In general I stand for Liberty, Responsibility, and Simplicity in government.  I’d like to propose what I call “The Fifth Grader Rule”:

“For each Bill to be considered: Send a copy to 100 random, normal, public-school fifth graders.  If at least 80 of them understand it, continue.  If not, re-write the bill.”

That should have a triple effect of encouraging civic participation among our youth, encouraging reading comprehension, and making our laws easier to understand.

With the above in mind, these are where I stand on various issues:

  • Gun Control I stand with Thomas Jefferson, Mahatma Gandhi, Patrick Henry, and every tyrant in the world when I say that no free person should ever be debarred from the right to self defense, and as such, I believe that we should enforce laws against actions which cause harm.  Possession in and of itself should NEVER be a crime.  That said, I AM in favor of mandatory safety training for everyone who wishes to own a firearm: it is the “well regulated” part of our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.  Two additional points: First that the Second Amendment is not about “Sporting Purposes”.  It is to prevent tyranny.  It is to allow each and every capable citizen to be allowed protect his or her Life, Liberty, and Property, individually, and in common.  Second, please remember that the opening battle of the American Revolution, the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”,  encompassing the Battles at Lexington and Concord, was fought because the people in authority were trying to take HEAVY ARTILLERY and guns and ammunition stockpiles away from the hands of private citizens.  It boggles my mind how Massachusetts came up with their current restrictions on firearm ownership. I support mandatory training as the “well regulated” part of the second amendment: Here’s the nutshell:

    You would need a “Firearms Safety” card to so much as touch a firearm outside of a class on firearms safety.

    You would need a certification in a class of weapons in order to purchase a weapon of that class. For instance, a certification you know how to use and maintain a revolver before you may purchase one. This applies to both private transfers and dealer sales.

    You would also need a usage certification for how you use your firearm. If you hunt, for instance, you’d need to pass a course in using firearms for hunting. This would allow you to hunt, but not to carry for self defense. That would be a different certification.

    Each of these would have an expiration and a shorter class to renew. Each would have a potential fee involved. The courses would be available through both government and certified private organizations, much like First Aid and CPR are today.

  • The War on Terror Perpetual, un-winnable wars are a waste of resources and lives.  “Terror” is an idea.  Have you ever seen the movie, “V for Vendetta”?  You cannot win when you fight an idea.  I believe we have perpetrated enough damage upon the Middle East.  It is time we acknowledged our mistake (see “Principles” section) and change our course.  Time to pull our troops out and – IF invited – to provide non-combat, humanitarian relief.
  • Abortion I stand in a tough position.  I was adopted.  I was born just before Roe vs. Wade.  I was born to a 16 year old girl.  I have seen adoption as a good choice in more cases than just my own.  At the same time, though, I am not a medical doctor.  Abortion is a medical procedure and thus should be left to the choice made by the woman and her physician.  While for my own reasons, I will almost always advise against having an abortion, it is not my call.  It is also not the job of Congress to dictate medical procedures.
  • The War on Drugs It has sucked the American People dry.  It is a war on an idea (see above).  It is a series of laws banning possession (see elsewhere above).  Let the FDA continue to regulate the safety of commerce regarding drugs.  Growing, harvesting, and using natural flora should not be illegal.  I am against “medical marijuana” because we have THC already available.  I am FOR the complete and total legalization of cannabis sativa and any other naturally occurring substance.  I believe addicted users of “hard” drugs should seek and have available to them, treatment.  Said treatment should be funded by private institutions, “faith based” institutions, etc.
  • National Defense & the US Military I stand for a smaller, stronger, better trained, better paid military.  I stand for bringing our troops home from messing around in the affairs of other nations.  The idea I have for our Military is a small group of modern knights, fighting for peace and justice and all that is good.  I envision them as protectors first and foremost, of the United States of America.  I would like to see our standing military reduced in size and our volunteer militia increased and reorganized.
  • Education Our schools are woefully underfunded, staffed with some of the greatest people I have ever met.  Money saved from ending the War on Drugs and the War on Terror should in large part, be diverted towards making our public education the best in the world and then – even better.  Those wishing to educate their own children in their own way should have every right to do so and the full support of the public education system.  A high quality, basic education should always be available, free, and optional.
  • Oil We need to stop relying on oil.  We should concentrate on wind, solar, and hydro first, and research nuclear energy safety.  I stand for major tax breaks for manufacturers of non-petroleum based vehicles.
  • The Environment I am in favor of environmental conservation and protections.  I believe in harsh penalties for those found to be destroying our environment.  We do not need complex regulations, but rather simple, strong, enforceable laws.
  • Gay Marriage I don’t think marriage is any of our government’s business.  My stance is to move the decision down to the person officiating the wedding.  Each religion has its own teaching on the subject and under the First Amendment to the Constitution, the government should never dictate religion.  If your church believes gay marriage is wrong, you shouldn’t be forced to marry gay couples.  If your church believes it is OK, then the government has no right telling you not to perform the wedding.  On a personal note, I have no problem with it, but I do not believe in forcing my religious beliefs on others.  The longer answer is to institute a “Domestic Partnership” as a form of governmentally recognized organization.  This would allow power of attorney, hospital visitation rights, and lower taxes due to less burden on the public services.  It could be used for long-term, dedicated roommates and housemates as well as traditional and non-traditional families.  The entire concept of a sacred marriage would then be shifted to religious institutions, where it belongs.
  • Taxes I’m on the edge here between a consumption tax (levied on all forms of income by corporations) and a flat rate income tax.  The flat rate income tax would be simpler to roll out but is difficult to enforce.  A flat rate “corporate consumption tax” would be a better idea.  Corporations enjoy certain privileges and they should pay for those.  These corporate taxes should be higher if they use fossil based fuels as this adds undue burden on our nation.  This would place a “Value Added Tax” on any transaction involving a corporate entity.  Private transactions and non-corporate businesses would be exempt to encourage small and start-up business.  Corporations receive certain special privileges which create a burden on government so they should pay for those in the form of taxes.
  • Affirmative Action  I stand for equality.  Most affirmative action programs shift the inequality to a different side rather than create true equality.  If you provide products or services to the public, you need to treat the public equally.
  • Crime & Punishment  We have too many people in prison today.  We need to reduce the incarceration rate and replace it with better rehabilitation programs.  The goal should not be so much to punish as to correct and prevent criminal actions.  There needs to be a solid path to total rehabilitation for offenders.  This needs to conclude with a removal of the stigma of “convicted felon” from our society.  Doing this will allow those who have made mistakes to complete their reform and rejoin society as positive, contributing members and citizens.
  • Death Penalty  I am quite happy with the idea of how New Hampshire handles the death penalty.  It is available in only the most heinous of crimes for criminals who cannot be re-integrated into society and who’s guilt is clear and without doubt.  I do believe that the method of execution needs to be revised to ensure a clean and painless death.
  • Immigration I propose a two-pronged method of handling the issue of illegal immigration.  Our nation was built by immigrants.  They are vital to our culture and our economy.  The first prong is to handle illegal immigration by first providing a VERY limited amnesty.  Give all illegal immigrants 6 months to leave the country and re-enter legally on their own.  When that time is up, anyone found to have illegally entered the USA should be immediately deported to either their country of origin, their country of citizenship, or a willing third party nation.  The second prong is to make legal immigration easier.  Expedite the paperwork and registration process.  Make the requirements clear and easy to understand.  Create a special work visa for migrant workers.  Institute a requirement for the very basic understanding of important English phrases (mostly having to do with emergencies).  Institute a database of people in the country with temporary legal status which can be accessed by Law Enforcement.  Lastly, allow our military to do their job of protecting the American People by letting them patrol the borders along with Border Enforcement.
  • Medical Care  The Declaration of Independence tells us that governments are instituted to secure our inalienable rights including Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  The preamble of the US Constitution tasks our national government to “promote the general Welfare.”  I, as many others, believe that this can and should include medical care.  I would like to see the formation of a national health care system, paid for by taxes, in which all people in America can receive basic health care, including regular check-ups, preventative care, emergency care, and all other necessary medical care.  While paying into this system should be for all, as it promotes the general welfare, obtaining care from this system must be voluntary in that people may opt to seek private medical providers to replace or supplement the government system.  This would be a series of government run health care providers and NOT insurance.  Should people want to purchase insurance, they may and that would cover private health care.  New doctors would be required (or very strongly encouraged…) to serve for a time in a government facility within 10 years following their internship, for a period of one year.  They would then be encouraged to stay on there but not required to do so.  I am against making health insurance mandatory.  We need health care not health insurance.  Plans like “Obama Care” and “Romney Care” need to be replaced with “HEALTH Care”.
  • Global Warming  Our planet is always changing.  How much of these changes are a result of human pollution is currently under a fierce debate.  The bottom line, though is that we live here.  It is our responsibility, as citizens and as people, to take care of the planet which supports us.  We must do all in our power to make this planet as livable as possible for all of us and for our descendents as well as for the other living things with which we share this planet.  I support sustainable initiatives to reduce pollution and other environmental damage.  This is our home.  It is our responsibility to maintain it.

I’ll be elaborating these and adding more as I have time.  If you’d like to know my stand on some issue that interests you, please ask your question via the Q&A link above.

© 2010 Brian Chabot for Executive Council: An ordinary man… determined to do the extraordinary.