I am a definitional democrat; I am part of the dêmos which is Greek for the "common people". The opposite of a democrat is an aristocrat from áristos meaning the "better people".

Liberty is the opposite of servitude and liberals are the opposite of conservatives. Yes, the political context of the words is correct. French commoners who sought liberty called themselves liberals and French aristocrats who kept servants where called conservatives.

Progressive policies are those that anticipate the needs of the future and move us forward; I am a progressive. Moderates advocate for little or no change in public policy, the status quo serves their interests and they work to maintain it; I am NOT a moderate. Regressives imagine that they were better served by the policies of the past and long for are return to them; I am NOT a regressive. We must learn from the past, live in the present and work for the future.

I want to put the public first in public services and public utilities. The interests of residential rate payers should be prioritized over private profit makers.

  • Residential rates for electricity, gas and water must be as low or lower than commercial and industrial rates. Ideally, power lines and gas and water lines should be publicly owned and managed; private producers should sell into and out of the public distribution system; and residential units, small businesses and farms should have the ability to produce electricity and sell into the public network taking full advantage of smart grid technology.
  • Water consumption and the corresponding demand for waste treatment should be reduced by tax-subsidized improvements such as installing low-volume toilets, rain-water collection systems and the like.
  • Recycling programs should ideally include a plan to utilize the recycled materials in-state creating employment and finished goods in Michigan.
  • Residential plans for telephone, Internet and cable television must not cost more than business plans and must be simple with one easy to understand rate and no long term commitments or penalties for termination. Ideally, basic access to the telecommunications network should be a public service with private access to additional services hosted on the back end.
  • Residents should NOT be required to pay extra fees when they use the Internet to pay for government services such as license renewal, water bills or access to ordinances.
  • Law enforcement, fire protection, prisons and jails, parole services and the payment system for fines should NOT be privately owned, managed or outsourced.
  • Medicaid should NOT be outsourced. IF the federal government fails to implement an expanded Medicare for All public option, the state government should implement an expanded Medicaid for All public option.
  • Tax-funded public education should NOT be outsourced to unaccountable, privately managed schools. Tax-funded private education must be highly transparent, publicly accountable and truly non-profit.
  • Michigan should lead the nation in an effort to implement a tax-funded public higher education system that is tuition free at public schools at least through the level of an Associates Degree or a two-year vocational-technical program.
  • Michigan should establish a state bank like the one in Nebraska to make sure that money is available to small, local banks to build the local economy.

Partisan politics is destroying Michigan and America! The partisan divide looks like a political struggle for power with a wage earning middle class on one side and small business owners, including farmers, on the other. Behind the scenes moneyed interests are at work. The left cries out for something called social justice and the right for what they call traditional values. Everyday people just want to be able to earn enough to live a modest or maybe a little better than modest lifestyle. Here are a few things that might make representative government more representative of everyday people and less representative of special interests:

My profile, including answers to survey questions, can be found on Ballotpedia (see https://ballotpedia.org/Ernie_Whiteside)