Monday, January 30, 2006

Duncan Lee's Ideal Candidate/Jerusalem/Imagination


(P1) Political


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
candidate.

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.

A. Prices:
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.

Taxes:
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
this campaign.

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
because they
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
agenda:

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
be replaced.

Education: Get together a workable plan for all levels. Think outside the
box.

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?"

Please Post Your Comments Here about any of the above and/or Read the Comments of Others. You can sign in as "blogger" or "other" but add your name to your text. Or email me at edcoletti@sbcglobal.net. We need your feedback.

(P2) Philosophical

Jerusalem, Jerusalem

"HERE (IN JERUSALEM), NO MERCY IS SHOWN. ONE HATES ONE'S FELLOW MAN

TO

THE GLORY OF GOD."

-from Selma Lagerlof (1858-1940) - Nobel Prize winning Swedish novelist in Jerusalem, 1901


(P3) Poetical

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)

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

He is right

Edward Coletti said...

Dear Anonymmous,

Thank you for your comment. Next time, please also sign your name. First name is fine. It's more fun that way. Just include it at the end of the text.

Thanks again,

Ed

Mike Matthews said...

Ed, I liked your choice of Al Gore, and this time I also agree with Duncan. Whoever is the candidate has
to come out punching and hitting hard or, do the other extreme, be so cool that they seem like JFK. By the
way, only one criticism of Duncan's policy review: Discounting the environment is a major mistake
politically and every way. There is a huge constituency supporting sound environmental policy and that even includes Republicans. Plus, this is a big issue for young people who do the leg work (like we did) of the campaigns. But the bigger issue is this: If we don't make the environment a primary concern we
will end up with no life on this cherished Mother Earth upon which we--for a flash in Eternity--walk!
Poof! MM

Edward Coletti said...

Michael,

I'm sure Duncan will be pleased with your general approval. Like you, I have to part ways with him over the environment. While he's in favor of a healthy environment, he doesn't give the electorate much credit for being concerned about Mom Earth. I think he misses the boat sailing with virtually every voter I know under age 45.

Ed

Katherine Hastings said...

Katherine Hastings wrote:

I'm in total agreement with you regarding H. Clinton and Gore. I have a harder time believing your friend's position that in order to win, the first qualification is being male; those days are surely numbered and the sooner we don't support even the idea that it's impossible for a woman to win, the smaller those numbers will be. In addition, right now it would be nice to look at a candidate and feel that s/he could lead us OUT of combat, not into it.

Katherine

Anonymous said...

Hi Ed!

I think Duncan is mising the boat with his hypothecical candidate's treatment of energy. It should be a central campaign issue.

A good energy policy would move us to nuclear and renewable energy. This move would reduce the importance of the Middle East to our economy and more importantly to our foreign interests.

Fewer American dollars flowing to the Middle East means fewer well equipped terrorists.

The nuclear part of the energy policy would be a hard sell in today's politics, but one could argue that more radioactive material placed in reacters generating energy means less available for military usage. Duncan's right about finding better waste disposal methods.

My two cents,

Paul

Grumpy Duncan said...

Well, I knew there would be some discussion on my, actually not very well thought out, treatise. Also, I didn't touch on all issues as it ran too long anyway and my brain got tired.

However, I did say that nuclear and natural engery sources should be sought. For the shorter term, I am a big fan of ethanol and bio-diesel fuels. I'm also a fan of Willie Nelson, but that's not the point, bio-diesel is the cheapest most readily available fuel at the present. Millions of gallons of used oil are dumped ever day from the those beloved fast food restaurants. That artery-clogging crap can fuel nearly every diesel truck (and car)now running. Some may require some adjustments, but it can work.

It's cheap, it burns cleaner than straight diesel and there is a never ending supply of it. Just keep taking your kids to McDonalds and force them to eat the large size fries.

We can produce enough crops to make ethanol to make a difference in the oil imports. I don't know the numbers so don't ask me. Interesting that the Bushman extolled natural fuels Tuesday night, while his buddies at Mobile Exxon were still counting their 36 billion profit. Why didn't he say he was introducing legislation to heavily tax oil companies' profits with exemptions available for production of natural, clean, home-produced fuel?

As for the environment, Ed and Mike say there is a large group of young people to which the environment is a top priority. Could be, but it wasn't large enough to elect Kerry. I think the environment is immensely important, I just don't think it is an issue that excites the majority of voters. When in the campaign, one must closet the ideals for awhile and concentrate on getting into office.

Katherine says she thinks it would be nice to think a president would lead us out of combat, not in. Sorry, that was a figure of speech, to state the obvious. Historically, though, female national leaders don't have a very good record for leading their countries out of combat. Margaret Thatcher declared war, so to speak, on Argentina over a stupid little island that had virtually no importance to anyone other than the sheepherders who lived there and the English aristocracy.

I don't have the Iraeli history fresh in my mind, but I think Golda Mieir ordered a few or her constituents into combat.

Even Indira Ghandi got India involved in, and not out of, some military actions, I think.

It is my opinion that a female will not be elected president of the USA in the next 40 years, or two generations. Sorry, that's my take on reality, not my desire or political leaning or prejudice. Vice president? Maybe, but a long shot.

Here's another look at my view of the US populace: the TV show "Commander and Chief" will do more for a female getting elected than any other rhetoric or education. The majority of Americans are addicted to electronic entertainment...and petroleum. An Austrian movie star is governor of Calif., what more can I say?

One last shot at Al Gore. (Why am I so negative all the time?)He's too little too late. He was in 2000 and he is in 2006. He is a reactionary not a proactionary. The US needs a proactive candidate and leader. And I end with my key word of the day: Leader.

Edward Coletti said...

Terrific Response, Duncan. Laced with good humor too!

Larry Carlin said...

Belatedly, Duncan, to paraphrase from "Jerry Maguire," you lost me at the word MALE! If there was ever a time for a great FEMALE candidate, it's TODAY! And I don't think it's Hilary. Molly Ivins' article was correct on that score. Oprah was better but it may appear too much like show biz. Somewhere surely is a great woman leader. Think along the lines of people like Madeline Albright, Golda Meier, etc. Names anyone????
Someone different from the long line of wishy/washy politically correct male Democrats out there. Someone willing to stand up and be heard! That Presidency is there for the grabbing!