By Jim Miller
It’s a new year and a big one for politics. As grim as 2015 was in many respects, this time of year begs for hope, and while I have a soft spot for the utopian, there are a few things that very well could happen that would bring some real tangible good to peoples’ lives and the planet. So here is my pragmatic political wish list for 2016:
1) That Donald Trump actually wins the Republican Presidential nomination and brings the entire Republican Party down when the sizable majority of Americans who hate his ideas vote out the party up and down the ticket.
2) That Bernie Sanders wins some primaries and continues to unsettle the Democratic Party and build momentum for a continuing progressive movement in our politics, win or lose.
3) That the lack of a mayor’s race will finally convince San Diego progressives that we need to build a real bench of candidates starting small and recruiting from local unions and community activist groups rather than waiting for the Democratic party establishment to determine whose turn it is.
4) That we raise the minimum wage here in San Diego and then vote again to take it to $15 an hour in November.
5) That we vote to extend Proposition 30’s taxes on the rich and continue to fund education in California so we can begin to recover some of what was lost during the years of budget cuts and recession rather than return to the bad old days if Proposition 30 is allowed to expire.
6) That we get a miracle out of the Supreme Court in the Friedrichs vs CTA decision either from the highly unlikely source of Justice Scalia who might have concerns about the legality of “free riders” in public sector unions or from a surge of new organizing that will revive the beleaguered union movement despite a bad outcome in the highest court.
7) That the bad news on climate change will continue to drive a movement pushing for real action rather than half measures that make us feel good but don’t get the job done.
8) That folks in the environmental, labor, and racial justice movements begin to find common cause rather than retreating into their comfortable silos—locally, nationally, and internationally.
9) That we legalize marijuana in California and continue to push for criminal justice reform that begins to dismantle the prison industrial complex and end decades of mindless drug war policy, bit by bit.
10) That we are able to overcome the wave of fear and knee jerk reactions in the wake of the Paris attacks and not repeat the mass stupidity that ensued after 9/11 in our foreign and domestic policy.
If only a handful of these things happened we’d be looking at a better year in 2016 than the year that just passed.
What would you add to the list?