Editor’s Note: A common theme for today is what the Declaration of Independence would look like if written now, in an age of Trump. Here is Rabbi Yeshaia Charles Familant‘s take on the topic.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men, women and children in our land and every human community on our planet are to be treated equally, endowed as they are with certain unalienable rights: That among these are –
• universal healthcare, unlimited free education, free housing and a guaranteed dignified standard of living;
• all professions, occupations and creative pursuits available to every living soul;
• Non-intervention in the affairs of all sovereign peoples in every part of the world;
• No more war, and to this end, a verifiable and irreversible destruction of all weapons of war.
• any instrument or technology intended for peaceful means will not be used for any destructive purpose under any circumstances; nor are they to be used for the infringement of freedom and privacy of any living being except for the safeguarding the safety and welfare of the frail and infirm, but only with their knowledge and consent or by that of a responsible loved-one;
• Use and manufacture of all fossil derived forms of energy are to be illegal within five years, with an immediate and rapid conversion to renewable forms of energy – solar, wind and geothermal;
• Infrastructure building and repair to commence immediately with special attention to creating a foundation for rapid land transport by train or other conveyance – nationwide, statewide, intracity and intercity so that excessive use of automobile traffic will become unnecessary.
• Democratic elections of persons on every level of government – local, municipal, county, state and federal – with a guaranteed one person, one vote by any citizen of majority age;
• candidates for any office or position will be entitled to an equal number of free hours or space on broadcast, cable, social media and print; it is the responsibility of every form of communications media to provide free and equal access to all candidates;
• any number of political parties may be formed provided they receive an agreed upon minimum of votes for their formation; all candidates of such parties will have equal access to all debates whenever and wherever they may be scheduled;
• under no circumstances can any candidate or elected official have access to or be beneficiary of money from corporations or political action committees or lobbyists; such money is to be considered a bribe and is prosecutable under existing laws; individual contributions may be made to candidates for an agreed upon limit; the source of all such contributions must be open and available to public scrutiny;
• Elected officials of the three branches of federal and state governments – executive, judicial and legislative – are to be limited to four-year terms; such individuals may run for office at the end of each four-year term as often as desired; There is not nor should there be any guaranteed lifetime public office, whether through elections or by appointment;
• Any person may apply for citizenship; time, screening, review and qualification requirements clearly delineated; such persons will have ready access to legal representation;
• Whether a citizen or immigrant, none shall be imprisoned, jailed or detained for any reason other than for serious crimes and felonies and to be so charged. No cash bails for misdemeanors. No forms of detention are to be privatized;
• No sub-machine gun or rapid-fire weapon shall be sold, bought or possessed by any non-military personnel; other types of weapons may be privately bought and owned for hunting or sport purposes only with legally issued licenses for type of weapon and designated places;
• All persons must have free access to clean water and air; food free of poisons and hormones of any kind whether of the plant or animal kingdom; should any non-food ingredient or genetically modified food be introduced, the public must be made aware of it;
• All forms of discrimination, intimidation, threat or harassment, whether by private persons or agents of public institutions, against any person or group self-identified as belonging to a race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, skin color, gender, sexual orientation or political party shall be strictly prohibited and prosecutable under existing laws;
Witnessed by all members of the public having ready access to this declaration