I've recently come to the realization that all of our options so far for president suck.
I've come up with my list of issues and the stances I'd like to see our president take on them.
1. The Iraq situation and by extension our current military stance around the world.
We need to leave Iraq immediately. It isn't the pottery barn, it was broke before we showed up, we merely took the pieces and proceeded to grind them into a fine powder and snort it. Get the boots off the ground and provide the Iraqi military with logistical and air support only. Close Guantanamo bay and swiftly bring all the people there to trial. Find them guilty or deport them to their country of origin. We should also take a hard look at the troops we have stationed in South Korea, Japan, Germany, etc. We've also been involved in several peace keeping operations around the world, such as Haiti. Should Marines really be in Haiti right now?!? Or is this something better handled by the U.N.
2. A real foreign policy.
We need to start talking to everybody. The Palestinians, the Iranians, the Syrians. The enemy of my enemy isn't my friend. We are all in this together. Crazy as it might sound, we need to start doing the American thing and acting like statesman. That means going to places like Iran and saying "We want to have a dialog with you." "We have issues we'd like addressed, as do you, let's sit around a table like adults and hash things out". The worse case is that nothing happens. The best case is that real progress towards world peace occurs.
Yes, I understand this is a lofty goal, but your never going to accomplish anything sitting on our asses.
3. A real domestic policy.
It is a sad commentary on America when Prisons are considered a growth industry and there are more people incarcerated in the US than there are farmers.
Welfare: We need to scrap the current welfare system and start over. What we need is a system that works to turn people into productive tax paying citizens. Not a system that rewards people for staying in the system (such as having children) and works against people trying to get out of the system.
Immigration Policy: It's very simple. Kick out the ones who shouldn't be here. Improve our border security to keep out the ones we don't want here. Improve our INS system to let in those who will be productive members of society. As for the hollow argument that we need people to do jobs that we don't want to do, that's fine. They can get in line like the rest of people and enter our country legally. Owners of companies that employ illegal aliens should be put in jail and have heavy fines levied against them.
Education: I have no idea how to fix this mess. The comprehensive testing from No Child Left Behind seemed like a good idea, but it's forced teachers to teach to the test. The other weird thing is that schools that perform poorly get a boot to the head, not more help. Hence there have been instances of schools basically pushing children out the door who they know if they were to take the tests would bring their schools overall scores down. I would call that Leaving children behind but that's just me talking...
Science: We need to let the scientists be scientists. If they discover something surprising they should have the latitude to release it without fear it's going to get some government agencies panties in a bind. The politicalization of science in this country needs to stop immediately. Just because the scientific facts don't agree with our world view or makes the company who's funding your reelection look bad doesn't give you the right to suppress it.
Energy Policy: This country needs a definitive energy policy with the stated goal of getting this country firstly off of foreign oil and then secondly off domestic oil. This country has massive potential to use wind, wave and solar energy. We should work immediately to utilize these renewable resources. Once these resources are properly harnessed, existing dirty technologies such as coal and oil burning power plants should be phased out or converted to burn renewable resources (such as wood chips). To deal with the existing demand for petroleum products, R&D into technologies such as Thermal Depolyemerization should be pushed forward. While we're doing all of that, we should pass legislation that would impose fines and/or taxes on cars/trucks/suvs/etc that don't adhere to stringent MPG guidelines. The only way to get off of oil is to reduce our dependence on it. These should be vechiles that can be easily converted to pure electric as well.
Trade Policy: China joined the WTO, but so far has either stonewalled or flatly ignored it's obligations to this organization. We need to bring them into the WTO court and if China is unwilling to go along with its contractual obligations it needs to be ejected from the WTO, period. We need to stake out a policy of America first and figure out ways to keep Americans competitive in the global work place so that the hemorrhaging of American jobs can stop.
Agricultural Policy: One of this nations greatest assets is its farmers and the land they farm. We need to stop fucking them over and actually have a policy in place that lets people farm without losing their shirts in the process. Programs should be put in place that will let new farmers get into the business without having to take on massive amounts of debt in the process. We have been in the last 20 years been increasing consolidating our food supply. This is a bad policy for our nation and our food security. One small group of companies such as ADM shouldn't control so much of our nations food supply We should work to regionalize our food system such that a major catastrophe (or terrorist attack) in one part of the country won't effect the food supply in another.
Healthcare Policy: I haven't seen Micheal Moore's movie Sicko, but from what I've heard and the interviews that I've seen, I do agree with some of what he's saying. We need a healthcare system that at a minimum is non profit. I'm sorry, a system that's out to make a buck isn't going to be looking out for my best interests, it's going to be busy trying to figure out how to make money off of me. Hence in a non profit scenario a healthcare system would want to take proactive preventative measures, because it's cheaper than having to deal with my expense illnesses (that could have been prevented) I understand that something like cancer can't always be prevented, but many things (like heart diesease) can be. Also, fraud in the system has to be dealt with swiftly. People or organizations caught scamming the system should have the full fury of the law turned upon them.
That's just a few of the topics I'd like to see a future president tackle. I'm sure there's at least a dozen more that could be addressed.