Eleven years ago, I conceived of the ION Strategy as an effort to revitalize the Democratic Party after the disastrous 2004 elections. After watching the 2016 elections, it is clear that President Obama's presidency helped the Democratic message. And there is no denying that Secretary Clinton's 2.5 million+ vote margin in the popular votes proves that a majority of the country approves of Democratic policies. It is merely an unfortunate set of circumstances that allowed for Trump's narrow electoral college win.
Even so, I believe that the Democratic victory would have been secured if the Clinton campaign had concentrated on ideas rather than trading insults with Trump. Yes, Secretary Clinton had numerous policy ideas, but how hard did she push them? And Trump certainly didn't have detailed ideas. He had slogans ("Build the Wall!") but few specifics.
However, there are Republicans who are brainstorming new ideas for the Post-Trump Era. I am assuming that the 2020 Presidential Elections will be wide open for both parties. Yes, I am assuming that Trump will not run. I also assume that a Trump Presidency is going to leave plenty to fix in 2020. Thus, 2020 will be a true battle of ideas to really help make America great (or functional) again.
I start with my ideas for the Independent part of ION Strategy:
The Democratic Party should commit to the independence of American citizens. Each of topics below constrains our way of life and the freedoms flowing from the Constitution.
+ Energy Independence – Because of the reliance on foreign oil, America has to commit our troops and resources to safeguard the dwindling energy supplies. We have the technology to be energy self-reliant and all we need is the will. Let's set the goal to be energy-independent in a decade.
+ Debt Independence – America's trade deficit is enormous and China is our largest creditor. Like the Reagan years, our economy is being propped up foreign credit. If (more likely when) China and other nations stop buying America's debt, we face a severe economic crisis. We must commit to a goal of being financially-independent in a decade.
+ Media Independence – Consolidation and the 1996 Telecommunications has led to a shrunken marketplace of ideas that doesn't allow diversity of opinion. Of all the freedoms, freedom of speech is the most valued. Democrats should commit to breaking-up the media monopolies, ensuring REAL fair-and-balanced sources of news, and promoting community media.
+ Electoral Independence – After four disputed elections, the Democratic Party knows the necessity for fair and transparent election processes. Every vote must be counted and there must be a fair accounting of all votes in disputed elections. Money should not be deciding factor in any election.
+ Corporate Independence – As books and documentaries have shown, our forefathers were fearful of the power of unrestrained corporations and greatly restricted their rights. But due to a misinterpreted legal footnote, modern corporations enjoy the same protections under the 14th Amendment as do actual humans being.This protection has allowed corporations to subvert the electoral process, devastate the economies of small communities, and pollute the environment.
By removing the 14th Amendment protections of corporations, state and local communities can better regulate the devastating effects of corporations on their local economies and communities. Now, corporations will still have their limited-liability protections and be able to operate as they did before but with more accountability. This will also aid small businesses by allowing them to compete on a more-balanced playing field.
Next posting will list the Opportunity planks of the "O" component of the ION Strategy.