A View From The Overlook: The Agenda
One of our readers hinted darkly that there was an “Agenda” to A View From the Overlook.
Well, yes. Astute of you to notice!
Briefly, the agenda is this: Our political party, the National Progressives, plan to spread what some of you call “Socialism” and “Big Government” (and what our party founder would call “common sense”) throughout the land.
As our party founder said in a memorable speech in Kansas: “The essence for any struggle for healthy liberty has always been, and must always be, to take from some one man or class of men, the right to enjoy power, wealth, position, or immunity which is not earned by service to his or their fellows.”
This can be done by simply raising taxes on this class of citizens. As for the “dangers” of Big Government, our Founder remarked, “In order to deal with an 80 billion dollar industry, you need an 800 billion dollar federal government.”
A Government To Help The Private Sector
Due to the increasing complexities of dealing with climate change and looming energy shortages caused by an (eventual) sharp decline in the availability of fossil fuels, we need a government large enough and rich enough to help the private sector finance substitutes.
We should start working on that eventuality now. This will require government subsidies until these new industries are viable. Naturally, as no sane person gets sick as a hobby or pastime, we National Progressives look forward to single-payer universal medical care for all, with no exceptions. The Single Payer would of course, be the federal government.
We noticed, as you did, that in the recent election the candidates spent a stupefying amount of money on an irritating campaign that eventually caused a 4-year-old girl to burst into tears and annoyed the hell out of the rest of us. The National Progressive Party will insist on a federal funding of elections or the creation of a private trust fund to which all citizens can donate and from which all candidates can draw upon on an equal basis.
The National Progressive Party believes in the expansion of the system of National Parks and Wildlife Refuges as well the continued use of the Antiquities Act of 1906 to establish National Monuments on federal land wherever justified by independent study to protect significant areas of natural or human history in the public domain.
The National Progressive Party believes that the Executive Office must retain its ability to move quickly and decisively to preserve endangered ecosystems, history, or prehistory on federal land. The National Progressive Party believes that the highest use of National Forest and Bureau of Land Management land to be the preservation of biodiversity and for the recreation and enjoyment of the American people, coupled with the need to manage the forests as a carbon sink to mitigate global warming.
The extractive needs of ranchers and corporations will be considered on a case-by-case basis dependent upon commitment to environmental restoration. No “sweetheart” deals will be permitted.
As For Those Other Countries
In the matter of foreign affairs, the National Progressive Party believes we should skip the next war. That is, if we are invited, we should not attend. Wars are real budget busters as we found out in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Rather than expensive wars, we should seek to eliminate objectionable individuals rather than whole countries or cultures. We can do this with a cost-effective program of drones and/or Special Forces.
Now, we admit that some of the National Progressive Party’s platform may seem somewhat radical, but difficult times call for difficult measures. Indeed, the beloved founder of our party was badly wounded in an assassination attempt. Asked how he felt, he stoutly replied, “I’m fit as a bull moose”!
This statement led to our colloquial name, the Bull Moose Party. Yes, neighbors, we are talking about the election of 1912 and that old radical, Theodore Roosevelt and his pinko ideas. He lost of course. Third parties don’t do well in the U.S., but he didn’t do badly either; Republican Taft got 3,486,342, Bull Moose Roosevelt 4,122,721, Democrat Wilson, 6,296,28, and Socialist Debs got 901,551.
Did the Bull Moose Party accomplish anything besides putting Woodrow Wilson in the White House?
Well, yes it did; the 1912 platform of the Bull Moose, or National Progressive Party, looks like a litany of modern-day liberal successes. One-hundred years ago, Theodore Roosevelt was asking for:
* Social Security pension program (passed in 1935)
* A minimum wage for women (passed for everyone in 1947)
* The 8-hour work day (passed in 1937; anything more is overtime)
* A federal securities commission (passed in 1933)
* Workmen’s compensation for injuries (passed 1917)
* An inheritance tax (passed 1916, later “reformed”)
* A federal income tax (16th amendment, 1913)
* Women’s suffrage (19th amendment, 1920)
* Direct election of senators (17th amendment, 1913)
* The adoption of the Recall, Referendum, and Initiative, (No)
* Strict limits on and disclosure of campaign contributions (Not bloody likely)
* Registration of lobbyists (passed 1946; ineffective)
* A federal National Health Service (Still a work in progress)
Some Updating Is Needed
Now, we modern Bull Moose Party members have taken some literary and even historical license with Theodore Roosevelt’s Progressive ideas:
First, we have adjusted for inflation his quote about needing “An 8 billion dollar federal government to deal with a one billion industry.” He was referring to John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company and its possible influence on regulation.
As for peace and international affairs, we have also done some adjusting. Having Roosevelt in the Executive Office was a bit like having Ernest Hemingway as president; everything had to be done with brio and machismo. Roosevelt did win the Nobel Peace Prize for ending the Russo Japanese War, but he was bellicose by nature.
Although the 1912 Bull Moose platform called for eventual naval disarmament, it also called for the building of two battleships a year, a contradiction that apparently didn’t bother Theodore.
Battleships were the cutting edge in armaments in 1912, but not anymore. Therefore, we have updated the idea of war to the less expensive and much less expansive use to of drones and Special Force Commandos to take out those our president finds undesirable.
We believe Roosevelt would approve (Remember “Perdicaris alive or Rasouli dead!”)
“But,” you ask, “Isn’t that a bit like, well, assassination?”
Well yes it is, neighbor, and while we are sure the Rough Rider could have handled it, this remains one of the disturbing features of the Obama administration. We modern National Progressives would solve this moral quandary by requiring a trial in absentia for anyone before being targeted, with the accused being duly informed that he was guest of honor at an explosion.
The accused could then save himself some trouble by surrendering to the nearest American consulate for transport to the U.S. for trial. It would be worth his consideration as the U.S. would agree to a maximum sentence of life without possibility of parole. (Our tendency to execute people shocks our more fastidious allies)
So, yes, we National Progressives have an Agenda. We hope to be a source of ideas and guidance to the Republicans and Democrats. Wish us well!