My Friend Duncan's President
I'd like to introduce my friend Duncan Lee who is going to provide us with some well thought out ideas for what he personally would like to see in a presidential candidate. You might not agree with all of this, nor do I, so I'd like to urge each reader to respond by pressing the "Comments" link below. However, at least Duncan is using his good mind, formulating what he is looking for, and even putting together an action plan for his candidate once he/she gets into office. He's giving us lots to think and comment about.
Now, here's Duncan's contribution and don't forget to comment:
"For someone who doesn't like talking about politics I got a little carried away here.
I think Winston Churchill said this: "Democracy is not the
best form of government, it's just better than all the others".
But, I've done some thinking lately and here's a start on my theoretical
First, there's getting elected. So, my candidate is male, younger than 70,
fairly fit and attractive. When this man speaks you know he means what he
says, he's intelligent and articulate, can speak extemporaneously with ease, is poised and
exudes a sense of professionalism and leadership. The kind of guy about
which you don't hesitate to say, "I'd follow that guy into combat". I met a
young man in 1971 who had done some campaign work for then governor Reagan.
He said you could be in a room full of people, not looking at the door, and
you would know when Reagan entered the room unannounced. That's the kind of
guy I'm looking for. (Not like Reagan, but you know what I mean.)
The Campaign: Here are the issues. They are not necessarily the issues laid
out by the other side, they are MY candidate's issues.
1. Economy. ( Don't forget Clinton's famous words, it's the economy,
stupid.) When voters go to the polls they are thinking of their wallets.
Gasoline, gasoline, gasoline.
Electricity, electricity, electricity.
Heating fuel, heating fuel, heating fuel.
Energy companies' scandals. Oil companies' obscene profits.
This issue must be hammered on non-stop.
Pledge a reform and equitable system.
Bring it to the common man. Don't harp on tax breaks for the rich. Hammer
hard on the average citizen being able to understand his tax return and that
reform will reduce taxes for everybody. If indeed that is the case. No BS in
Corporate irresponsibility and lost jobs. This is dangerous to the fund
raising side, but it's courageous. Must be done. Auto industry, airlines,
others, must be made examples of poor management and judgment. Pledge gov't
aid in getting organized, but not money.
Cost of Iraq. Not why we went in, etc., but when are we getting out. Hammer
hard constantly on the cost, the cost, the cost. Talk about all that can be
done with the money here at home, but more importantly who's paying for it.
The debt is out of control under a so called conservative administration.
Cost of Health Care: Come up with a national health care plan BEFORE the
campaign and unveil it. If you can't do it before you're elected, how can
you do it after? Ask Bill and Hillary.
B. Education. Part of this comes under cost, but more importantly is the
quality of graduates. Compare to other countries. No Child Left Behind is
said not to work. Introduce a plan that will. (Small sidebar: the greatest
cause of teenage death is auto accidents; most schools "can't afford"
driver's ed anymore, but they can afford football teams.)
C. Security. Phone taps: this is easy, get a warrant for the taps or get the
legislation in place for a workable plan. (Sidebar: After the news of the
wire surveillance was published (leaked) Democrats began screaming bloody
liberties. The top Democrats were briefed on what was going on for, what,
FOUR years? Why no screaming before now?)
Secure the ports and borders. Just do it, don't talk about how difficult it
is. Going to Mars is difficult but we're going to do it.
Find the #1 target, you know who I mean, but I don't want to put his name in this because of issue C. above.
Stop making our troops drive down roads in Iraq so they can
be blown up and find this guy. It can be done.
Okay that's about it for the campaign for now. There will be more issues, but
three is about right. The education one is a bit iffy, so it may get
shuffled down the list.
Now, my guy is elected over all odds. Please notice he didn't say anything
about the environment unless asked. He wants to ensure a healthy
environment, but he doesn't make an issue of it. Why? Like abortion, only a
few people really care enough about it to vocalize the issue, the rest aren't interested
can't see how it touches them. Abortion is a dumb issue and should be
shunned unless really pressed for a position.
My president assembles his cabinet for the first time and lays out the
Defense: Budget will be cut by at least one third. No argument, just figure
out a plan to secure the country with that budget. That includes securing
all ports and borders effectively. If it means reducing forces in So. Korea, Europe, or
elsewhere, so be it.
Homeland Security: You're abolished. Sec'y of Defense, Atty. Gnl., CIA and NSA come up with a plan.
All those agencies: Cooperate with all pertinent info or the directors will
Education: Get together a workable plan for all levels. Think outside the
Medicare: Fix the prescription fiasco. Finalize the pre-election health plan and
come up with a plan that will provide
affordable health care for everyone. Meanwhile, president to tell insurance
companies to take a hike.
Transportation: Start building railroads, NOW.
Energy: Start building nuclear and natural sources of energy and figure out
the waste storage problem. Yucca Mt. is not the only answer.
State: Tell China they must adjust their currency values NOW or US will
impose huge import taxes on all goods. Tell Taiwan the gravy days are over,
run your own country or do a deal with China, US will not fight your
battles. Tell Israel it they start another Middle East war our alliance is in
big trouble. Tell Palestine same thing.
If Iraq is not already in all out civil war, start getting out fast and let
the war start after we leave, which it will, and we will stay out of it. If
it's already started, get out anyway. Tell Mexico to clean up the drug trade
or we will do it for them, and follow up. (Side bar: Why are we setting up a
democratic, functioning government in Iraq when our closest neighbor has
always been dysfunctional and corrupt? Why don't we rebuild Mexico?)
Congress: Many members will not accept these plans, but President must be tough on them. Not
waiting for Congress, new president introduces legislation that bans campaign donations from any group or corporation. And the
limit on individual donations is $10,000.
Okay, I'm out of steam for now. This is all idealistic, of course, but one
can hope. Ending on the negative, however, as I am want to do, it's going to take about $400,000,000 to run a campaign in '08.
Where is my guy going to get that? Is our system beyond repair?"
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THE GLORY OF GOD."
The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from
earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth the
forms of things unknown,
the poet's pen turns them to shapes,
and gives to airy nothing
a local habitation and a name.
- from A Midsummer Night's Dream (5-1-Theseus)