Dear Candidates, if you are running for President, please do more than feel my pain.
We are at a critical period in the history of our country. There are still a lot of consequences that we are facing after fourteen years of endless war i.e. integrating military service members, who have fought overseas, on our behalf, back into our society. We still have to support many people who are still unemployed or underemployed since the Great Recession of 2008. Students are still carrying the burden of heavy tuition debt and are at risk of becoming a permanent indentured servant class. Climate patterns all over the world are causing a lot of problems with rising sea levels and increased temperatures currently highlighted by the drastic loss of wildlife in the western United States due to the severe drought.
In other words, candidates, we need something more than clever oratory, we really need some practical policy recommendations that will help move our country forward and will promote healing and greater security for all.
Here are my recommendations:
1. Pass a law that will resemble the legislation of Glass-Steagall which was repealed in 1999. We need strong banking legislation again that will protect individual's bank deposits and assets from being put at risk by potentially dangerous investment decisions by major banks and lending institutions.
2. Pass a congressional law that will overthrow Citizens United. The greatest obstacle that is facing democracy now is that a lot of people don't feel that their vote counts. They feel, quite justifiably, that governmental policy is totally controlled by corporate entities i.e. Koch brothers, etc. They also feel that only the wealthy can run for public office, given that that the average congressional election will now cost a candidate no less than 1.8 million dollars.
3. Do everything in your power to use military force only as a last option and resort. Use every means of diplomacy available, really engaging in partnerships with other countries etc. to fight terrorism, to address meaningfully poverty in the underdeveloped world and promote education especially for women along with health care to those who are suffering.
4. Promote education for all in this country; develop programs where a student can attend community college free for the first two years. Develop all kinds of incentive programs to forgive student debt i.e. encourage students to do an initial enlistment in the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps in exchange for debt forgiveness.
5. Promote more job training programs for military members who have returned from serving overseas. We should encourage former military service members in working in all available occupational fields including science, engineering, technology and math, as well as security, law enforcement and health care.
6. Promote solar, wind, geothermal, all renewable energy resources. We are recognizing that our dependence upon fossil fuels is limited, it is finite. If we don't do something soon to correct this, we will leave devastating consequences for our world and for future generations.
7. Fix the Affordable Care Act; address the current inequities in the subsidy process i.e. how someone making twenty-thousand per year and who is married living in San Antonio, TX doesn't qualify for a subsidy, but someone who is single living in Austin, TX making twenty-five thousand dollars per year does qualify for a subsidy. There needs to be clear criteria determined regarding the issue of subsidies. Also there needs to be long range planning regarding how the act will continue to be funded as well as dealing with cost containment issues for medical procedures, equipment, conversion to total digital medical records and inpatient hospitalization as well as cost containment for pharmaceuticals and more financial assistance programs for people with limited financial resources who need pharmaceuticals and who currently cannot afford medications.
Candidates, if you run with these kinds of platform proposals in mind, then perhaps we can have a serious discussion regarding the future of our country. Your constituents are begging you and asking you to deal with these priorities. Please don't disappoint us.
If you are running for President, please do more than feel my pain.
If you are running for President, please do more than feel our pain.