Come This November, whoever is the Republican nominee facing off with President Barack Obama; there will be a few points of priorities that will need to be addressed by both the Republican nominee and the president.
1. The Economy: This issue is at the top of the list where it belongs. Americans are concerned about the economy more than anything. Even though we’re on the path to recovery, it’s moving very slowly. The stock market has continued to rise which is usually the sign of a healthy economy but jobs are still a strong contention being that the unemployment rate is still over 8 percent. Americans want someone who’s going to make jobs their top priority.
2. Foreign Policy: This issue is becoming more important with fears over Iran and its development of nuclear weapons. Iran’s leaders deny they’re pursuing nuclear weapons but claims their nuclear ambitions are for energy. This is greatly in doubt as the IAEA says that the Iranian regime has got much more than they need for just their energy needs.
It’s strongly believed that Israel is planning an attack on Iran as early as within the next couple of months. Israel has got good reason to believe that if Iran gains nuclear weapons that they will be the number one target. The next president is going to have to show strength toward Iran but not to the point of committing American troops on the ground because Americans do not want another war that cost American lives and treasure.
3. Domestic Unity: Americans are tired of all the bickering and the uncompromising stance of the political parties. There’s a strong indication that any candidate who shows an unwillingness to work with the other side, will lose support across a wide expanse of American voters. Though Republican contenders for the president may have seen this as necessary in securing the nomination, because of the hard-right stand of the Republican base, it won’t go over well with the middle-of-the-road voters who will be deciding this election.
4. Infrastructure: This may seem not to be a huge issue but it will become more so as our infrastructure continues to deteriorate because of neglect. Roads and bridges, schools and other public buildings will need more attention than they’re getting now. The Bush administration allowed our infrastructure to be neglected because of the need for funds to support their two wars.
The Obama administration has tried to address this issue but because of the GOP efforts to block everything that his administration has tried to accomplish since Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives and killed off a super majority in the U.S. Senate in the 2010 midterm elections, his administration hasn’t been able to move on fixing our ailing infrastructure.
This issue will have to be addressed or our nation will crumble beneath our feet as time goes by.
5. Education: Our country cannot compete in this world if we do not improve our education. As quoted from the Huffington Post, “The three-yearly OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, which compares the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds in 70 countries around the world, ranked the United States 14th out of 34 OECD countries for reading skills, 17th for science and a below-average 25th for mathematics.”
Education should really be at the top of our list because it is our future. If our young cannot compete for the best jobs then we’ll fail as a nation to stay at the top of the economic ladder. States have cut back on education funding as they look to fill cuts in their budgets. But this is a mistake and will cost our nation in ways that we may not be able to see now and by the time we do see it, it will be too late in which we’ll be far behind other countries. Our president for the next term will need to address this issue if he’s to do the job we need him to do.
6. Equality: Many Americans are feeling left out of the opportunity that America is supposed to be all about. There seems to be a chasm that has grown larger over time and it threatens to divide our nation even more. This is also what has become an ever-growing divide between our two major political parties. This issue I might have addressed under both the “Economy” and “Unity” because it affects both. We have an economy that seems to reward the few and leave millions out of the loop which in turn causes a serious division between the “haves and the have-nots”.
Our president needs to have sensitivity to this issue if he is to lead our nation for the next four years. Otherwise it will threaten our nation with a civil war because we cannot expect many Americans to keep working harder and harder but yet not able to keep up with the need to feed their families, provide health care and a college education for their children while still trying to have a decent retirement when they grow too old to work.
7. Social Security and Medicare: I put both of these issues together because they affect our aging population. Baby Boomers are beginning to retire and will be for the next several years. They’re also going to be the largest voting block for a while and for a president to ignore their needs is to risk losing their support. Both Social Security and Medicare are going broke and cannot be sustained at their current levels of funding.
Most economists say that there needs to be cuts to both of these programs and the retirement age to Social Security needs to be raised. The real problem is that if serious cuts are made to low-income seniors or the age requirement is raised too high, it will affect those who need it the most. The cuts need to be made on a different scale depending on need. For seniors who completely depend on their Social Security and Medicare, they already struggle to make ends meet and anymore cuts to this group will cause further serious survival issue, leaving many not able to afford to make it from one monthly check to another.
A comprehensive plan is going to be needed if these seniors are not going to be left out in the cold and without adequate medical care.
8. Health Care: Last but definitely not least. Though the Obama administration and the last Democratically controlled congress passed a health care bill called the Affordable Care Act it is far from perfect. Also a conservatively controlled U.S. Supreme Court is due to review the law this summer. There’s a possibility they may delay a ruling on it until at least 2014 because of the Anti-injunction Act which would require that a tax would have to first be collected, which would leave it in limbo until it’s actually being fully implemented. The main question before the court is the constitutionality of a mandate that most Americans buy health insurance. The mandate was actually a compromise to get the bill passed in Congress and the only way to force the health insurance industry to comply with new rules to accept everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions, age or any other factors.
If the health care law is voided – which in effect it would be if the mandate is ruled unconstitutional – as there’s no way that health insurance agencies can afford to cover everyone otherwise, it would leave many in our country in dire need of health care. Health care cost has gone out the window and many Americans can no longer afford even the simplest of plans. This issue affects our economy and the health of our nation and is an important issue for this presidential election.
Many Americans don’t like the health insurance mandate but without it, we’re back to square on and that’s how to provide health care to all our citizens.
These issues are all important and our president must address them all. Though our economy is improving and we’re winding down our war in Afghanistan so that our troops can come home, there still a threat that things can go sour easily. We need a president who can be all things at once but we all also need to understand that a president is still just a man. We need a Congress that’s willing to work with him in taking care of our country for all Americans, not just a few. This may seem like a lot to ask of just a man and surely he’ll have his failings.
We shouldn’t expect miracles, which seemed to be what was expected of President Obama when he took office. Hopes were high of course but still, he’s only a man who has faced a tough recession and an unwilling congress. If he’s reelected – which I believe will be the case, we need to give him time and realize that he’s limited on what he can accomplish. If he isn’t reelected, then let’s hope that the man who does take the job will not allow partisan politics guide him in a job that requires an exceptional individual, not someone who is bent on just enriching the wealthy and ignoring the problems of the populace.
- Obama to face tense meeting on Iran with Israeli leader Netanyahu – The Hill’s DEFCON Hill (thehill.com)
- Social Security: A Tale of Two Mitties (crooksandliars.com)
- America’s Iranian Self-Deception (iamiranaware.wordpress.com)
- Iran heats up foreign policy talk on trail (boston.com)
- Hypocrisy Democracy: What’s Going On? (jonathanturley.org)
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election, Barack Obama, Economy, fidlerten, Health Care, Iran, Medicare, Poverty In America, Social Security, Supreme Court Tagged: 2012 Election, Barack Obama, Economy, Iran, Israel, Medicare, Social Security