The election is over, and while the result is not conclusive, I think we all know where this is heading. I’ll have more to say about that later.

After listenting to meaningless campaign slogans for over a year, after supporting “the lesser of two evils” for the first time in my life, and after hearing on NPR this morning that Bush voters cite “moral values” as their number one election issue, even ahead of terror/security, I feel the need to articulate some of my own moral values:

The environment is primary. If we render the planet unfit for human habitation, nothing else matters.

People are more important than money. The profit motive has no place in the provision of basic human necessities. In particular, I think of the health care and pharmaceutical industries, which can and should be run as nonprofits.

Wages should be fair. There is no justification for a CEO of a company to make 400 times more than the people who work for him/her. A person working an honest 40-hour workweek should be able to feed, clothe, and house him/herself and at least one other person regardless of how “menial” his/her job is.

The government cannot define what a “family” is. People need people, and should be able to define their personal relationships as they see fit. One should be able to form a domestic partnership (with all the rights and privileges currently given to marriage) with a person of one’s choosing, regardless of the nature of that relationship. This means best friends, siblings, elderly parents and their grown children, as well as lovers. Forming partnerships promotes financial and emotional stability.

Everyone does better when everyone does better. I believe in high taxes. I believe that when the poorest members of society have their basic needs taken care of, there is less crime, and everyone is safer and happier. I believe that everyone, rich and poor, benefits from having good public infrastructure.

Physical violence is wrong, and by extension, war is wrong. I believe that from a moral standpoint, and also from a practical one. It is the rare violent action that does not result in the “loser” seeking revenge and perpetuating the problem. The war on terror, especially, is not winnable. We must seek another approach.

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