Key Issues for 2016
We are at the beginning of the Presidential election cycle. Hundreds of promises are made and broken, Hundreds more are forgotten once the victor takes the crown. It is up to each of us to agitate and lobby to have our concerns acknowledged and addressed. Here is a list of my concerns with reasons as to why and sometimes how these concerns can be addressed.
b. Petroleum and all of its related forms produces all kind of pollution when we use it. Most cities
don't use diesel powered buses any more in part because of the particulate matter it produces. Other
forms contribute CO2 to the atmosphere and that affects the climate and weather.
c. Our major form of energy is petroleum and it is finite. Sooner or later, we will run out of petroleum. We
already have experienced shortages back in the early 80's. Yes, there was an Arab embargo in order to drive
the price higher, but the fact is, we were no longer able to satisfy our need for oil from wells in the lower 48
states. Luckily, we discovered some large deposits on the North Slope of Alaska. And since then there have
been other discoveries and technological breakthroughs such as fracking. But sooner or later, (and I would
bet that at the rate we are using oil on the world stage today, it will be sooner) we will run out of oil. So now,
while we have enough oil, we ought to be finding ways to produce efficient, non-polluting, sustainable form of
energy. And we should fashion policies to help in the transition from one energy form to the other so that
of our corporations, our workers, or our economy suffers. That may also necessitate our giving other nations
in the world a helping hand with their energy problems. Remember that we live in an interdependent world,
we all are affected.
What will our new leader's proposed energy policy look like?
5. Foreign Policy
a. ISIS, Al Qaeda, Bokoharam - These are three that nearly everyone has heard of, but there are many more. Splinter groups, and minor cells as well as a hundred other groups, both liberal and conservative. Each has an agenda that it is willing to die for; each would like to foist its beliefs and its peculiar form of government on our society. Each presidential contender should have a specific list of steps he or she would take should to maintain our security here at home, maintain our influence abroad, and what will be done to keep us out of war in the Middle East.
b. Depending on who is speaking, but especially among Republican, there seems to be a heavy emphasis on some kind of military response to ISIS and all the issues that surround the Middle East. Each Presidential candidate ought to be clear as to how and what he will do in response to our current situation in the world. Granted, the world situation changes daily, but there ought to be at least some long range conception as to what steps will be taken with regard to North Korea, China, Russia, NATO, and the war on terror.
6. Domestic Policy - each Presidential candidate ought to have thought through the steps he or she will take in regard to the following:
a. Race relations - we can't afford to have another era like the 1960's. Ferguson MO is just the tip of the iceberg. This is an area that needs a good deal of attention.
b. Criminal Justice system reforms - new Supreme Court Justices. How to make the Court system more efficient and effective.
c. Campaign finance reform - Get rid of the influence of big money in politics.
d. Rebuilding the crumbling infrastructure - highways, bridges, federal parks
e. Education policy - What will it look like? Nearly every President we have had since the 1950's has proclaimed some grand scheme to improve educational outcomes. Little has been accomplished. What can be done to change that?
f. Health care - even though we have made some progress under President Obama, more needs to be done. Health care should be seen as a right of the individual with government doing everything it can to make it accessible to individuals. That does not happen when big medicine and big pharma set the policies.
g. Poverty - Too many of our nation's people live in poverty, especially children and single mothers. Presidential candidates need to have specific policies as to how they will address these problems. The policy needs to be comprehensive.
h. Gun ownership policy - No one wants obliterate the second amendment, but clearly too many wing nuts are walking the streets with handguns under their arm.
i. Domestic terrorists - Can something be done to curb the number of mass shootings and bombing that have taken place here in the US recently?
j. Immigration policy and immigration reform - it's been talked to death. Each candidate needs a realistic set of guidelines to improve the situation.
These are just a few of the issues facing any new President who takes office. I have my ideas on what should or could be done in most areas, but I am not running. Clearly, it will take more than one person to address all these issues. Clearly, the Presidency is the responsibility of many leaders who agree on an over all philosophical approach to governance. That is what we are determining in each of our elections.
Old and Ancient is what I would call this. I was in one of those meditative moods and looking for a solution to the world's problems.