My Campaign is Pro-Choice

If elected, I will unequivocally support women’s reproductive freedom and I will not attempt to limit women’s access to reproductive healthcare within the first trimester, or at any point during the pregnancy if the mother’s life is in danger, or in cases of rape or incest.

Nevertheless, our campaign acknowledges The Catholic Church, The Church of Latter Day Saints, and other worldwide religious organizations for their admirable work to (a) reduce the need for abortion by improving the economic conditions that tend to increase its frequency, (b) educate the public about the economic forces that tend to produce the desperation and human exploitation that result in women feeling forced to make hard choices like aborting a pregnancy. We are grateful for this precious humanitarian work.

We also acknowledge the racist history of Margaret Sanger’s 1939 Negro Project.

We also acknowledge that killing a human foetus in the womb is a violent act that distresses many thoughtful, informed Californians.

However, our campaign does not agree that it is a satisfactory solution to hold American women to a standard to which we are too afraid or too apathetic hold the rest of American society. For example, it would seem inconsistent to zealously oppose abortion rights for American women while happily buying household goods manufactured in PRC, which has a terrible human rights record. Also, it would seem inconsistent to zealously oppose abortion rights for American women while showing less zeal in opposing American foreign policies of violent regime change, like 2011’s United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, the 2011 US military intervention in Libya, the unmitigated disaster of what happened in Libya in 2011 and the subsequent Second Libyan Civil War (2014—2020). It also seems inconsistent to zealously oppose abortion rights for American women while gleefully enjoying ultra-realistic simulations of violence in entertainment, especially ultra-realistic depictions of murder (as covered excellently by Bill Maher June 10 on HBO, “Hollywood’s Culture of Violence” and July 8 on “Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson”).

War, Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

While we all work to improve the wholesomeness of our society, we’ve still got a long way to go. We would not expect American women to listen receptively to moralizing that itself originates from a shaky moral foundation. In the mean time, reproductive freedom should not be sanctimoniously removed.

Police Accountability

Americans are pining for an improved sense of police accountability.

From Oscar Grant in 2009 to Patrick Lyoya in 2022, we question whether the system imposes sufficiently tough consequences to deter excessive use of force.

No matter how we feel about a legal technicality like qualified immunity, we yearn for reassurance that our legal system and our civilian police oversight agencies are not inviting law enforcement officers to violate civil rights — especially of Black Americans. Because if the perception of fairness isn’t strong enough, then we all suffer as our system slowly loses legitimacy.

As the Due Process Institute acknowledges, “due process concerns transcend liberal/conservative labels and therefore we focus on achievable results based on core principles and values that are shared by all Americans”.

Everybody, from all walks of American life, wants law enforcement to regain its reputation for fairness and equity.

The credibility of the system is itself a vital product that must be actively earned and re-earned and re-earned.

Police advocacy organizations often complain that American news media seems biased towards reporting officer use-of-force in an unfavorable light. If this is true, and especially if such bias has worsened over time, then law enforcement advocacy groups must directly engage with that bias and strive to educate the public.

But on the other hand, law enforcement is a practice that relies on significant secrecy to be effective, and thus prefers maximum secrecy. So to ask a hard question: in an era of diminished credibility, is it likely worth sacrificing more secrecy than in the pre-internet/pre-smartphone age, in order to prioritize public perception of accountability?

The increasing use of officer-worn body cameras has forever changed the possibilities of police transparency, but in and of itself has not completely solved the problem (to put it mildly).

Some experts have proposed that law enforcement rules of engagement (ROE) may need to be adjusted, these trade-offs reevaluated on a local level, city by city. Realistically, officers must anticipate the presence of civilian cameras when interacting with the public, including suspects. Is it time to emphasize mass-media-ready transparency and accountability, perhaps even at the expense of other objective goals, such as the immediate safety of the public, in order to restore trust in our system?