Being president is like being a jackass in a hailstorm. There’s nothing to do but to stand there and take it.
Lyndon B. Johnson
It’s been awhile since I’ve done an opinion piece so I thought I’d do something different. Here I will set forth my platform for becoming President of the United States and give a first look at the rough draft of my “stump speech”. I am only semi-serious about running for President in that I would if I could afford it but I can’t so i don’t worry about it. Still, if I could, here’s what I would do.
Agenda #1: Education
Education reform is the main plank in my platform. The one policy that all others will flow from. It is the most important thing to me. So, how do we begin? A good question. This will be the first controversy in my campaign. I wish to dismantle the Department of Education, abolish the Secretary of Education cabinet position, and start all over again. These institutions have not served their purpose for a very long time. A bureaucratic mess of favors, backroom deals, and unrealistic policy. The NEW Department of Education will be rebuilt to match my new vision of American schools. I will have the money to address education, and I will get to that later, and it begins with the teacher student relationship. Too many students for just one teacher. We will begin the immediate construction of more than 1,000 schools nationwide(with more to follow as needed) and refurbish at least 500 others to meet the new standards of today’s world. Teachers will be paid a high mandatory salary with permanent benefits. Teaching will become the most wanted position in America. The salary, benefits, and freedom to connect with every student will bring a renewed interest in teaching among our best and brightest. Standardized testing will be done away with. Teachers and school districts will set their own high standards that best serve their students. Everyone does not learn the same and it is time we allow teachers to address that fact. Classroom sizes will be drastically reduced and at least 2 teachers will instruct every class. I cannot speak for private universities but all state colleges and universities will provide free education. Now, when you leave school, debt won’t be your biggest concern. America will again be THE nation of scholars. But, we gotta have jobs for them. So let’s get to that.
Agenda #2: Jobs
Lot of opinions on this one. Well, here’s mine. Deal with the corporations OR cut ties with them. FORCE them to adhere to a tax code and no longer allow American companies to outsource American jobs. If they want to hire the Chinese, leave our shores and move to China. Not only will you pay taxes but you will return to the 90% rate. I will insist on a national “Bill of Rights” for workers. Guaranteed pay that reflects the current cost of living( a new “minimum” wage). Guaranteed benefits that can never be revoked including so much paid vacation and free health care(which I will get to later). If I have to I will buy every factory in America and staff them myself. This country WILL be profitable again. We will begin a program to install new energy infrastructure. One that puts China’s program to shame. This will be our new “Apollo Moment”. When the country did the right thing not because they finally had to but because it is the right thing. Wind and solar? Sure. But why stop there? New advances in geothermal energy means that an active Yellowstone and California could lend power to half the country. No one method would solve our problem but, combined, they could begin to show us the way out of it and produce millions of new jobs that will eventually produce millions more. Many may think it’s a pipe dream but once, long ago, powering the whole country with oil was too.
Agenda #3: Health Care. This one seems pretty simple to me. Again, like teachers, doctors AND nurses will receive what I call “value pay”. What do you offer this society? The chance not to die? Well, my friend, you get a fat paycheck. Doctors and nurses will be paid by the state now. And paid well. Insurance will no longer be an issue as health care will be free to all who need it. Just like the schools, a program will be started to build new hospitals, first in high traffic areas(like large cities), then staff them with the best of the best with the best salaries and benefits available in the world. Money will be moved from FDA research into BIG PHARMA drugs and onto independent medical researchers who will make any medicine they find freely available to the public. Health care will be free, well managed, and available to all. We spend more on the bureaucracy of health care every year than it would take to provide all with free health care. Time to end that bullshit.
Agenda #4: Foreign Policy
Again, an easy one. No more war. No more bombing. No more of our particular brand of “help”. ALL dictators will be put on notice. If you harm your people we will NEVER deal with you again. If you still want our money you will agree to an “investment” into your country. Starting with the most willing participants, America will begin investing in the world. Money once used to build bombs and aircraft carriers, will now build homes and roads. A place like Haiti would be rebuilt with modern infrastructure, and American money would be invested in businesses all over. We would have an interest in seeing the world grow as one. Not an interest in shooting people for our oil. Anyone willing to go along would join America in a coalition to build the world, and would all have equal say. Connect the world to bring it together. If America is truly a guiding light, then let us guide.
That’s what I got so far. 4 big issues I feel need to be addressed. Now we move on to the unveiling of my stump speech. Still a work in progress:
“Good to be here today in (insert your town’s name here). Glad to see those (insert famous local product/sports team) are doing well. Folks, I come here today to share a new vision of America with you. A crazy vision that involves better education, more jobs, fair pay, and a chance to get the medicine you need without declaring bankruptcy.
An America that again values hard work, sacrifice, and care for our fellow man. Folks, the people in Washington right now don’t want any part of that. The people in your state capital don’t want to hear it either. If we start solving America’s problems, our politicians are out of business. They don’t get elected to solve problems anymore. Only manage them. Manage them in a way that gives you just enough room to breath but not enough to question. They offer bitter compromise in the guise of hopeful solutions. Two Parties living off decades old legacies that aren’t all that impressive to begin with. One tied to an actor President who spent more timing trading arms with rebels than running our country. And the other to a legacy of Civil Rights they never got involved in til the end and only went halfway on when they did. Liars seems like such a strong word. Perhaps we could stand ,”Motivated deceivers”. Motivated by the need to retain power and hand out any marginal change that will subdue the masses that give them this authority.
Who decides American policy? Well, I was always led to believe it was the people, but that doesn’t appear to be the case anymore. The people seem to be pretty lackadaisical when it comes to vigilance and our democracy. Too many are content to leave the voting booth and feel like their job is done. The job doesn’t end there. That’s not even where it begins. In fact, it’s a small middle when stacked against the duties of democracy. Who did you vote for? A name? A face? A letter? How much of that candidate’s history do yo know other than he or she is “on your side” and against the “other guy”? How much do yo know about that”other guy”? It seems politicians get into office and then decide our way forward for us while we check our new status on Facebook. Yet, when problems arise, we rush to blame those same politicians whom we left to their own devices. If campaign promises are enough for you to feel secure than I truly envy your bliss. It must be all consuming.
I am no there as a politician my friends. I am here as an agent of change. I have no promises. I cannot guarantee you anything you cannot guarantee yourself. I am not your leader. You are mine. I am not your boss. I am your employee. And I have a few complaints about the way you are running things. Yes folks, you. All the people here and those watching on TV. I am suppose to go to Washington to help the American people and not the interests of a particular political Party. That is what I intend to do. But not before asking the American people just what it is they want? My opponents believe you want what they want. And why shouldn’t they? The American people are easy. Make a few promises and, as long as the TV says it’s o.k., they go right along with it. That is not what I want. I want your vote. Not your endorsement. So I am being honest. I want to know if this is what you want. If not, I am no longer needed.
I have been honest and forthcoming about my plans for this country. I know many will not approve. It will take years of sacrifice and possibly disrupt the comfort we have all become so accustomed to. But you must be broken. I must break you before you can be rebuilt. Or watch as we all slowly crumble apart. I will not lie. I have no rosy campaign promises. No half truths to exploit at your expense later. Only the offer of hard work and sacrifice for a better country. If not for us, then for our children.
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for you time. Peace be with you.
That was a decent stump speech right? Tall on rhetoric but short in details? Oh well, I await your feedback.