As a registered independent, I don’t cast a primary vote in the presidential contest. I’m still interested in who is running because one of them will likely be our next president. Viewing this campaign, however, sure makes me wonder exactly what we are looking for when choosing our next Executive. I know what I want, but I sure appear to be out of the mainstream of thought in the election decision.
First, I’m really opposed to labels. All these names, mostly with negative connotations, just turn me off. What is a conservative, or liberal ? Do we really know what a socialist is today ? How about left and right ? It seems to be all about boxes, and I always thought individuals were far too complex to be placed in the confines of some labeled container. So candidates who are always lashing out at labels just don’t impress me as quality leaders.
I’m also struggling with meritless assumptions. We seem to have a pastime in this country of making assertions with no regards to the facts, and then repeating them as if they would magically become true. No amount of repetition makes a false statement true, and yet candidates persist. Maybe it’s because these are lines the “fans” want to believe, and the followers will simply accept them as fact, even when they are not. I just don’t understand that system, but it is our reality. No matter how often some “facts” are debunked, the candidates keep throwing them out there, playing to the emotional side of the voters, than dealing with reality. Of course, our president has only reality to handle 24/7.
From this perspective, I tuned into the recent debate hosted by CNBC. I actually hoped to hear some real discussions about the economy, our staggering, yet growing debt, and perhaps ideas on how to get Americans employed. I was definitely disappointed, but unlike the candidates and GOP leadership, it was not by the questions posed by the moderators. Frankly, some of those were beautiful targets for any candidate to actually discuss their ideas about how we can resolve the economic problems we face. Instead, they dodged them to attack the media, or simply say “I’ve got a better plan than …” without divulging the details of that plan. We kept hearing about mistakes of the past, the bad guys, one upmanship, and their non-specific plans, but comprehensive strategies were never evident.
Perhaps my disappointment comes because I don’t see anyone with a clear vision for their role in the White House that will unify this country. They all say the words the polls tell them people want to hear, but what is their clear action plan ? I realize they have very limited time on that stage, but a true leader will grab those moments and make their vision, and experience, clear. They won’t waste one moment on other candidates, or the past, or playing the blame game.
So what do I want to hear from our next President ? Here are a few of my bullet points:
- Over 50% of our financial resources are in the hands of just a few people. It is not money being invested in our economy. It’s the accumulation based on greed, and it contributes nothing to the financial health of our nation. I want to hear someone address how they would approach getting the money put back to work to enhance our economy for the benefit of all people.
- We have far too many people with skills that can be used in this country, and yet their jobs have been sent off shore. How will our next President work with companies to encourage them to bring these jobs back home. How do we change the mindset of corporations ?
- We have a debt we simply won’t be able to pay back, and this arose because we borrowed funds rather than ran a “pay as we go” society. We keep hearing about cutting the tiny programs that we emotionally may oppose, but who will give a solid plan to cut the meat to a point where we immediately balance the budget. What are the plans for finding, and eliminating waste in government spending? Who has the courage to address the waste in defense spending ?
- Who has a plan to actually pull together the White House and Congress in fruitful, non-partisan discussions that will actually focus on the needs of our country rather than the special interests?
- Animosity is a rampant resource in our country, but it doesn’t reflect on the true values held by the majority of our citizens. Who can change the tone of our dialogs where we quite playing the adversarial roles and unite for a common purpose ? Who can lead setting the model of mutal respect and civility ?
- We have massive national infrastructure needs. Will anyone address those ?
- We have immigration problems because we allowed people to come into our country and work at jobs no one else would do, at low wages, and without benefits. What is the actual solution proposed to respectfully retain workers we want to employ
- We can debate global warming all day long but when it comes to the local effects of pollution there is absolutely no debate. Who has the courage to be firm with corporations that pollute and throw out the “economic consequences” arguments? Who has the courage to stand up for our kids and grandkids, and give them clean, safe, communities ?
I’ve got a lot more issues, but you probably get the idea. Of course, if I pose these questions to the candidates, they would all say they have a plan, and they could get the job done. Therefore, I need to actually see examples of where they have used their skills in the past, and accomplished change that benefits the community, state, or nation, as a direct result of their involvement. I especially want to see how they worked with the difficult people, the opposition, the highly ego-involved, and the powerful, to bring about unity and improvements to our society.
I won’t say the people on the stage this week are missing the skills. I will say that not one of them showed me evidence that they really can make a difference as our next president. Of course, I’m not hearing it on the other side, either, so this is not some type of partisan eval.
Of course you disagree. Feel free to share your views … though humor me with some real facts that you can draw from “primary sources.”