Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The National Modern Whig Party Platform

Economic Distribution
The Modern Whig philosophy is to empower the states with the resources to handle their unique affairs. The logic is that people in Alabama should not always have to flip the bill for earmarks that occur in New York and vice versa. For example, a senator from Oklahoma is currently using his committee powers to stifle an important transportation project in Virginia. The reality is that the more local one gets, the more in tune with the unique and specific needs of that area. This is why we propose that federal tax dollars be provided to each state in a lump sum every fiscal year based on population. This eliminates the need for most earmarks and pork-barrel spending as the onus will then be on state legislators and governors to allocate funding for issues that they see fit. Of course the federal government will still vote on other special projects and traditionally federal items, but these projects will be more manageable to monitor. In addition, the allocations to the states also provides a better opportunity to balance the federal budget while also forcing local voters to pay more attention to state elected officials.

Iraq and Afghanistan
Many of our members have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and have unique and practical qualifications to express the Modern Whig viewpoint. Iraq obviously was planned and managed very poorly and it is time for drastic but realistic change. We propose pulling our forces out of Iraq except for a relatively small base in the Kurdish area of the country. Our troops will tell you that unlike the rest of Iraq, the Kurds are prone to democracy and in fact do treat American forces as liberators. To this end, the Kurds deserve our continued protection and in turn, we maintain a base to act upon any contingencies emanating from within Iraq, Syria or Iran. Moreover, the oil industry from Kirkuk can take care of the bills. We then can put real effort and resources into fighting the terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Finally, we would continue dialogue and contact with the Pakistani government in hopes that they would finally end this defacto terrorist safe-haven in their country, but in the end, if they fail to act then we will.

Environmental Protection and National Security
Why did we lump the environment with national security? Because eliminating our dependency on foreign oil is a national security issue as it takes away a significant amount of cards from our enemies. For example, cartels are illegal in the US but at the same time, we rely on the OPEC cartel for our oil. Expedited funding and research into viable green technology is part of the answer. It also is a major developing industry where we can make lots of money and create tons of jobs. At the same time, we represent a new generation of "Trustbuster." At the turn of the 20th Century, Teddy Roosevelt broke up the monopolies that stifled small business and economic growth. Now is the time to bust up the oil companies. These companies are designed, as they should be, to make money for their shareholders. We support this. The Modern Whig Party understands that corporations would actually be violating the rules if they strayed from their fiduciary duties toward their shareholders. However, an oil company has no business owning another energy resource such as coal. Believe it or not, clean coal technology exists and if permitted to grow, West Virginia and Southeast Ohio will become the engine of the world. In addition, we support a focus on natural gas, wind and solar power as outlined and paid for in the Picken's Plan.

If somebody is in this country illegally, then he or she should be deported if caught. However, it is not realistic in terms of manpower and resources to attempt to hunt illegal immigrants down. We propose the following: Offer illegal immigrants the opportunity for citizenship if they join the military and serve out their initial contractual term honorably. This system already works for green card holders and has been very successful. The illegal immigrants will not be entitled to jobs that require security clearances, but will be eligible for the GI Bill, Tricare and all other benefits afforded to US service members who serve honorably. This program also will include a background check and English-language classes if necessary. In this manner, any illegal immigrant ranging in age from 18 to 42 will receive job skills and educational benefits while they earn their citizenship in defense of our country. Of course this military path to citizenship would not apply to elderly or disabled illegal immigrants, but it does offer an opportunity to tens of thousands of illegal immigrants.In respect to the orderly deportation of other illegal immigrants, we propose the following: A creation of ad-hoc immigration courts. Essentially, highly regarded immigration lawyers in varying parts of the country will be nominated and selected to serve as immigration judges. When a suspected illegal immigrant is caught, an ad-hoc court can quickly be convened in order to ensure fair proceedings. In this manner, we can significantly impact the current problem of immigration court backlog while at the same time empower local communities such as Prince William County in Virginia that wish to enforce immigration laws.

China, Foreign Aid and the WTO
Many defective products are manufactured in China, from contaminated pet food and toothpaste to dangerous toys to lead-filled dental crowns. Yet as consumers, we look the other way just to keep costs down, even though these products are made in an authoritarian, oftentimes menacing nation that opposes us at virtually every opportunity.The Modern Whig Party proposes offering tiered subsidies and tax breaks to U.S. corporations who remove their manufacturing operations from China. The WTO and international treaty justification is based on well-established health and welfare exemptions of rules that normally forbid this type of government intervention. We can then steer our corporations to creating jobs in other places such as the West Bank, Iraq and Latin America. We can then cut direct foreign aid to some of these nations as that system is notorious for corruption anyway. Instead, the people in these poverty-stricken nations will have stable jobs. In the case of Latin America, steering manufacturing jobs out of China and into our hemisphere also may help curb the tide of immigration. Since this is a tiered system, we also suggest that the highest tier of tax breaks and subsidies go to manufacturing jobs in the US.

The Modern Whig Party supports the two-state solution to this conflict. However, we refuse to support the creation of a terrorist state of Palestine. Israel is a stable democracy and should be treated and respected accordingly. Israel is very important to not only Jewish members of the party, but also our evangelical members and those who see the situation for what it truly is. We support Israel's right to defend itself from its enemies just as we support the US and our right to defend ourselves. True compromise from both sides is key, although Israel should be permitted to keep its major settlement blocks such as Gush Etzion and Ariel.

Church/State Separation
Don't mess with Christmas. While our members range from deeply religious to completely secular, we are realistic. We follow the rule that the government must not fund religious activities. However, the business of forcing Christmas trees and reindeer ornaments off of city hall property is ridiculous. At the same time, government cannot favor one religion over others. So long as all other religions have equal access to display their holiday symbols, we see no problems.

Gay Rights
Each state can determine the extended rights of homosexuals based on their own local values. We do, however, support classifying as a federal hate crime attacks on people based on their perceived sexual orientation. In the end, the sexual orientation of the guy down the street has no bearing on anybody else's life.

Health Care
Recognizing that Viagra is sometimes prescribed to men for other medial reasons such as diabetes and covered by many health plans regardless of the reason, we find it unacceptable that birth control is typically not covered for women. Birth control medication has many other benefits to women besides its primary function. We believe that health insurance companies should include birth control as a regularly covered item and stop forcing millions of women to pay out of pocket.

Our members are split on this subject just like the rest of the country. But the bottom line is that this one particular issue should not be the sole basis for which political party people affiliate with. For example, many "pro-choice" voters find themselves agreeing with many traditionally GOP issues while many of those opposed to abortion rights find themselves agreeing with many Democratic issues. Despite this fact, voters too often are pushed to choose one party or the other due to the abortion issue alone. It is time to end the trend of having this one issue become a deal breaker. Each state can determine its course of action like any other public health issue that revolves around medical procedures. The federal government should not get involved or regulate such items as the less involvement by the government in our private lives the better.

Affirmative Action
Race-based affirmative action should be eliminated and replaced with an economic criteria for education benefits.

Science and Technology
Exploration is in our blood. Whether it is the brain, the oceans, the wilderness or space, people have always been fascinated by the unknown. Perhaps more importantly, science has a way of bringing people together in a manner that no politician could ever dream. Science also has a way of transforming the economy. The Modern Whig Party supports the privatization of space and continued exploration of our oceans. Taking away the government monopoly and allowing capitalism into the exploration business will exponentially expand our technology base and further the growth of mankind.