50 Guiding PrinciplesThe following are 50 short descriptions of our principles on specific topics. This might not cover every aspect of every issue, however from these 50 one should get a very clear idea of where True American Left stands generally. If there is an issue you feel has not been sufficiently addressed please let us know.
1) We believe in the U.S. constitution. We do not intend to change the constitution, including the controversial 2nd amendment. We are absolute believers in freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom from random search and all other aspects of the Bill of Rights. True American Left values are entirely consistent with the U.S. constitution.
2) Our number one issue, because we believe it would solve nearly all of our problems, is to resurrect the long buried "peace dividend." The powers that be want you to believe our problems are complicated and difficult to solve. The only way they can credibly do that is to completely ignore the elephant in the room known as the defense budget.
When Bill Clinton ran for president in 1992 he ran hard on the so-called peace dividend, which meant that now that the cold war was finally over we no longer needed to spend on the military as if we were waging a full scale war. At the time cutting the defense budget by some 80% or more was very popular, with some 90% of the population supporting it - it was after all no-brainer. In his first year Clinton cut the budget slightly, mainly by squeezing it out of the little guy. But the military industrial complex made it clear to Bill Clinton after the election that this campaign promise was simply not going to happen. Clinton stood up at the first state of the union address and pounded his fist and said adamantly that he "will not cut defense further" to which he got a long extended standing ovation from both sides of the aisle. He proceeded not only to raise the budget, but to continue to redirect moneys from those who enlisted because it was the only job left in town, to the large defense contracting corporations. So less money for soldiers, and more money for helicopter gunships and stockholders.
The military budget is roughly $1 trillion, once you add in all of the components typically ignored, such as taking care of wounded veteran's and interest on the debt incurred from a military budget that we cannot afford. We realize that the solutions to nearly all of our economic problems lie in redirecting the defense budget's nearly $1 trillion dollars to social spending, education, health care, housing, welfare, infrastructure and general good deeds. Therein lays the solution to most of our problems, because few people can conceive of what $500 billion dollars really means. There is more than enough money to balance the budget and do everything we need; no taxes need be raised on anybody. We must close most, if not all, of our military bases on foreign soil, including Guantanamo Bay.
The cuts can come largely from the profiteering of the military industrial corporations. The resources spent on the little guy must be maintained to create other jobs for them - we can put them to work in productive domains (e.g. healthcare) rather than destructive domains (guns and killing). The only aspect of the military budget that we will expand is veterans' benefits, particularly for the disabled veterans. The entire military budget need not exceed $50 billion if we cut out obscene profiteering, and we can still have an extremely effective defensive military with a budget that size. What we will not be able to afford anymore are wars of conquest, domination and aggression. But that limitation on U.S. foreign policy will only make the world a better place.
The fact that this issue is almost never discussed in the visible political debate in this country speaks volumes about how much of what we are exposed to is pure propaganada whitewash.
3) The peace dividend will free up enough resources to guarantee, for all people, the most minimal resources needed for life: healthcare, shelter, food, water, energy, public transportation.
We can do this because we are one of the richest countries in the history of the world, if not the richest. We are not broke or even close to it. We are just being robbed blind every day by way of the defense budget and other corporate welfare programs - which are among the ultimate rip offs of all time. If that money had been spent by the NIH for biomedical research or healthcare, instead of on the military, then we would have cured many diseases by now. So that is what we are going to do in the future. Read our lips: No New Taxes are necessary to achieve these goals. A truly sane federal budget is long overdue.
4) We believe that the profit motive does not mix well with the basic necessities of life: Healthcare, Food, Energy, Transportation and Water. Right now these industries are structured to the singular benefit of the wealthy class. These industries must be regulated and restructured to primarily benefit the public.
5) We are adamantly anti-war. That does not mean we are pacifists, we will fight to defend our home soil if that ever becomes necessary. We will not completely disband the military or the nuclear arsenal, we will maintain a military strong enough for defense. We have no War Department, only a Defense Department. We used to have a War Department but we changed it. Therefore, the Defense Department is supposed to be about defense, yet they have been doing nothing but waging wars of conquest. We will never agree to the wars of conquest and destabilization that have been stock-in-trade over the last 50 years. There is not a single war or military action since WWII that we would have supported. Similarly we believe in substantial nuclear disarmament. That does not mean we will unilaterally disarm and make ourselves vulnerable to a first strike – we cannot deny the stability that M.A.D has created, but we will work towards safe and multilateral disarmament. We understand we cannot promise 100% disarmament in any particular time-frame, but it has to be a long term goal.
6) We have the best healthcare in the world if you are rich or lucky enough to have high quality coverage. But for the average person healthcare in the U.S. is a disaster. We do not believe in fully privatized medicine and we insist on 100% full coverage for every citizen and permanent resident. Basic healthcare should be a fundamental right of all citizens, as exists in the rest of the civilized world. Private medicine and private insurance can exist for those who desire luxurious coverage and have achieved the means to pay for it. But guaranteed basic services must be a right of all citizens from cradle to grave. We must have quality well funded compassionate institutions and support for the mentally ill. Nor should we deny basic healthcare to visitors who happen to be injured or fall sick while in the U.S. Since we can reasonably do this, to do otherwise is simply inhumane. If most countries in Europe can afford to do this, we certainly can as well. Furthermore, all persons should be guaranteed the minimal death benefits necessary to provide reasonably respectful mortuary services. There are plenty of resources for this once we properly implement the peace dividend. Plus this industry will create an enormous quantity of jobs for the lower and middle classes, which will stimulate the economy much more effectively than supporing the class of rich military industrial investors, which is how the money is being spent is now.
7) We know that the majority of biomedical research on difficult diseases is already done in academics, and is paid for by the public sector through the NIH. The drug industry's primary role is in conducting drug trials. As such, the biomedical industry has largely socialized the costs of R&D and privatized the profits. We know the profit motive is not necessary for people to work hard because in thousands of academic labs you find the hardest working researchers in the country, working for reasonable salaries. We believe that in such industries the benefit of the profit motive is a big and extremely dangerous lie that we are told and more often than not it stands in the way of progress. We must rectify this situation and socialize drug trials and return the profits and benefits to the people.
8) We believe that the benefits of the increase in productivity that results from increases in technology and automation have been translated almost entirely into increased profits for the wealthy. Otherwise, why given the tremendous increase in productivity over the last 50 years is the working man working harder for less while the rich are getting richer at an alarming rate? We work as much as we ever did, even when each person can achieve so much more in the modern world than they could in the past. That is backwards. In a sensible society the benefits of technological increases in productivity should be shared equitably among the people by way of more time off and easier living. The wealthy will obviously make every argument about why this is wrong, but we will never give in on this issue. Life can and should be easier for everybody in this day and age. The sheer disproportionate way wealth is shared proves this. Those who want to be wealthier than the average person can achieve that by working harder than the average person. Those who do not want to work that hard should at least be comfortable and safe and healthy. Those have to be fundamental rights.
9) We will repeal the Bayh-Dole act which makes it possible for academic researchers to use taxpayer funds to do the groundwork and research to start companies which they can then take 100% private and never repay the taxpayer a cent. This is a regressive measure that is not necessary to incentivize research. We will instead promote alternative progressive ways to incentivize research.
10) We support the availability of first trimester abortions. We support any abortions in the event that the life of the mother is in danger. We support Planned Parenthood and the free availability of birth control.
11) We are for the legalization of marijuana. For hard drugs we favor spending on prevention, education and rehabilitation rather than for incarceration. We do not believe in mandatory minimums for victimless crimes. We will repeal all forfeiture laws for drug crimes. We will severely curtail the use of civilians as informants for drug crimes. We will demilitarize the police and focus their attention on serious and violent crime. We believe the crime and drug problems are best solved by improving the economic situation of the lower classes. We know that crime and drug abuse goes down when standard of living goes up and when there are other things for young people to do. We need more community centers and organized activities for our youth, not prisons. We need to fight poverty so that drugs are not the most attractive avenue for people, both in terms of using and making a living. The lack of sufficient jobs for the working class is highly correlated with crime, while the availability of guns for the working class is not. The solutions to our crime problems lie in making jobs available, which would be easy and constitutional, not in making guns unavailable, which would be nearly impossible and unconstitutional.
12) We will do away with the death penalty once and for all. It is no disincentive to crime. It is race and class bias. It is more expensive to put inmates to death than to imprison them for life. Innocents inevitably are executed and that cannot be undone. Almost the entirety of the industrialized world has done away with the death penalty and much of the rest of the world as well. The list of countries that still employ this medieval punishment is a list of shame that we do not want to be on.
13) We will support the availability of free higher education for everybody. That does not mean we will privatize higher education. The competitive nature of higher education in the U.S. is likely the reason this is one of the best countries on earth for higher education. But there can still be quality public options for those who cannot afford expensive schools.
14) While higher education is top notch in the U.S., primary school education lags far behind. We believe the lack of politicians to properly fund primary education plays a significant role in this problem. Schools need resources to attract good teachers and to have modern facilities and materials. The solution starts with a change in priorities: Fewer nuclear submarines and more schools. Fewer helicopter gunships and more teachers. Fewer hydrogen bombs and more books and computers. Education has been starved which is a travesty, yet no politicians on Capitol Hill are doing anything about this. Clearly by increasing funding for education we can move in the right direction. This has to happen at both the state and federal levels.
15) We must raise capital gains taxes on a sliding scale. We can maintain the current 19% for low level investors but anybody making millions of dollars a year, or even a substantial portion of their living, purely on investment, and therefore are living largely off of the productive efforts of others, should not in addition pay lower taxes than everybody else. They must pay taxes in line with the income tax paid by others who actually work for a living. Also to this end we will support industry based on employee ownership to replace investor based industry.
16) The Left identifies the following problem in the way the economy is currently structured. Big investors in stocks who sit on boards of directors are motivated almost entirely by the desire to raise the stock earnings and market price. Even the small investor's judgement becomes clouded by owning stocks - anything that causes the stock price to go down is just simply bad, and anything that causes it to go up is just simply good. As such they pressure politicians to create business friendly conditions in society, no matter what the toll on humanity. And they pressure management to do whatever it takes to raise the earnings. Management, scared to lose their jobs, often do whatever it takes to survive.
And so we have businesses implementing inhumane labor practices and doing other problematic things to squeeze out every penny for the investors. That is not every company in the country, but it is far too many. Evil acts are performed and stockholders shield themselves from moral responsibility by letting management worry about the details. Investors are good at finding ways to tell themselves that what is good for the stock price must somehow just be good for everybody. How often does a major stockholder view footage of the labor conditions on the factory floor in Indonesia where they have 11 year old children working with dangerous chemicals, so they can have a bit more wealth? They just crunch numbers and need not bother to expose themselves to those unpleasant aspects of their investments. They may even give themselves credit for creating jobs for children who otherwise might be unemployed.
And management can in their minds blame the owners, arguing that they are just doing their job. And the viscous cycle goes on creating a powerfully entrenched culture of irresponsible investment. Now investment is an important aspect of the economy. We do not want to stop the small and medium person from buying stocks and trying their luck in the market. But there must be a firewall between the working man and those stockholders who have enough power to pressure management to put profit above all common decency. Workers are always at a disadvantage and unions have predictably obtained a bad reputation - mainly given to them by the corporation's media. Thus, naturally, workers must have effective unions and laws with teeth to protect them. Large scale investors must be regulated closely to protect workers, the environment and their customers. We believe that people want to do the right thing. When people are responsible for bad things, they always find a way to convince themselves that they are actually doing good things. Over time if people are compelled to recognize the true human impact of their actions regarding the companies they own, then a culture of responsible investment can certainly be fostered. We only get away with it because we shield ourselves. This can be achieved through education. In the spirit of checks and balances, taxes on investment profits should result in information campaigns on responsible investment that can result in a positive evolution of our collective conscientiousness.
17) Too much wealth is locked up in a miniscule group of fabulously wealthy. We must redistribute the wealth of the billionaire class. If the top 10% each gave 10% of their wealth we could all but pay off the national debt. That will not be an easy sell, but we must work for that kind of solution. Wealth redistribution sounds downright communist, however given the absurdly extreme concentration of wealth that has occurred; some amount of redistribution is the only sane thing to do. Even a society that believes whole heartedly in capitalism cannot allow such extreme concentration that it destroys the fabric of society.
18) To date we have fought democracy in the third world wherever it starts to take root. We must stop supporting death squad dictatorships. We will stop destabilizing countries overtly and covertly. Of all things the United States does in the world, this is by far the most heinous.
19) We will pay our debts to the UN. We will pay the $60M fine imposed upon us by the world court for the illegal aggression against Nicaragua, and any others we owe reparations to. We will come clean about our role as the major instigator of international terrorism and aggression against the poor and disaffected around the world.
20) We will support the equal rights of all minorities. We will support legal immigration. The long term solution is to work to make our neighbors better places to live, so that illegal immigration is not the best option for so many people in the South. To date we have supported every kind of repressive and oppressive dictatorships south of our border. So it is no wonder they want to come here. The solution is not a bigger wall, the solutions lie in economic justice.
21) We support alternative energy research. We are not anti-oil. We must however divert oil profits to good deeds and to search for alternative energies by way of solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, etc.
22) We will break up monopolies, and make a few of them public that obviously should be, starting with eBay and PayPal. Some industries are natural monopolies, such as an online auction site. Such things need to belong to the people, for the people, and not to be run in the most fascist possible ways to extract maximum profits for a few rich investors. This is an example where the invisible hand of the market has brought us the most inferior product because the nature of the industry creates a natural monopoly and the benefits of competition are minimized. Online marketplaces like eBay should provide fantastic infrastructure for self-employment. We need to make such resources freely available to the people so they can use them in creative ways. As it is now, the monopolistic properties of eBay are designed to deliver maximum profit to the stockholders. Ebay proves that the industry cannot police itself but rather runs rampantly out of control with greed. We will not break up industries haphazardly or liberally, but a few key industries such as eBay must be made public. The benefits far outweigh the costs of doing this.
23) We support public transportation. We understand why the government has been coerced by the car industry to build all the roads for them, and bullied into not doing the same with rails for the train industry. We will reverse this situation.
24) True American Left is strongly opposed to the policy of revoking the right to vote for those citizens convicted of crimes. For example, as a result of the laws revoking the right to vote, some 1/3 of black men in their 20's have lost the right to vote. This biases the voters to the Right. The right to vote must be fundamental and there must be no law revoking that right for any citizen under any circumstance.
25) We will stop subsidizing corporate agriculture, particularly corn and sugar. If anything we should be subsidizing and promoting small agribusiness and the benefits of such subsidies should be passed on to the people according to their needs.
26) We must enact serious severe legislation to curtail the ongoing Wall Street highway robberies both at home and abroad. In 2008 we saw the biggest criminal rip-off of the American people in history. That started with the rich buying our politicians and then having them change the regulatory laws so they could more easily go on their crime spree with impunity. Yet nobody was held accountable, not a single person went to prison. Just the opposite, Obama, the supposed hero of the left, hired many of the criminals responsible for the rip-off into his cabinet to be his economic advisors. The government bailed these people out and then watched untold numbers of common folks be put on the streets, to make sure the banks got paid. Since then, the rich have continued getting richer at an even faster pace, while the poor have gotten significantly poorer. We absolutely do not have to accept this. Yet Obama has proven to only be interested in prosecuting whistleblowers. We must reverse this state of affairs and pursue the criminal prosecution of white collar criminals. There must be no more bailouts of the financial industry. We must do away with the Fed, Fannie Mae and the other institutions that operate primarily in the interests of the rich, and replace them with rational institutions that act on the interests of all of the people equitably. Powerful legislation curtailing the activities we have been subjected to by the rich and their institutions will be enacted and serious violators will go to prison.
27) The peace dividend will give us plenty of resources to pay for the social programs that we need. However, we are realistic and we do understand that by putting an end to stealing the resources of other people and by curtailing Wall Street, that the total amount of wealth in the U.S. must decline. But we must do this, since we do not believe in doing anything for money and we understand the incalculable suffering caused by the greed of the wealthy class in the United States. We have witnessed the deaths of literally tens of millions of innocent people - just the campaign of Gore and Clinton alone to restrict access to AIDS drugs to the poor in African resulted in millions of unnecessary deaths, all in the name of profit for one American corporation. The beneficiaries of these policies shield themselves from guilt by believing their own propaganda, but we will no longer buy into those lies because they are the greatest evils of our times. Honesty compels us to admit this and we will, loud and clear.
So yes, if we do the right thing then the total wealth of the U.S. must go down. And that money must come from somewhere. Somebody will have to do with less. However, given the astronomical imbalance of how wealth is currently shared, by simply sharing things more fairly the bottom 90% of the population can actually see their standard of living go up. It is a lie that we do not have the money to solve our problems - and if anybody in such a discussion fails to mention the astronomical military budget then that is simply not somebody who is serious about solving our problems. And you rarely if ever hear this discussed seriously in the corporate media.
28) We believe the work week should be shortened to 30 hours before overtime kicks in. There has been a massive increase in productivity we have witnessed over the last 100 years, and that should translate into more free time for everybody. Yet it has instead been translated almost entirely into more profit for investors. That is backwards and this needs to be rectified. A 30 hour work week would be a good start.
29) We believe in paid maternal leave on par with the rest of the civilized world. The only countries that do not have paid maternal leave are Swaziland, Lesotho, Papua New Guinea and the United States of America. Yet we also have seen society change so that both parents must work to survive - and to work more and more hours by the year. How can the U.S. be so backwards on issues like this? Why do they talk so little about this in the corporate media? We know why. What we do not understand is why the population is so tolerant of such abuse. It is a testament to how severely our most basic aspirations have been domesticated in this country - a true triumph of the wealthy class.
30) We believe the minimum wage needs to be raised to the point where anybody can live decently. Some of the lowest paid in this country do some of the most important and thankless work - janitorial work for example. We owe a deep debt of gratitude for all those who do these jobs. They deserve a lot more respect than they will probably ever get, but at minimum we can assure that they can make the decent living that every human being deserves.
31) We believe in Keynesian economics. All politicians believe in Keynesian economics whether they admit it or not. Currently the economy is driven in large part by military spending. But we know that it does not matter how the money is spent as long as it is spent. Therefore we will redirect funds currently flowing to the military into the healthcare industry, the domestic construction industry, alternative energies and other productive ventures.
32) We believe in death with dignity. Compassionate options for terminal patients to take their fate into their own hands, as they have it in Oregon. This should be national policy.
33) We believe that past politicians responsible for war crimes must be held accountable. We understand that includes a majority of all living Senators, Congressmen and presidents who voted for illegal wars of aggression and who executed wars in illegal ways. We understand that this includes Jimmy Carter as well as George Bush. We are not here to prove that Jimmy Carter, the so-called human rights president, is guilty of crimes against humanity. We know that he was an adamant supporter of death squad dictatorships and the genocide in East Timor. The information is readily available for anybody who wants to know the truth. We are simply here as a place for people to go who have found the truth. You are not alone and common sense can prevail.
34) We will support a truly independent international war crimes tribunal, which we have up to now resisted. We will disband any of our kangaroo courts such as the ICTY and get on board with true international law and justice.
35) We believe in foreign aid that actually helps the poor and needy. Not foreign aid cynically spent to deliver even more taxpayer money directly into the hands of U.S. corporations, as most of it is now. We can do a lot to put an end to hunger in the world, being the richest country in history. For example, we will expand the PEPFAR programs to give free AIDS drugs to poor Africans and others in the third world.
36) We must reduce our carbon footprint in case mankind is contributing to global warming. Whether or not global warming is caused by mankind, the fact is the world has been on a warming trend over the past century. If this trend continues, our coastal cities will be submerged over the next century. Therefore, we should start building levees now to anticipate this. This will be expensive, but it is an excellent way to create jobs to stimulate the economy and to do something positive with the efforts. If we put this off to the last minute, it could be catastrophic.
37) Cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths and we will promote it in the humanities. We will support the arts and humanities from all walks of life and all perspectives.
38) We believe the government has no right collecting information randomly on citizens. We will ban all such forms of surveillance. We will root out any such elements in the NSA and shut them down.
39) We will do away entirely with the CIA which serves no positive function in the world whatsoever. It is instead a tool of the administration to do their endless dirty work. There is no place for such an organization in the civilized world. Correspondingly, we will completely eliminate our practices of torture and rendtion.
40) We will not look for and maintain an enemy of the day. We believe the communists, then the drug lords and now the terrorists have been used cynically as tools of fear to justify foreign adventures in the name of profit. We believe the sooner we put an end to such attitudes the sooner the world will start moving in a new direction of peace. We want to be a true beacon of peace and justice and sacrifice in the world. Not a beacon of greed, power, fear and destruction.
41) We will respect all peoples of the world and their right to self-determination. It is not our job to police the world and to tell others what kind of governments they can have. Even so, we have traditionally supported dictatorships and opposed democratic movements wherever possible. If we are to have any influences in the world, we must take a 180 degree turn on this stop opposing true democratic movements.
42) We will make friends with Russia, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam and any others we have been unreasonably antagonistic towards. We realize international trade puts all countries in difficult business relationships with each other. We will not be naive, every country must play to win. But we simply cannot violate human rights and common decency to win at any rate, which is how we operate now. That will sometimes make us underdogs, but we believe taking a truly moral position in the world by a country as powerful as the U.S. would be an incredibly powerful position from which to enage the rest of the world - it would unprecedented and would be truly inspiring. We realize other countries will play dirty, so we have to be strong and maintain our integrity, but a country as prominent as the U.S. can and should try to set a positive example and hopefully we can slowly change the way nations interact. To date we have stood in the way of morality in international relations. And with a country as powerful as us in the way, no other country could possibly do much. Since we are the ones who can effectively set an example, it would be particularly immoral for us not to try. Perhaps one day we might see a planet with no wars. That has to be our goal. If we do not learn to get along in this ever shrinking world, then the future is truly in trouble. And we simply cannot succeed if we do not try.
43) We will not allow corporations to do their manufacturing in countries like Indonesia where labor practices are reprehensible and sell their products in the U.S. We will repeal NAFTA and any other such pacts that sell out the interests of the people to the interests of the elite.
44) We believe in protecting endangered species. We believe in protecting forests and wildlife. We support conservation efforts. We support more national parks and protected lands in the lower 48. We can create just as many jobs planting trees as exist in the industry of cutting trees. We would just have to eliminate profiteering and implement a sane policy. In Europe there are basically no old growth forest left anywhere. Do we want that to happen also here? What will future generations think of us if we did that? Forest are beautiful and important ecosystems and we must protect them.
45) We will stop taking the sides of a few privileged nations like the UK and Israel in their human rights abuses. Therefore we will support a two-state solution to the Palestinian problem in the Middle East. The UN votes on this regularly and we are one of usually less than five who reject it. We will support this measure like the rest of the world has been. So for example, we will support the rights of the oppressed in the British/Irish conflict, the Turkish/Kurdish conflict, the Indonesia/East Timor conflict, and the myriad of others on which we have traditionally taken the side of the oppressor and not the oppressed.
46) The values of the rich have been imposed on the rest of us. Everything that increases their wealth is considered good, and anything that inhibits the accumulation of wealth is considered just plain bad. And in this way some of the most evil acts have been elevated to be some of our highest values, meanwhile some basic acts of goodness have been declared the pinnacle of evil. We must base our values on good hearted common sense and not on greed. We believe people are good and can be motivated by the desire to be good. That is why when they want us to march off to conquer the next resource rich country to pillage they invariably tell us we are acting to help the poor and disaffected. They never tell us we are marching off to rob and plunder. Therefore, clearly the mentality exists among the population to actually do good things for others, and not to just have our desire to do good used to manipulate us. The rich would tell you that without them there would be nothing good in the world. We know how shameful that position is. The American people truly do want to do real good in the world and we must make it possible to allow that to happen.
47) Corporations have been given the rights of people. This gives impunity to the real people behind and it gives corporations bargaining rights that result in the abuses of the human rights of real people. This trend has to be reversed and the laws allowing it need to be changed.
48) If there is a triumph of the true left in this country and we manage to gain some influence in Congress, it will be because the elite have pushed their luck so far and the population has become so upset that the propaganda system and the rest of the standard methods of keeping the right in power and the keeping the left marginalized will have failed. If such critical mass is reached and the population comes to its senses and elects True American Left politicians, we will have to worry about how to avoid a slow erosion back to where we started, because there will still be rich and powerful corporate interests at play. Therefore, we will have to seize the moment and enact some strong legislation constructing a firewall between corporate interests and the representatives of the people. There has to be campaign finance laws based on fairness. So for example any dollar given to a politician by a "for profit" contentious interest has to be matched by some amount of resources given to the opposition. This would be modeled on the fairness doctrine which was a consession enacted as part of the agreement to the total privatization of the media, back when this was being debated in the 1940's. And that is what funded the non-smoking campaigns we saw on television in the 1970's. That was a beautiful example of what can happen when there are proper checks and balances in place. The power elite obviously hate such checks and balances and so they quietly repealed that law in 1987 - which was a total violation of the promise private industry made to the people when they obtained total privatization of the airwaves. This and other campaign finance reforms enacting proper checks and balances must be enacted in the domain of campaign finance. A system must put in place so that the rich class can never again takes over total control of our country. We can tolerate a wealthy class, but we cannot tolerate them using their wealth to hijack government and the media to do their bidding.
49) Intervention in foreign elections must be illegal. We do not allow any other governments to interfere in our elections and we must not interfere in theirs. We maintain spies at pretty much every embassy, who try to get officials and other powerful individuals on our payroll. Nothing good comes of this and an end must be put to it immediately. We don't need to fire anybody, we can certainly find better things for those individuals to do than to spend their time spying and interfering with popular movements and destabilizing governments.
50) The media is currently under total corporate control. True American Left recognizes that the conception that we have a left wing media is a myth. Only on some social issues such as abortion, homosexual rights or marijuana legalization do we see a truly wide spectrum of opinion. However on any issues that affects the bottom line of corporations, the media represent right wing values exclusively. That includes so-called "public" media such as NPR and PBS, which get most of their funding from corporate underwriting - and as a result the bias in their reporting is severe. We in fact identify faux representatives of the left such as NPR as the most nefarious of all media because they set the left most boundary of debate in the artificial spectrum of viewpoints that are deemed acceptable. These are the media organizations designed to siphon off the productive energies of the (enormous) segment of people in the population with truly left leaning values.
In short, there is no journalistic freedom across the entire spectrum of corporate media from FOX to NPR. The print media is only slightly better. And the corporate media, including the major newspapers (NY Times, Washington Post, LA Times), basically set the entire spectum of debate on all issues that affect corporations. And the near total corporate control of the acceptable spectrum of debate in this country is a large contributor to our problems. We must put in place a truly public media. We must reinstate the fairness doctrine whereby if one side of a contentious issue is being presented that they must provide some funds to the other side(s) of the issue. As stated earlier in this document, this is what brought us the anti-smoking ads in the 1970's. Those were actually paid for by the cigarette companies. This fairness law was enacted as a concession by the private sector when it was being debated whether or not the limited airwaves should be at least partially public, or should be entirely privatized. This law was used basically once, in cigarette advertizing, and then the powers that be quietly repealed it. So now we see the culmination of exactly what those who argued for a public option back in the 1940's were warning us about. Private industry has completley taken over the entire spectrum of debate on crucial issues - and we are in big big trouble becuase of it. Just look at the mess they have created.
That is why, for example, we can have a long protracted national debate on healthcare and have the single payer option all but completely ignored as if it does not even exist - instead of calling it the system most of the rest of the world uses with great success, they called it "Canadian style healthcare". The media never presented that issue in any even remotely balanced way. Likewise, nobody told us in 1979 when Iran took over our embassy that we had overthrown their democracy in a CIA instigated coup and we put in a hand picked puppet dictator who ruled with an iron fist for over 20 years. No media made that clear to us, not the right or the so-called left, even though it was well-known and uncontroversial history. Every American should know the names Mossadeq, and Arbenz. But almost nobody does. Every American should know what happened in East Timor. But almost nobody does. Instead they told us the Iranias hate us simply because they hate freedom and they hate democracy. The picture the media give us is so tremendously biased that it does boggle the mind that they get away with it, so there is a staggering uphill battle to overcome it. But we firmly believe that the system as it is, is inherently unstable, because of the rampaging greed and internecine conflict that drive it, and that it will eventually self-destruct. Then finally the people will have to search and find the real truth, which is right there just under the surface.
Once this happens we must put in safeguards against it happening again, because the causes are not mysterious. We must learn from this mistake and structure things so it cannot happen again. And in this way we can continue the long record of progress the human race has made towards a better world for all.