I'm Joshua Collins. I'm a Democratic Socialist truck driver. I'm 25. And I'm running for Congress. AMA!
Look, my sister was locked in a room at the Mandalay Bay when the Las Vegas shooter was gunning down concert goers. That guy used legally purchased guns and he probably would have been filtered out with a mental health screening, but I don't think there's realistically any kind of gun you'd have to ban to keep him from buying a gun, so unless we're banning all guns, I'd prefer we try and make mental health a qualifier/disqualifier for guns. Two days after my sister went through the tramatic experience, she had to go back to work or risk being fired. She wasn't allowed to talk about what she went through & she couldn't post online without risking her job because her tramatic experience couldn't hurt the bottom line of the soulless Corporation she worked for.
I want to stop shooters with more thorough checks background checks which should include mental health history and an eval, free mental healthcare for all, and a better handle on white supremacists, incels & other terrorist groups. We need to ensure that when someone is mentally unstable, they are being exposed to treatment from a doctor rather than the insiteful lunacy they gravitate towards on the internet. I also want to address the fact that employers don't have to consider the mental health of their workers in scenarios like that. How many hundreds of workers were forced to keep quiet and show up to work the next day after that incident & others because their boss didn't want to lose a buck? And how many got mental healthcare they need?
I'm not a liberal and I don't buy into the same partisan and nuance-free talking points on guns as the rest of the Democratic party. I believe our right to guns can be crucial as a deterrent against our more and more desperate right wing government, and I think there's some chance that ends up being the only thing to prevent a worse demagogue than Trump from doing worse things than Trump's administration already has done. I think this should be a non-partisan issue, as neither the left nor right should want to be disarmed under an authoritarian regime. I'm hoping that because I live in a less urban district which has a lot of military folks, the voters will be okay with my nuanced view on the issue. If not, I guess I die on that hill. I'm not going to be the guy to work or contribute to disarming our society. That's not on my agenda.
Many of these policies violate current case and/or common law, such as eliminating corporate lobbying. Corporations are considered people, and passing a law to change that will not stand up to judicial review.
I'm curious as to how you expect to achieve the stated goals, including advocacy of The Green Deal, while endorsing class warfare. Socialism has never worked anywhere else, so why would it work here?
A lot of these positions specifically state that they will be federally funded. Who will fund the government if you succeed in taxing billionaires out of existence? Related to your desire to eliminate billionaires, are we to infer that multimillionaires are okay, or is there a set dollar level you're looking at as a threshold for "taxing out of existence"?
Socialism has worked in many countries including here. All of the Nordic countries and many others have socialist programs more radical than my proposals. Class warfare has been waged against the working class for decades, and I believe it's time the working class remember that we have common interests. And I don't believe Corporations are people, and we will do what's needed to fix that, including bringing that tidbit to the attention of the American people.
The Nordic countries are tiny and almost all Caucasian. Good luck though.
And we are the richest country ever. We also have the added benefit of being the only country that we can't invade to stop socialism.
Socialism doesn't work in the Nordic countries... Denmark's PM even stated that they aren't Socialist...
You can call their policies and mine Capitalism if it makes you feel better then I guess...
And I don’t believe Corporations are people
I don’t believe in settled case law, because reasons
Aka I agree with the majority of Americans, who also don't agree with one of the most disastrous Supreme Court decisions in recent history.
What makes you think that at the age of 25 you can possibly have enough life experience to be qualified to represent anyone in government? You're a child.
I've been working since I was 15. I've been to every state in the country, and almost every major city. People always say someone is too young or too old, but they don't say someone is too rich & disconnected or too bought. My age group is the biggest voting demographic in the country. Most of the country agrees with my general views and most of the country has gone through similar struggles as I have. I am the people I want to represent.
And children don't pay taxes. I've been paying taxes for a decade now. And I've built a successful business. No one would question that achievement if it were a white collar business like a consultant firm, but because it's blue collar it's often not held in the same regard.
So you think people who spent years in school shouldn’t enjoy the fruits of their effort?
Why don’t you go to school or join the military to get ahead?
I'm already ahead. I run my own successful business. I believe people should be able to go to school or learn a trade, for free. We have a constantly changing economy. Jobs become obsolete or less in-demand all the time. We should obviously deal with that. And I believe one great way to deal with that is to prepare our workforce for the newer industries.
So do you already implement that 26 dollar minimum wage? Or can your small business not afford that?
My small business is myself and my wife. If we hired someone, our business would grow, but right now we would not be able to pay them a fair wage so we aren't going to hire someone and exploit their labor.
So who’s going to pay for school and decide which classes are available?
We can pay for this with progressive taxes. We used to have a 94% top marginal tax rate on the very rich in our country, and several decades with an average top marginal rate of over 70%. Those decades were the most prosperous in our history, and we created the strongest middle class ever. And the decisions on what is paid for would be made by us, the public.
Last year Rep. Adam Smith, not far from Heck politically or geographically, was challenged from the left by Sandy Smith (obvs unrelated). Her campaign took a nosedive with some truly amateurish mishaps (one I believe was her voting record, specifically lack of voting, but I could be wrong on that). Have you checked your closets and cleared your path so you don’t take such amateurish missteps?
I've talked with some of the people who were on her campaign staff, and many of the volunteers as well. Some of them have volunteered for my campaign. There are mixed opinions on why her campaign was successful, and I'm considering all of them as things to worry about. We are going to do everything we can to win, and part of that is starting early and preparing. I'm a member of the Justice Democrats, and when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez meets with us, she always stresses how important it is to start early, and get things figured out ASAP.
Washington's 10th Congressional District
Do you live in this district or in this state regularly?
The more important question: What is your participation and voting record in elections up to this point?
Yes. I lived in Rochester & Olympia & worked in Lacey for several years.
Do you have a DSA endorsement, and why or why not?
I'm a dues-paying DSA member, but they haven't put it to a vote yet in my area. I know a lot of the members and folks that get to vote, and I've been retweeted by the national DSA a few times too lol
That’s a “no”
Eh. More of a "not yet."
All this sounds great. And completely unachievable. Just saying no more lobbyists doesn't make then disappear. What specific plans do you have to even START implementing any of these ideas?
The exact proposals will be worked out, but Congress does have the power to regulate lobbyists etc. It's like asking someone to explain how they're going to implement a minimum wage increase. Congressional Representatives get a giant staff and they work together to produce the final legislation. That's a basic part of the job.
And to be clear, the plan is to regulate what politicians are allowed to do, who they are allowed to accept money from & how much, etc... You can't collude with a foreign government, but you can collude with a group representing a foreign government and that seems transparently unethical to most Americans.
Do you honestly believe you're helping out the public image of the American democratic-socialist by being what you are?
By being a worker who is advocating for better pay, conditions, & lives for workers? Yes.
What’s your take on anti vaccinations?
I'm pro vaccine for obvious reasons. As far as I know, there aren't any efforts to mandate vaccines on the Federal level, and I believe we have larger issues to face on a Federal level. But anyone who is skeptical about vaccines usually holds that position because of the corruption of the pharmaceutical industry, and I fully intend to go hard against big pharma and the rest of the for-profit healthcare industry.
As a Seattle resident, this is very interesting. But why end all foreign intervention. Not entirely sure what that means, but American intervention has done a lot of good (and harm) over the years. Why does it have to stop?
Other than working with our allies, we usually cause way way way more harm than good when we get involved in the affairs of other nations.
I'm seeing a trend in your posts - that of a young, fresh blooded person with radical ideas but zero depth of knowledge or wisdom in your propositions.
Regarding our geopolitics from the 1940's through to today;
Please qualify in what ways we are causing both positive and negative impact?
Are you saying that the US and its security apparatus, despite allowing a freedom of trade and navigation for 70+ years, is overwhelmingly a negative?
Are you aware of the significant investments made across the world in both a humanitarian and functional infrastructure/business/etc. level from the US and allies, as a result of our security apparatus and the above goals and protections?
Please take time to answer - and be specific, not a "The details don't matter, we will figure it out" nonsense I've seen you reply with.
We overthrew a bad guy in Libya and now they have open slave markets.
Foreign intervention does not describe our relationships with our allies. If we make a deal with Mexico, that's not intervention. If we overthrow the leader of Mexico and install a right wing dictator, that's intervention.
How Democratic Socialist Trucks differ from other trucks?
How long have you been a dad?
Thanks for taking the time to do an AMA, I'm going to double dip here.
1)Would you consider a social wealth fund?
2)Democratic socialists are going to be functioning as social democrats under our system but long term what does seizing the means look like to you? Do you envision a multi decade long transition like the Meidner plan or do you see a different path to the peaceful transition to socialism?
And I believe our path to workers controlling their workplaces and receiving the product of their labor will be a cultural battle. Revolution is written into our constitution, so we just have to gain popular support and demand the changes we seek as a people. Revolution is always a lot easier when you get the people on your side.
Thanks for the replies, good luck with your race.
1- One of my policies is creating a pension fund by nationalizing the energy industry and green technology industry.
Are you also new in town?
Is that a John Mulaney reference?
What’s your stance on the 2nd amendment and the individual right to own and bear arms?
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