A Stump Speech

Politics/Essays

A Stump Speech
By Wade Lee Hudson

I’d love to see a Presidential candidate say:

I’m running for President because I want to:

  • Help empower the American people.

  • Strengthen patriotism, maintain positive traditions, and change what needs to be changed.

  • Promote the general welfare as affirmed in the Preamble to the Constitution and treat every American equally as affirmed by the Declaration of Independence.

  • Create conditions that enable everyone to make ends meet and pursue happiness as they see fit so long as they don’t violate the rights of others.

  • Protect those who are weaker from being oppressed by those who are stronger. 

  • Encourage everyone to treat others with respect, work together to improve the world, and refrain from oppressing those who are weaker. 

An effective government is essential, but Americans must also ask what we can do with and for each other to protect freedom throughout society — freedom from and freedom to — freedom from domination and freedom to participate in society as full and equal members. 

Society requires cooperation. We need each other. We rely on each other. We’re obligated to:

  • Care for others and help prevent and relieve suffering when we can.

  • Assure basic human rights, living-wage jobs, affordable housing, quality health care.

  • Protect “one person, one vote” and prevent the rich and powerful from dominating the government.

  • Support each other in our efforts to be all we can be.  

  • Respect everyone as human beings who are equal in the eyes of God and deserve to be equal under the law.

  • Respect the basic humanity of those we criticize or punish for violating the rights of others.

Each one of us is different with particular skills and talents, but we’re essentially equal in terms of our human value. We have universal rights that no one can take away. We’re entitled to a voice in shaping our lives and shaping our government’s policies. 

Democracy involves more than voting. If I’m elected President, I’ll use my office as an organizing tool to nurture communities whose members help decide how to promote the general welfare.

We live in a new world. Modern tools open the door to many new possibilities. We can use new communication tools to update our democracy. Without violating the rights of the minority or falling into a tyranny of the majority, we can enable voters to better hold their representatives accountable to the will of the people they represent. 

If you elect me President, I’ll focus on this effort to strengthen democracy. I won’t waste time on getting re-elected, will only serve one term, and will use my office to demonstrate to future Presidents how we can empower the people. No President can be the nation’s Savior. We must save ourselves. We’re in this together.

I’ll act when I need to act and faithfully execute my responsibilities. But when time permits, after Congress allocates the required funding, I’ll wait to hear recommendations from weekly citizen assemblies of randomly selected Americans, whose expenses will be reimbursed. 

Streamed live on the internet, these three-day assemblies will study and discuss various issues in a careful and deliberate manner and formulate recommendations. Scientific polls asking respondents what are the most important timely issues facing the country will shape the issues addressed at these assemblies. I will seriously consider the recommendations that emerge and will usually push Congress to enact those recommendations or take Executive Action myself, as needed.

I will also ask Congress to pass legislation requiring Congresspersons, Senators, and the President to engage with randomly selected constituents in monthly, public two-hour community dialogs on whatever subjects those constituents wish to address. These events, which will also be streamed live on the internet, will help hold representatives accountable to the will of their constituents. 

I’ll also encourage the Democratic Party to become an activist organization that year-round engages in precinct organizing, fights for its platform, and works with “purple alliances” to push for compassionate policies backed by strong majorities of the American people, including a majority of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents — rather than just help candidates get elected or fight for ballot measures.

In these ways, we can strengthen our democracy, empower the people to fulfill our obligations to one another, and make sure that all Americans can participate in society as a full and equal member.