I hear a chorus of cautious and concerned voices in the mainstream media warning Democrats to refrain from pushing their agenda too far to the left. When you’re on the inside looking out, I suppose you’ll do that.

Here’s what I believe: Hesitation kills and this is the absolute worst time in American history to play it safe. The federal government is broken. It does not need a tune-up. It needs a complete overhaul or it’ll never run again.

Were I able to mold a candidate from human clay (as Karl Rove has done), I’d put the following platform forward.

The 12 Point Plan to Save America

1- Reinstate the draft and make military service (or the equivalent public works service) mandatory. It’s the only way to run an Empire.
2- Simultaneously reduce the size of the Empire. We currently maintain more than 800 military bases in 70 countries overseas. Britain, France and Russia, by contrast, have 30 foreign bases combined. Let’s reduce the footprint to 200 total overseas bases and put all those dollars saved into infrastructure and social services.
3- Make Election Day a national holiday and encourage the use of mail-in ballots and paper ballots (to prevent hacking and boost participation rates).
4- Treat guns like cars. Own as many as you want, but each gun must be registered with the state and you must prove you’re competent with firearms (via regular testing) in order to have a license.
5- House the homeless and provide universal healthcare for all people and all conditions. If you need to know how we will pay for it, we will close more than 600 overseas military bases. See #2 above.
6- Outlaw for-profit prisons and turn all but the most high-security prisons into mobile work camps, where people work outside on farms and on other infrastructure projects.
7- Encourage corporations to focus on their triple bottom line and provide job training and jobs via a public/private partnership dedicated to improving our city, county, state, and national parks; providing affordable and efficient public transportation; and creating sustainable energy and agriculture solutions.
8- Make all campaigns for public office publicly funded and remove all dark money from the process entirely.
9- Welcome refugees and put them on a fast track to citizenship and job training.
10- Officially recognize and apologize for our original sins—slavery and genocide—and make restitution to the victims’ offspring. Also, establish two new memorials on The Mall in Washington, DC.
11- Pay our best teachers as much or more than lawyers. See #2 above.
12- Create a North American partnership with Mexico and Canada where all citizens can easily travel and work in any of the three nations.

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Life of the Mind, Place, Politics, The Economy, The Environment