I want a Presidential candidate to have a political identity like the below. Earlier, I referenced an Op Ed in the NYT.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/13/opin ... e=Homepage
This Op Ed is 1,453 words with a single idea.
And yet, in 1,000 words below, I have managed to include the majority of what I want a POTUS candidate to say as future leader of the United States. I am aware that many will object to listing military strength first. I did it because I think it is smart politics and also true. The order in which ideas are delivered has a lot to do with keeping people involved. And one of the major jobs any POTUS candidate is applying for is "Commander in Chief". Admit it up front.
[The 1,000 Words I Want To Hear From A Candidate]
We need a strong military and defense strategy in order to maintain our freedoms. If we are not safe as a Country, then little else we do will matter.
We need a strong economy and quality jobs for all Americans.
We need to promote the middle class and the workers - America is defined by these groups, not a small handful of billionaires or large corporations.
We need the infrastructure to support a modern market economy. That cannot be done with old roads, old bridges, old airports, and out-of-date healthcare models. We need healthcare that allows people to work and live without fear of medical costs or lack of care.
We need affordable education from pre-school to PhD programs. We cannot allow our leadership in sciences, medicine and industry be diluted downward; and we certainly cannot afford to saddle college graduates with 20+ years of debt.
We need to shore up our alliances to make a stronger, safer world. Yes there are many complex issues, but no Country really rules the world. We want to be the leaders of a block of practical, moral Countries that define a sane future world. Certainly this should focus on non aggressive solutions; but not by standing down when aggressors make threats or take hostile actions.
We need effective and efficient Government. The US taxpayers want a fair and equitable tax system that provides for the military, social services and infrastructure we need. But we also need to modernize Government in ways similar to how Corporations work differently than 20 years ago.
We need a sane and fair immigration policy. Some of this will require strong borders, but much of it will require that we help address the root cause of refuge immigration. American has always been a Nation of Immigrants, and the history of Immigration has always required active management, not passiveness and neglect, and certainly not the imprisonment of families and children just for crossing a border.
We need to look around and acknowledge that some small part of the population really cannot make it on their own - do we really want them living under bridges? The cost to fix the housing problem is rather modest; it is a lack of will that keeps the problem going, not a lack of resources.
And finally, perhaps most importantly, we are living through a time of rapid technological and global economic change. We need to feel proud that China has developed a modern economy. We need to accept that the total dominance the US had after WWII had to adjust a bit; but it need not be to our disadvantage. Many of the problems we face as a nation are self inflicted wounds, not hostile actions from afar.
The very nature of work is changing every day. Older skills need updating, and sometimes complete replacement. People want work with dignity that pays a decent, livable wage. We cannot accomplish this by rule of law - it requires the strong economic underpinnings and well trained workforce to marry up with productive output. We cannot pay better and better wages with a worser and worser economy.
We, as a Nation, have far too many people in prison. Too many are locked up in expensive cells for non-violent crimes. We need to examine our imprisonment rate compared to other Nations and fix the problems. Rehabilitating former criminals is real work; but it is better, and more cost effective than long term imprisonment. We cannot be “soft on crime” in any way, but other Countries seem to attain a lower crime rate without a high incarceration rate - we can do the same.
Too much power in our society has gravitated to a few hundred very large companies. This is not an anti-business point of view; it is a shift away from our own historic middle. Business, small and large, defines most of our greater economy. But business cannot thrive and continue to grow with under paid, under trained and under appreciated workers. We need to have both a flexible workforce and a return to true employment. We cannot be the leading Country in the world and have a growing gig-worker economy; sorry, it just isn’t how greatness happens. People cannot do their best work when living within economic insecurity and healthcare insecurity.
We tore down our post WWII retirement system with self funded pensions in the 1980s. The results are not pretty. Most families, people who have worked hard all their lives, face retirement with too few resources. We need to shore up Social Security to bridge the short term problems, and probably develop a more secure system for real retirement funding ongoing.
Social Security was never intended to carry the entire burden of paying for retirement, and the massive reduction in pension funding by corporations in the past 40 years has created a broken system. We need to combine the safety net of Social Security with a funded pension system that has universal membership. We sent American economists to Chile to develop one of the better systems in the world, but we cannot seem to take the advice we exported so effectively.
America was founded on some very simple and powerful ideas. But more so, America was founded by an energetic people who wanted to make and keep a great nation.
The future comes at us rapidly; we as a people need to be educated, agile, economic and hopeful. A population that is not excited about the future is not the basis for the greatest Country in the world.
Many of these needs, ideas and changes will require a new mind set for many, but we consider them frankly obvious. They are not ideas from a particular ideology; they are the ideas of common sense. This is the work of a generation, not a Presidential term-of-office. But this work needs to begin now, and we need to adopt these goals with energy and positivism.
We will not decline. We will Thrive.