Author’s note: I am a surgeon, father, husband and business owner, and I am also an American. I believe that in the current political climate, all of us have a duty to stand up for what we believe in. I also believe that a clear, straightforward, compassionate political platform is the most sensible path forward if our country is to remain a positive force in this world during the 21st century. The following is my personal declaration of what a candidate for the presidency might aspire to in the next election.
I, Joe or Josephine Blow, am running as a candidate for President of the United States of America. Understandably, there has been some recent confusion about what we actually believe in. Here is our new platform:
1. All people are created equal, and all deserve an equal chance at a healthy productive life.
2. What is good for the world in terms of peace, prosperity and safety is usually good for America.
3. The more success our neighbors enjoy — particularly our contiguous neighbors in Mexico and Canada — the safer we will be. Trade barriers, tariffs and walls are barriers to peace and prosperity. Strong borders, tempered by just immigration policies with clear pathways to citizenship, empower America.
4. Clean air and clean water are desired by all people. Man-made climate change is caused mainly by pollution. All efforts to reduce pollution while increasing productivity are to be supported.
5. The smallest, most efficient, most effective government is our goal. All waste, redundancy, needless regulation and red tape are to be reduced as rapidly as possible.
6. A strong, effective military is an efficient military. Civilian oversight and open bidding for contracts is a core principle required to reduce costs.
7. Taxes are best minimized once the required revenues to operate the government described above are achieved. Low taxes stimulate the economy.
8. Health care is a right of all Americans. Preventive health care is the optimal health care, and it is achieved by having health insurance. The lowest-cost insurance that provides a basic level of care should be available to all and is best achieved by incentives to private companies. A floor plan modeled on Medicare or Veterans Administration Care for those who cannot afford health care must be available, as it lowers the overall cost for all by reducing emergency center use and by providing preventive health care. All Americans should be able to purchase higher levels of health care in a free market, if desired.
9. Individual rights are held in the highest regard — especially the right to determine health care for one’s own body, to bear personal arms for one’s own safety and to be free of all unnecessary regulations. In addition, secure and open access to the internet should be available to all citizens.
10. Education is a right of all Americans and should be free for all through the four-year college level. Student loan programs must be restricted to the lowest available interbank lending rate, adjusted down when rates fall, and be fully re-payable early without penalty.
Dr. Kevin R. Stone is an orthopedic surgeon at The Stone Clinic and chairman of the Stone Research Foundation in San Francisco.