Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Things I Want to See in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Elections

Courtesy of woodsy

As the first of primaries and caucuses for the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election are about to begin, here are some things that I would like to see from all the candidates that are running.

1. Solutions. There are a host of problems facing America and the world today, I would like to see solutions to our biggest problems. Creativity is welcome and even encouraged.

2. Limit the mud slinging. Candidates and their staffs should stay away from the negative campaigning that they have done in the past. They should instead focus on their positions and what they intend to do (point 5).

3. Energy. The oil supply on the planet is limited and will not last forever. America’s dependency on it has hurt us in the past and is hurting us now. We need real use and development of alternative energy. I heard Dan Carlin suggest a “Manhattan Project for Energy”, which would be a real war-time effort by the public and private sectors to find a replacement to oil. In addition to the use of oil as fuel we need viable and ecologically friendly alternatives to plastics used by industry and in consumer products.

4. Environment. Since the world is an enclosed environment, we can not think that we can continue to pollute and destroy it without it one day coming back to hurt us (or our kids, grandkids, etc.). We need viable and ecologically friendly alternatives to plastics.

5. Say what you will do, not what you think that I want to hear. Candidates in the past have made a lot of promises to every group under the sun, saying what they thought “everyone wanted to hear” to get elected. Most of these promises later fell by the wayside. If you intend to do something tell us, even if it might cost you votes. Then everyone would know who they’re really voting for.

6. Don’t focus on the “hot button issues”. These are the issues that get people made and will probably never go away (i.e. gay marriage, abortion, gun control, and etc.). We need to see more focus on the other points raised here.

7. Fiscal responsibility. Money being spent by our government is taken from all the taxpayers and there is not an unlimited supply of taxpayer money available. In the candidates private lives they would not buy services or products that they couldn’t afford or that did do what they were supposed to do, so why should they allow this at the taxpayers’ expense. The candidates can not spend beyond their incomes, so they should allow the government to do this indefinitely.

8. Remember that the Constitution says “We the people” and not “We the special interests”. A lot of legislation passed in Washington is because of the efforts of special interests groups and not really on behalf of the voters’s interests. This needs to stop. The American Revolution was fought amongst other things because of taxation without representation.

9. A review of the commitments of the American federal government for relevancy and cost. Bear in mind that much of the federal budget is spent on entitlement programs that aren’t so easy to cut. A review of everything spent by all departments needs to be done and we should know why the money is spent and determine if it is still relevant and worth while to continue the spending. Is this something that we really want to spend our money on? Is this important and relevant to us today and in the future. This should include a review of our military commitments and how we use the military? We have troops all over the world, is that something that still makes sense for us today and are all these engagements really sustainable?

10. End to all our current “wars on”. While the “War on Terror” comes to mind, this also includes the “War on Drugs” and all the other “Wars on…”. The logic behind all of these wars has been flawed. Wars have traditionally had a tangible real goal or target, but how do you know if and when you have defeated drugs or terror? The American federal government does not have unlimited resources of funds to do this. Spending by our government grew astronomically as a result of the “Cold War”, can we really continue this with all of these other wars?

11. Remember the Constitution and our Bill of Rights. Our founding fathers created our federal government with intent that it be limited. The bill of rights was created and approved to protect and preserve freedoms that were deemed worth protecting. Laws limiting our freedom of choice (or other freedoms) should be seriously considered before approval. Would our founding fathers approve of Big Brother or the Nanny State where the government dictates what you can and can’t do?

While these things are a drop in the proverbial bucket, doing them could be a real start to creating a future needed by America.
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