The Platform


Christopher Ebbe, Ph.D.  9-23

I am offering myself as a candidate for President for the 2024 election because I am very concerned about the disunity in our society, which is leading to much suffering and angst among our citizens.  There are a number of factors causing this, most importantly the influence of the internet in exposing many of us to a greater variety of political opinions than we were previously aware of in our fellow citizens.  People tend to fear people they do not understand, and this exposure to various stances on important issues, without further explanation of the reasons behind these opinions, has led to greater feelings of fear and threat, prompting many to want to “push back” against people they fear will change their way of life for the worse.  This “pushing back” has created a mini-industry of commentators and political operatives who fan the fires of fear by exaggerating the actual threat, instead of helping people understand the reasons why others have the opinions and goals that they do.  We now have a “grievance politics” in which we compete for who is being aggrieved and mistreated the worst.

The trend toward identifying desirable goals as “rights” has made people think that they automatically deserve certain things, rather than understanding how social systems operate and how they are being influenced by the social environment.  For example, we even speak now of the “right” to adequate food, when there is no grantor of such a right to something that we must make happen ourselves rather than simply receiving it from others. 

“Rights” such as respect and acceptance of gay and transsexual persons are the result of individual persons’ feelings and beliefs and not something that should or can be guaranteed by some higher power.  Since these assumed rights do not simply come into being magically, people complain about it and find other people to blame, thus creating our “culture wars.”  Some people blame other people for the lack of rights and identify them as morally deficient because they do not agree.  It would be more fair and more accurate to say that it would be a good thing if such rights were granted by all of us to each other, instead of saying that everyone “should” grant everyone else these rights, as if it were a settled moral issue.  Opinions vary about morality, and change in these opinions is difficult.

As a result of these developments, we identify certain other people as “wrong” rather than as simply having another opinion, which wreaks havoc with our ability to work together with good will to jointly solve our problems.  We seem to prefer this blaming and fighting to trying to understand where others are coming from and working toward the best possible compromises for the present time.  My purpose in joining the race for the presidency is to clarify our folly in these matters and to propose some simply-understood principles that are consistent with the principles of good government and decency that we say that we believe, which if practiced, could allow us to restore greater effectiveness to our governments at all levels.

If I were elected as President, my priorities for my single-term as President will be–

  • restoring equality among citizens
  • restoring amity and acceptance among citizens
  • bringing greater truth to politics
  • diminishing the power of the two major political parties
  • establishing compromise as the norm in our democracy
  • reforming our tax system and attitudes
  • making elections about who can do the job best
  • having jobs for all and wages for a decent life
  • encouraging civil discourse on political issues among citizens
  • revising our immigration policy
  • encouraging better emotional health for citizens

I love our country and believe in its potential to be the best place to live that human beings have ever had.  I am a clinical psychologist by training, and I spent seven years as a psychologist in the Air Force, followed by thirty-one years in community mental health, seeing clients and heading up a doctoral-level internship training program for psychologists.  If elected, I would be 81 years of age when taking office, which in some ways is unfortunate, but at least I can promise you that I would not run for re-election, which means that I would not have to adjust my policies to ensure my re-election!  Another thing that would make me more able to lead adaptive change in our country is that I am an Independent and have no need to be a part of the behemoth political parties that the Republican and Democratic parties have become.  I am not “against” anyone or any side, but rather I am “for” everyone.  The views of each citizen are just as important for our democracy as the views of any other citizen, and we need to be satisfied with the best compromises that we can find in order to act to solve our problems  It’s time for having positive goals rather than goals of demeaning and destroying other citizens.  The values of both conservatives and liberals must be respected in all decisions as much as possible, as well as the values of the perhaps sixty percent of other citizens who are Independents rather than being either Republicans or Democrats!


The bedrock principle needed to bring our country back to greater harmony and capacity to work together is the principle of equality.  We are all equal as citizens.  The needs and views of each citizen are just as important for the country as the needs and views of every other citizen and should carry just as much weight in the country’s decision-making.  Every person has fundamental value just for being a person.  No individual is any “better than” any other individual, and no person’s future should be determined solely by status.  Claims to be “better than” someone else are destructive to democracy.  By my example and by promoting the principles of good government and decent treatment of others described herein, I will lead the effort to bring us back together.  No other candidate has any idea of how to do this.  I challenge them all to describe the kind of society that they wish to create and how they will bring us closer together.  Weasely promises about “bipartisan” efforts get nothing done.  (You can find my vision for our country in my campaign book A Compassionate and Moderate Political Platform for 2024.) 

In addition, the primacy of citizen voices for politics has to be restored.  The Congress is supposed to seek to understand and implement the will of the people, but they have gotten so focused on the power struggle between parties that we citizens never know what they actually think or how they are conducting our business.  I will develop programs for citizen feedback to government, including annual referenda on such things as how much should be spent on healthcare.


To bring greater peace and harmony to our society, we must first acknowledge our belief in the fundamental equality of all citizens as described above.  If we truly believe in this equality, it means that no citizen is any “better than” any other in their worth and value as people.  You cannot be truly equal with someone if you feel either superior or inferior to that person.  If you feel superior, then you will think you “deserve” more than that person, and if you feel inferior to that person, you will resent it until that inequality is redressed.

If you feel like an equal to someone, you will naturally treat that person with respect and courtesy.   This practice would do much to improve our relations with each other.

In addition to treating each other at all times with respect and courtesy, to have greater peace and harmony we must care about each other, at least a little!  In so many ways conditions and happenings in society that affect others also affect us, so in caring about others’ needs and feelings, we can also address our own issues.  It’s very difficult (though not impossible) to care about the needs and feeling of others who we perceive not to care about us.

When we care about others and treat others well, it induces them to care about us and treat us well.  This reciprocal effect benefits everyone, so in caring about others, you will benefit yourself.

Caring includes having a positive attitude toward others and toward relating with others, feeling warmly toward them, seeing ourselves as basic equals, wanting good things for them, treating them well, and giving them basic acceptance.  We want them to be happy and not to suffer unnecessarily.

If you care about someone, you will not seek to take advantage of him or her, and you will not seek to force him/her to give you things that they do not want to give.

Status hierarchies act to induce us to accept our social position, but they act against democracy, since they automatically make people unequal.  To be truly equal with others, we give up our hope to be “better than” them and accept that we are just who we are (just as they are just who they are—no more, no less).

Our true value as human beings is in how we use the life we have and how we help others to live their lives better.  Instead of using winning, income, achievements, etc., as proof that we are valuable and more valuable than some others, equality leads us to start viewing everyone, including ourselves, in terms of what is really important–how we manage our lives and what we give to others.  The essential and most valuable qualities or achievements of each of us are (1) taking good care of ourselves and those dependent on us and (2) doing things that contribute to the welfare of the total group.

Giving someone basic acceptance is simply not rejecting or attacking that person—letting them be (unless they are harming others)

Given our split into basically two equal parties, neither party is ever going to vanquish the other and gain permanent power, so the only reasonable alternative for making things better is to join them in working to find the best solutions and compromises for our current problems.

Most human beings feel threatened by and therefore reject people who have different beliefs and views from their own, but this can be overcome by understanding those differences better and gaining more security for yourself in life in general.  (See Encouraging Civil Discourse on Political Issues below.)  Differences do not necessarily mean danger or require defending or distancing.  You can learn to see the good and the bad about a person without condemning that person.

Besides getting to know our supposed enemies and treating everyone with respect, courtesy, and caring, the other key to doing what we can about our political divide is to reassess whether people with opinions different from our own are actually a threat.  If they are no threat, then we disagree with them, but they are not enemies.

Do you truly give your “opponents” and “enemies” the right to their own opinions, or do you want them to “shut up” and just do things your way?  Frankly, to do anything less is to threaten our democracy.  If you have to have it your way, then you don’t want a democracy, you want a dictatorship of some kind (on the basis of power or religion or ethnic group, etc.).

In order to care effectively for others and to be able to lessen their suffering, it is important that we use our empathy to understand their feelings and needs. (See my book Live Wisely, Deeply, and Compassionately or my article on empathy on the website under human functioning/coping.)

We each “deserve” all the good things in life that are available to all, including caring and love, and we each can treat others with positive warmth and good wishes that express the caring within us.

We can transcend our tribal instincts if we attend to our attitudes and how we view others.

All people who are disadvantaged or marginalized deserve our caring and action to reduce their suffering.  I will lead an attitude change so that we see everyone as basic equals and equally deserving of respect, courtesy, and caring. I will treat everyone with respect and courtesy. I will try to bring caring for all into our political discussions, and I will ensure (as far as I can) that no government actions occur that inappropriately disadvantage any groups of citizens.

I will encourage attitudes of equality between men and women, and I will highlight the frequent use of violence against women by men so that we can establish a stronger norm against this. 

I will propose that women who have been out of the work force for at least several (perhaps six?) years will be, by law, given compensatory work experience credit by people doing hiring. this credit would be available as well to men who do the primary childrearing.

I will seek ways to model and legitimize for men the new emotional and behavioral roles expected of them and will seek to develop and fund a network across the country of technical schools to make career preparation easier for men (and for the women who might favor those careers).  I will also encourage apprenticeship approaches to hiring by businesses.  I will explore the value it would have to delay the start of school for all boys one year, as has been proposed already, since boys develop somewhat behind girls at that age, and delaying all boys a year might decrease some of the problems of inattention and difficulty with self-control that many boys seem to manifest in the schoolroom.

I will support activities that enable children to learn about the big world (like living for a summer with a family in another part of the country, summer camps to acquaint children with the rest of the world, etc.) and that help children to have good self-esteem (especially a positive view of themselves and the ability to properly evaluate any criticism or rejection they encounter).  I will also support high school curricula that give training regarding lifetime management of finances, understanding taxes, how to stay healthy, how to have a good marriage, how to raise healthy children, etc.), as well as making good parenting education available in every community.  These courses will include recognition of cultural differences in regard to accomplishing these goals.  I will seek for all our schools to have mandatory education in the principles of citizenship in a democracy.

Non-gender conforming citizens will be treated equally and just as well as any other citizen under my administration—with respect and courtesy and with just as much access to services as anyone else would have.

I invite you to join me and your fellow citizens in a campaign to bring us back to a sense of unity as a people and to ease the burdens of all of us through treating everyone with respect, courtesy, and caring.


Many people encounter considerable problems in trying to discuss political issues with others who have different views.  This is not a new difficulty, as illustrated by the maxim to not discuss politics or religion at the dinner table or at family gatherings!  The two major sources of these problems are that (1) the discussants are not confident enough in their own worth and the truth of their opinions and hence have their sense of security easily threatened when someone disagrees or criticizes them, and (2) they go into the discussion wanting to change the other person’s mind about their views and beliefs.  The first of these difficulties must be handled by each person on his or her own, by developing healthy self-esteem, so that he/she is not thrown off balance by someone’s disagreements or criticism.  The second is finessed (and the first bypassed to some degree) by changing the focus of discussion from wanting the other person to agree with one to wanting only to understand the other person’s positions and how they make sense in the context of that person’s background and life experience.  This removes the sense of competition or “who’s right” from the discussion.  The method is to establish a comfortable atmosphere with the other person by social means, inquire about his/her background and life experience, share one’s own background and life experience and explain how one’s political views were shaped by that background and life experience, and then inquire as a matter of curiosity and interest how the other persons’ political views were shaped by his/her background and life experience.  All the while, one does not criticize or argue against but only inquires.  This, of course, may be unsatisfying if you are intent on converting others to your views by direct means, like demonstrating definitively to them that they are “wrong,” but the mutual inquiry approach will certainly lead to as much mutual understanding as is possible and to as much working together and compromising as necessary in order to find solutions that we can agree on, while our experience shows us that trying to batter people until they agree with you results in greater conflict and anger. You may review more detailed specific instructions for having a mutual inquiry discussion in my platform book (A Compassionate and Moderate Political Platform for 2024) or on my essays website under “government/politics/international relations.”


All human beings have the same basic goals and motives in life:  to survive, to have minimal or at least tolerable physical and emotional pain, to have some times of feeling positive emotions (which can be achieved mainly through feeling good about ourselves and feeling secure and not afraid), to have sex and raise children, to have satisfying relationships with at least some others, and to be generally accepted as part of our groups (family, friends, town, nation).  Every human behavior is motivated by these underlying needs/goals.  Emotional health must be based on successfully achieving these needs/goals.  Our happiness is a pretty good indicator of whether we are reaching these goals.

My own definition of mental or emotional health is (1) having all of your capacities available for use in seeking achievement of your goals (and having few, if any, internal conflicts or “symptoms” that would interfere with use of your capacities in a “smooth”, integrated way) (e.g., wanting to go to college but feeling unable to because your parents would think you were disloyal to the family to want to have a better life) and (2) having an adequately satisfying subjective state (your moment to moment emotional experience of life), including feeling some amounts of happiness and hope, and ultimately some amounts of satisfaction, contentment, fulfillment.

Human beings are constructed to have adequate happiness fairly easily, unless they have internal conflicts or issues that cripple their effectiveness or themselves create painful emotions, but there are many things that interrupt or subvert our natural processes, such as believing things that make you feel better rather than believing things that are true, letting others define you as inferior or worthless and accepting this, not accepting yourself as you are, not treating yourself with respect and love, believing that you can get more in life by taking advantage of others than you can by attending to their needs and feelings and cooperating with them, and believing that you can get more in life by using force and power with others than you can by attending to their needs and feelings and cooperating with them.

At the emotional level, three things are essential for emotional health – feeling secure, feeling valuable yourself, and feeling that you are valued by others.

Feeling secure is a matter of dealing with fears.  It can help to identify the worst that could happen and prepare yourself for it, so that you feel reasonably confident that you can manage.  Otherwise, accept an objective assessment of the fear and do whatever you are willing to do about it.

In order to have healthy self-esteem (to feel valuable yourself, to feel good about yourself), you need–

          a positive view of yourself,

          being basically accepting of yourself (including determining your own
humane and reasonable standards for yourself),

          treating yourself with respect.

          loving yourself,

          treating yourself well,

          a feeling of agency from and the satisfaction of taking decent care of
yourself and your loved ones (feeling satisfactorily successful and effective),


          having basic respect, courtesy, and acceptance from some others.

People feel better from being active in ways that nourish the self and contribute to the welfare of family and nation, whether that is a job or otherwise.  Stay active!

To feel valued by others, seek relationships with others who can accept you and appreciate you, treat others as if they are valuable–with respect, courtesy and basic acceptance, don’t try to force others to give you what they don’t want to give, don’t take advantage of others, treat others fairly, and be empathically helpful to others when possible.

Stick to reality as regards to overvaluing or undervaluing yourself.  As a person, no one is “better than” you, and you are not “better than” anyone else.  Rich people, entertainers, sports heroes, and politicians are not “better than” you.  Status differences imply that some are better than others, but this is false!  We do not need to feel better than others in order to feel good about ourselves.

Our obsession with buying and consumption leads us to believe falsely that one who has more is “better than” others.  It would be far better for us to value people for their contributions to the lives of others than to value them for their wealth or fame.

Difference is always threatening to people, so learning to tolerate difference (different views, beliefs, customs) is necessary for smooth, positive relations.

As President, I will speak to the psychological needs of all of us and support education and programs that enhance our well-being, including good self-esteem and healthy relationships with others.

I will also highlight the respect and admiration due to people of every station in life who take good care of themselves and contribute to the lives of others, as parents, community members, and citizens of our nation.  (You can find more about emotional health in my book Live Wisely, Deeply, and Compassionately.)


I am advocating for a view of democracy as a gathering of basic equals who band together to govern themselves well.  It is not an opportunity to get whatever you can for yourself regardless of the impact on others, and it is not an opportunity to find ways to force other citizens to live the way you or your sub-group think everyone should live.  In a group of equals, no one gets his or her way entirely, but the group figures out the best way to benefit citizens the most while disadvantaging citizens the least.  This requires constant compromise around every issue, since no two people or groups see the problem the same way or believe in the same solutions.


It is natural for people to band together to seek their goals, but the Republican and Democratic parties have become stand-ins for the eternal battle between liberal and conservative political views.  They do not put forth alternative visions of the kind of society they wish to build but spend most of their time fighting and disparaging each other, to the detriment of our nation.  Their emphasis on “winning” (and subjugating the other side) spoils most attempts at compromise.

The power of the parties to control our Congresspersons is built on the fact that the majority party gets to appoint Chairpersons of Congressional committees and the reality that they can reward conforming Congresspersons by giving them campaign monies for their next elections and withholding monies from those who do not conform.  I believe that every Congressperson should “vote his/her conscience” on every bill rather than voting the party line, and I will advocate changing the above appointment procedure and making controlling a member’s votes illegal.  Committee chairs should be appointed on merit alone, and we must get the big money out of elections.


Right now our elections are about popularity and not competence.  Candidates tell you as little as possible about what they think and believe and what they would do if in office.  Their campaign slogans are useless since they promise things that they could not deliver, because our tri-partite government (legislative, executive, judicial) provides checks and balances so that no one branch can operate independently.

Since they have no real information about candidates, many voters vote for the party, for the candidate who looks best, for the one who looks strongest, etc.  We should arrange elections to get information to all voters about a candidate’s ability and intentions.

We waste enormous sums of money on federal elections, mostly because many candidates try hard to scare voters into believing that only he or she will protect the voter from the opposing party of thieves and scoundrels.  I will propose a six-month campaign time (instead of our current one year or more) and will promote a standard amount of campaign money provided to each candidate (while still having opportunity for other political groups to also raise money and put forth information to voters).  The point of a campaign should be to inform voters, not to get their votes.

We should elect the person best qualified to do the job well, using an analysis of the duties the job entails matched against evidence that the candidate has or does not have the skills to do the duties.  My book A Compassionate, Moderate Political Platform for 2024 provides an analysis of the job of President and describes aspects of my past work that suggest how I might carry out each duty.

Our system of winner-take-all voting does not give the best representation of the will of the voters.  I will explore the usefulness of preferential voting, in which voters vote for their first, second, and third place candidates (or more).  The candidate with the fewest votes is dropped, and his/her votes  are assigned to the remaining candidates, and this is repeated until there is a final winner.

I also believe that an open primary preceding the general election would be better than the current system of party primaries.  Parties can select their candidates, of course, but the open primary would have candidates of all parties (including Independents), and the top five or so candidates would advance to the general election.


As described above, we must listen to the opinions and needs of all citizens and then craft a single solution to each of the nation’s problems that will provide the most benefit to citizens and the least disadvantage to citizens.  This requires compromise.  Currently, our parties are loathe to compromise since that might offend members of their parties who want to dominate the other side rather than get along cooperatively.  I will lead the way in compromising and will tell you about any resistance to compromise on the part of the parties that is preventing us from finding solutions.


Truth has had a rough time lately, with post-modernist philosophy pushing the idea that every view and belief that we have is tainted by our selfishness and our belief that we have the truth, and politicians pushing “alternative facts” rather than being willing to agree on whatever reality we can find.  It’s true that human beings are prone to bias their views to be what feels good rather than what is most likely to be true, but it’s also true that we can use self-awareness to correct for our biases, if we are willing.  We should elect people who are willing to face the truth instead of making up distortions stemming from their biases in order to scare or mislead voters into electing them.  I will always tell you the truth to the best of my ability, and I am dedicated to facing reality even when unpleasant.

There is so much willful exaggeration and misleading by politicians that it may be useful to make conscious lying and misleading illegal!  We can excuse ignorance (though we probably shouldn’t vote for ignorant people), but we should penalize knowingly lying and misleading for personal gain.  We have winked and looked the other way about politicians’ (and used care salesmen’s) untruths for so long that we think it is simply normal, but I say we should stop accepting it and create some penalties.  If we tolerate it, then we are contributing to their lying and exaggeration.


We need a change of attitude about taxes.  Our taxes are not what some king or dictator takes from us to support his or her reign.  They are what we, through our representatives, decide to spend on the welfare of ourselves and all other citizens (like roads, our military, our elections, grants for cancer research, etc.).  We should be proud to pay our taxes and critical of those who try to get away with not paying as much as they owe!

If there is a problem about our taxes, it’s the inability of Congress to limit its spending.  They wish to spend on things for their home districts so that you, the people who elect them, will elect them again, but they don’t want you to know about the rest of government spending, since much of it would look foolish to you.

My proposal is to set our taxes every to cover the amount that Congress approved to spend the previous year.  That way you will know every year what your representatives are spending, and if you think it is too much you can elect someone else in the next election.  The way we do things now, we have wars, but taxpayers hardly feel it since it is all done through borrowing, so taxpayers feel like they don’t have to pay anything for wars, but these payments are simply being put off for later (when your children will have to pay for your wars).  Citizens should pay right now for added spending, like a war, so that they have a say in whether they want that war or not.

Paying for last year’s Congressional budget each year would eliminate the need for government borrowing, once we get in the rhythm of paying for expenditures every year.  This will reduce the amount we taxpayers pay for interest on the national debt, which will lower your taxes gradually as we pay off the accumulated current national debt.  We will have very close to a constantly balanced budget, and I won’t support raising the national debt ceiling again unless there is an emergency that requires it in the current tax year.

The disadvantage of doing it this way will be that you won’t know for sure what your taxes will be year to year, since the amount will be constantly changing, but assuming you want to limit your taxes and will elect representatives who limit spending appropriately, the variation in your taxes from year to year will probably be quite small.  Congress can save each year toward an emergency budget when that is needed.

I plan to make an understandable explanation of the national budget available to citizens every year so you know what is going on and can ask questions of your representatives.

I also believe that everyone should pay something toward our national spending, instead of having a significant percentage of citizens paying nothing because of their low incomes, as we do now.  We are all responsible for what Congress spends, and that should include at least small amounts from every citizen.

I plan to explore a flat tax system, in which everyone pays the same percentage while eliminating most current deductions (which will make computing your taxes so much easier).  We should not use reductions of taxes to encourage citizens to do things the government wishes (e.g., tax deductions for solar panels), because that means that other citizens have to make up the difference.  This makes it look like you are paying less taxes than your neighbors pay, which supports the notion that not paying our fair share is a good thing.  If we wish to reward citizens for putting in solar panels, we should send them a check for it, not make them feel good for getting a tax reduction.  Handling these things through the tax system is convenient, but it gives the wrong message about taxes in general.


People feel good about contributing something useful to the welfare of themselves and their families, as well as the welfare of the nation.  In other words, people feel good about having a job that they can be proud of.  Every person contributing to the good of the country should be able to feel good about himself/herself for contributing, no matter what the job is.

In recent years, several factors have made finding a job (especially a job in which one can feel some fulfillment) more difficult—the off-shoring of jobs in the interest of profits, the general globalization of world economies, the moving of manufacturing to countries where wages are lower, increasing specialization in jobs (requiring more prior job experience and requiring more moving), automation, and moving factories and headquarters locations.  And, we are nearing a point where we will have more people than jobs, due to automation and artificial intelligence.

In addition, people who can’t compete in our regular job market (such as those partially disabled and those with lower overall qualifications) suffer from not being able to work and contribute—they could be doing useful things, but perhaps not full-time and perhaps somewhat erratically.  A significant portion of the homeless (a third?) could be working but have no way of getting the clothes and transportation to apply for or keep a job

We have presumed that workers were responsible for finding jobs, but recent trends suggest that this is not working well any more.  In my opinion, the nation as a whole bears responsibility for having enough jobs for people who can and want to work, so I believe that it is time to have a nationwide system of job-finding offices and for government and business to work together to create enough jobs for everyone, even if the cost of creating these new jobs must be partially borne by taxpayers.  Government should also invest more in retraining workers left behind and even pay moving costs to get skilled workers to where there are appropriate jobs.

This is not anti-business, and of course businesses must make enough profit to stay afloat.  I’m just saying that businesses should have a responsibility to help us employ everyone who can work.

These created jobs could be in public service (like more people keeping our towns and highways clean) or in regular business (like extra warehouse workers or cleaners or clerical help).  Hopefully these jobs would lead in some cases to regular employment with the same firms.  The wages from these jobs could help to eliminate much of what we call welfare now.  People who refuse to work even when able would probably continue to receive some subsistence government support.

I will also explore having a nationwide minimum income for all Americans—enough income to have a decent life (an apartment or house, a tv, a computer, transportation of some sort, enough food, healthcare).  We would accomplish this by making up through taxes the difference between their wages and what it costs to have this “decent life” (perhaps a total of $35,000 for an individual and $45,000 for a small family?).  The definition of a “decent life” would have to be determined by Congress.

It is unacceptable for the richest nation on earth to have a significant portion of its citizens (perhaps 20 %?) who cannot support themselves even while working.  Employers that no longer provide workers benefits and some sort of retirement plan are contributing to the number of people who cannot make it on their wages, let alone have a decent life.  Examples are children working but still living with their parents, gig workers, uber drivers, and practically all fast-food and janitorial workers

This wage supplement would in no way discourage workers from continuing in their jobs.  It would probably be funded through taxes, though another way to go would be to raise the minimum wage to the point where it would support that “decent life.” 

Such a supplement would not discourage workers from wanting to “move up” in income, to have nicer things than could be afforded on the decent life income (though moving up in income from their employers through advancement would simply reduce the government supplement (if they had one), until they moved in employer income beyond that decent life wage point.

The costs of supporting such a program would probably increase the cost of some goods and services, but my argument is that we are all in this together, and we all have responsibility for having everyone doing OK, so I’m willing to see what the impact on the cost of living would actually be of trying out this program to have everyone have a “decent life,” instead of simply giving in to businesses’ fears that they would surely go out of business if the costs to consumers of their goods or services were to go up.

I am open to other methods of accomplishing this goal.  If business can figure out a way to do it themselves, fine, but I doubt that they will be willing.  What we are talking about here is a shift from our ultra-individualist assumption about life to a more community-based approach in which we cultivate a sense of community for all.


Our immigration system is a mess, and I intend to clean it up.  It is absurd to admit people to the country with no hearing for four years before we decide whether they can stay!  I will lead the process of revising our immigration policies and then paying for a humane system of immigration.  Congress has avoided this revision, because it will be controversial, which has allowed some in Congress to mislead the public about what is happening at the Texas border while not taking responsibility for their part in it.  (See my comments about political lying under the section on truth.)

I am not for “open borders.”  A nation must be in charge of who lives within its borders.  Our economy needs immigrants so that it can continue to operate at its current pace, since we are not having enough children to make enough workers for the future.  Some of these are seasonal agricultural workers who are here only part of each year.  Some are refugees from cataclysms of one sort of another around the world.  It would be to our advantage to bring in already highly educated and otherwise skilled workers when possible.  In addition, the developed countries in the world will be experiencing increasing numbers of immigrants wanting to relocate in the coming decades due to climate change, and we need to be prepared for how to handle this.

Another factor to consider is the disruptive character of immigration.  In my opinion, a society can only have so many first-generation immigrants without experiencing an undesirable amount of social tension (perhaps 15 percent?).  This is because human beings are instinctively afraid of people they cannot understand and whose actions and reactions they therefore cannot predict.

Given these factors, Congress must specify how many immigrants to admit each year and specify priorities for types and numbers of immigrants (asylum, refugee, workers with needed skills, people simply wanting a better life).  It appears that we also need to redefine the notion of asylum or the conditions for granting asylum in order to be able to process asylum applications more expeditiously.  Perhaps those who cannot produce any evidence regarding their persecution will simply not be admitted.  Congress also needs to settle the Dreamers question as part of the policy revisions.

After we have a plan for whom to admit, we must treat people humanely at the border.  In my opinion, this means having enough hearing officers to hear all cases within two weeks, while people wait in comfortable facilities for this determination.  This will take quite a bit of new investment.  There are various other possible approaches, such as only admitting people with an appointment obtained outside of the U.S., requiring application at a consulate or embassy, and having some hearings on the basis of written materials only while the applicant is still in another country.  I will push Congress for needed policy revision and for the money to treat people decently.

Beyond these immigration questions, there are other issues worth serious discussion.  In my opinion, the country will do best if we approach immigration with the expectation that most immigrants will become a part of U.S. society (i.e. assimilate), rather than attempting to preserve a totally foreign existence culturally while working in our society’s economy.  Truly multi-cultural societies, where there are large groups of immigrants who live together in enclaves or areas and try to preserve some autonomy from the federal government do not work well, since the problem of feared “otherness” is never solved.  In this vein, I would propose that all immigrants admitted permanently be required to apply for citizenship within two years.

Should we monitor all non-citizens in the country (tourists, students, embassy personnel from other countries, etc.), to prevent overstaying visas, etc.?  Should we require a certain level of English proficiency for the purely economic migrants?  Should we limit how many family members an immigrant can bring in more easily than if those family members came as individual immigrants?  I am personally opposed to the practice of non-citizens coming to this country solely for the purpose of having babies here so that they will automatically become U.S. citizens.

These and other immigration questions deserve our open discussion across our society so that we can hear all ideas and then develop the best compromise policies possible at this time.

You can find more information about my positions on my campaign website (available in September) and in my campaign platform book A Compassionate and Moderate Political Platform for 2024 (also to come out in September).  You can also explore my essays over the years on public affairs and morality at my first website  There will be opportunity on to donate to supporting the campaign ideas, if you are so inclined.







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