Considering the damage that fear and ignorance have reaped upon the planet for years and upon America in recent elections, Americans must awaken to the fact that our façade of a two-party political system must become extinct, as it clearly can no longer serve needs of the majority of average citizens. The Unified Progressive Platform is the only current platform that truly addresses the real issues in America’s current reality. Recent events in Wisconsin and also in several other Republican-dominated states are revelations, so loud and clear as to be undeniable, of the need to undermine the so-called two-party system. That truth is as simple as the following quote:
“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
- George Santayana (1863-1952)
Visit their Web site at the link above for more detailed background and information under each of the following points of their platform agenda from their Web site:
Note: The text colors in this document indicate source material, whether ideas or verbatim statements, as follows:
New Progressive Alliance members, volunteers, and comments submitted via blog postings during the NPA’s founding
Socialist Party USA
1892 Populist Party
1912 Progressive Party
1. Peace First
A world of increasing population, diminishing resources, and unstable climate is a world poised for conflict.
We therefore oppose war as an instrument of foreign policy, and support an overarching commitment to nonintervention in foreign lands.
2. Full Employment at a Living Wage
Peace + People + Planet = Economic Sustainability
The costs of supporting our war-based economy, coupled with bailouts of unethical and in many cases lawbreaking for-profit institutions, preclude the possibility of investing in a new economic paradigm that does not profit from death and financial speculation.
3. Saving the Environment
We envision a sustainable society that recognizes our interdependence with the planet and utilizes resources such that future generations will benefit rather than suffer from the practices of past generations.
To this end, we support science-based policies …
4. A Real Social Safety Net
We stand firmly in support of strengthening, expanding, and protecting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance by any means necessary.
Unemployment and home foreclosures, a lack of financial system protections, failure to collect revenue sufficient to fund government operations (including illegal wars), and failure to provide for America’s future have all but destroyed this country’s social fabric. Through the worst possible fiscal management, our social safety net hangs by a thread.
5. Medicare for All
We support Medicare for All as the single most effective approach to cutting runaway healthcare costs, and providing high-quality health care for all Americans.
Americans spend far too much on health care and get far too little in return. Studies show we spend twice as much as other developed countries but consistently underperform them in quality of care, efficiency, and fairness.
The best solution to our overpriced, under-served situation is the simplest: we need to move to a universal, single-payer system: , Medicare for All.
A bill supporting this change — H.R. 676, The American People’s Universal Health Care Bill — was first introduced in the U.S. House in 2003, and has been reintroduced in each Congress since, including during the healthcare reform debates of 2009, when it was actively refused consideration.
6. Fair Trade
We support reformulation of all international trade relations and commerce practices in order to protect the labor, human rights, economy, environment, and domestic industry of this nation, and those of partner and recipient nations.
Trade policy, as currently defined by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB), and the nascent Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), privileges capital and corporations at the expense of people and the planet. Recognizing this, we support trade policy reformulation that enables local industry and agriculture to take precedence over corporate domination.
(I’ve include the entire section under the following sections, #7 and #8, because I believe this particular area is where recent administrations have most egregiously failed and where reform would most immediately lead to overall progress.)
7. Human Rights/Civil Liberties
We are dedicated to protecting, respecting, and expanding the rights and civil liberties of all citizens.
Our country was founded upon a set of principles and ideals that have their most eloquent expression in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Based on these core values, we support equal rights for all citizens, regardless of ethnicity, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, country of origin, or other status, including the right of same-sex couples to marry, and the right of all women to make decisions about their reproductive health.
We further support ending criminal prohibitions on the use and sale of marijuana and advocate its immediate legalization, and more broadly, an end to the so-called War on Drugs, an un-winnable war that has distracted us from our far more pressing responsibilities of caring for and expanding the chances of success of all our citizens.
We support the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights as an international standard that all nations should strive to meet.
With rights come responsibilities. We must remember that life is both individual and social, that freedom must be balanced with equality and justice. The Preamble to our Constitution lists “to promote the general Welfare” as one reason for its establishment. To an increasing degree over the past forty years — and particularly during economic crises — this charge has been ignored by both major political parties, which have instead seen fit to promote the special welfare of the rich and powerful.
We must, as the Progressive Party stated in its 1912 platform, “set the public welfare in the first place,” thereby returning the general welfare clause to its paramount place in government policy making, and making government good again. Our people have been wrongly taught that government is the enemy. Government can and should comprise people working together for their own collective benefit.
• The USA PATRIOT Act is an Orwellian abomination wrapped in a snide misnomer. It violates key privacy and due process protections and contains vast potential for the abuse of power. It must be repealed.
• We must close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility; try individuals accused of terrorizing the United States on our own soil; stop playing extra-jurisdictional and semantic games (e.g., using black sites and calling POWs “enemy combatants”); and end the U.S. government’s terrorizing of its citizens to justify imperialism.
• The right to a writ of habeas corpus must be restored immediately, and criminal investigations into all post-9/11 acts perpetrated in the name of “security” must be launched. These include warrantless wiretapping, torture, rendition, assassination, indefinite detention, obstruction of justice, and the twisting of legal advice by executive branch and DoD lawyers to justify such acts.
8. Election Reform
We support full public financing of elections in order to remove undue influence from political campaigns. Further, we recognize and are committed to ending the myriad opportunities for fraud which now exist in our electoral system.
Our democracy is at peril. In a system where money equals speech, the rich can afford to drown out the rest. They own mainstream media outlets, fund the Commission on Presidential Debates, bankroll think tanks and policy institutes, fund academic research, finance artificial grassroots (“astroturf”) organizations — in short, the wealthy have built a propaganda empire that manufactures consent for all things contrary to the public interest.
In addition, they underwrite influence factories like the American Legislative Exchange Council, institutionalizing and streamlining the quid pro quo process and matching corporate contributors with legislators-for-hire in a highly structured arrangement that leaves voters entirely out of the loop. The recent Citizens United ruling was the final blow to American democracy, which is now for sale to the highest bidder.
• In line with public financing, all qualifying candidates must have free and equal access to radio, television, and press coverage, and be included in any and all public debate forums.
• We support uniform ballot-access laws that make it easier for all political parties to include their candidates on the ballot.
• We support the adoption at local, state, and federal levels of ranked choice voting, as a mechanism to ensure that elections result in an intelligent exchange of varied perspectives.
• We endorse the use of auditable, hand-counted paper ballots in all local, state, and federal elections.
• We support the abolition of the Electoral College, such that the President of the United States would be elected solely through a direct popular vote.
• We support efforts to ensure that the membership of the United States House of Representatives is substantially increased in order to adhere to the original intent for that body to provide this country's citizens with representation at a ratio that will allow citizens and representatives to know and communicate with one another.
• Corporate law must be rewritten to overturn Citizens United. In the absence of comprehensive campaign finance reform, legislation such as the DISCLOSE Act would impose transparency on the current system. A constitutional amendment would establish that money is not speech and that corporations are not persons.
9. Corporate Accountability/Reform
National and multinational corporations have become too powerful. We must reduce the economic and political clout of corporations, improve corporate citizenship, increase executive responsibility, and require corporations to serve society and democracy while safeguarding the environment.
Improved tax and regulation compliance, enhanced shareholder democracy and governance, and the abolition of corporate personhood will help us reach these goals.
We must also:
• Change corporate charters to reflect a “triple bottom line” orientation that measures social and ecological performance in addition to financial performance.
10. Infrastructure Investment/Ownership
We support the establishment of a publicly funded infrastructure bank to capitalize large-scale physical projects and direct funding toward associated research and development.
Forty years of defunding the public sector has saddled America with an outdated and crumbling infrastructure. In all that time, the private sector has not stepped forward to remedy this steadily worsening reality.
As I said, there is more information under the above points at their Web site; I have provided an overview of the Unified Progressive Platform. All the above points represent America’s overriding issues of importance and it is clear that both the Democrat and Republican Parties are not prepared, or even willing, to deal realistically with any of these issues. They are, I guess, if you consider perpetuation of these problems as dealing with them realistically. The point, of course, is that we need to change approaches to ALL of these issues and that won’t happen if we merely continue with the same failed modus operandi.
The vast majority of voters in the upcoming elections will, once again, vote their fears and/or ignorance rather than principles. There are those who vote because they are ignorant of how ignorant they are – the voters who are collecting unemployment, food stamps, disability, social security or some combination thereof, and think they should vote Republican despite the fact that the Republicans are most firmly poised to eliminate as many or as much of those social safety nets as they can possibly manage and despite the fact that conservative policy is what creates the need for those programs in the first place and Republicans never stop trying to chip away at those programs.
On the other side of the aisle we have the Democrats who, either cannot or choose not to, stand firmly against those Republicans because both parties have contributed to the creation of a system that is singularly merged with corporate-America and both parties are therefore dependent on corporate capital to compete with each other. Either way, neither party represents the interests of average citizens and, instead, subjugates them to the corporate oligarchy.
Those who are truly ignorant will vote their ignorance; those who know better will vote their fears. Among them are those who recognize the truth that there are viable alternatives to the two major parties. All that is required is for people to inform themselves about those alternatives, overcome their fear that is the undoing of this nation, and vote differently. Call me an idealist, if you must; that puts me in very good company. America was founded by liberal/progressive idealists. Why do so many persist in arguing that abandonment of that idealism is its only salvation? Undermining this two-party strangling choke-hold that is destroying everything good about America is the only chance we have of saving any of the good.
The Boston Massacre