
jobs in America. The outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries is hurting the
middle class in the United States and the money going to foreign counties is
not “filtering down” to the workers of these countries. The rich keep getting
richer there, too.
Protecting our right to choose trumps most other reasons to take away our
freedom of choice and free agency.
believe that elections are unfair and controlled by the rich and their special
interests. We must fight for FAIR ELECTION laws i.e.: funding, spending,
budgeting, no PAC money, no special interest money, etc. so “anyone” can run
for political office regardless of income or influence.
Einstein said,”I believe that Gandhi's views were the most enlightened of all
the political men in our time. We should strive to do things in his spirit
not to use violence and fighting for our cause but by nonparticipation in
anything you believe is evil." This is my view 100%!
my STRONGEST views, ideologies, and beliefs:
- We must
protect the right of an individual to CHOOSE whether we agree or not.
- We must
protect the right of an individual to THINK as they may… whether we agree or
people must have equal rights and opportunities under the LAW regardless of
race, creed, religion, no religion, sex, sexual orientation, color of skin,
age, country of birth, etc.
protection of the environment is one of my most important beliefs. I abhor the
pollution of the planet regardless of the economic reasons many use to justify
- War IS
WRONG. I do not believe in war for any reason. There is no such thing as a
JUST WAR. We must protect are homes, families, and our nation….but protection
stops at OUR borders. Anything else is aggression.
- I am
willing to sacrifice my personal desires and beliefs for the common good of
for the “good of ALL mankind” is my most important desire and belief.
strive to work for the good of the “whole” while protecting the rights of ALL
civil rights of all mankind must never be denied for any reason. I am most
concerned about the rights of women, people of color, gays and lesbians,
minorities, the disabled, and all those who need a hero to champion their
cause for equal rights and happiness.
- I am
anti-abortion and pro-choice. Both sides of this discussion can have what they
want if we continue to educate. I hope to stop abortions through education
without taking away the right of the woman to choose.
- It is
my goal to strive to improve and better the world. I desire to leave the world
better in every way than when I was born.
children and grandchildren deserve a better quality of life. It all begins
with my thinking.