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Saturday, February 27, 2016

If I Was Running For President

If I was running for President, I would:

1) Find out what the real issues for the country are, and not create issues that incite anger and violence in order to get votes.

2) Not kick anyone out of my rallies.  If a heckler spoke up, I would address that heckler's concerns right there, in front of everyone else.  Why do you want to ridicule or bully one of your fellow citizens?  He or she has as much right to speak out as you do.  A rally is a great place for intelligent conversation about both sides of an issue.

3) If I was President and had a Congress that was stonewalling my every move, I would meet with some key leaders and say, "What the hell are you doing? The country is the main priority, not your vindictive agenda.  We were all elected to do a job until we are out of office and we need to work together until then."  And I would keep pushing these leaders until they started becoming more cooperative.  Then it would be time to negotiate.

I believe in a mixed economy.  Neither 100% government or 100% capitalism is good, as it makes one or the other too strong.  We need to strike a balance.  Capitalism is good for investment & risk, with reasonable regulations set by the government.  For obvious reasons, it's never too good for government to have too much control.  On the other hand, you have to remember that the primary goal of capitalism is to earn a profit.  But what good is profit when it becomes a higher priority than the basic needs of life, such as health, education, food and shelter?  How is it fair that a certain segment of the population can have easy access to these basics, while others struggle daily to get the basics of the basics?  I'm all in favor of investors and stockholders earning a profit as long as it doesn't take away the basics that others need to survive.  This is why a mixed economy works. 

I'm always suspicious when a business person comes in and says they want to run a school district, hospital or some other non-profit venue "like a business."  It changes the primary objective of the organization to making a profit.  Keeping expenses down is good, as long as the primary goal of the venue is not lost.  Obviously you'd need to look at how you're spending money if your expenses are higher than your income.

Regarding personal freedoms and rights in the U.S., in general, I believe people should be able to do whatever they want as long as it does not interfere with someone else's rights or well-being.

My positions on current issues:

Guns - Reasonable regulation to keep guns away from people who should not have them.

Drugs - Legalize them.  The drug war is costing billions of dollars and people are being badly hurt or killed because of it.  The country or states would earn taxes instead of spending tax money on a pointless war.  With no black market for drugs, the gangs selling them would disappear.  I believe there would be less of an addiction problem since there would be no black market pushers trying to earn a profit.  Along with all that, regulation in how drugs are marketed.

Health Care - I believe health care should be run by non-profit companies and agencies.  It's a compromise between government-run health care and capitalistic health care.  The problem with a for-profit health care arrangement is that the primary purpose of a for-profit company is to make a profit, putting health care second.  I think that's backwards.  I think a health care company's primary purpose should be health care.  I understand that many people don't want the government running health care, so why not let non-profit companies run health care?  Pay a fair salary to the CEO and others who run it well, but then let the profits go back into affordable health care, and not stockholders.

Abortion - While I personally abhor abortion, I don't think it's the government's business to be involved in telling a woman what to do with her body.  It seems like it's the party of "keep government off the backs of people" that's telling women what they can or can't do.

Same-Sex Marriage - Again, it's a personal decision between the two people who want to get married. No one else should be telling them what they can or can't do.  If you object on religious grounds, you need to be reminded that in America, we have freedom of religion.  So, keep your religion to yourself when it comes down to what people of other religious beliefs want to do.

Immigration - This country was founded on immigration.  If you're an immigrant or the descendant of immigrants, then you have no business saying other immigrants should not be allowed to enter under proper circumstances.  As for "illegal immigration," yes it's a problem and there should be a reasonable way to handle it.  I don't have an answer for the method, but the wrong way is the idea of rounding them up Gestapo-style and sending them back.  If I were running for President, I would encourage the opposing parties to get together and work out a solution instead of stonewalling each other.

Education - Everyone should have equal access to public education.  A reasonable set of goals can be used to set national standards, but not with extensive testing or using these tests to evaluate teachers.  Finland has a fantastic education system and I will defer all further thoughts on this topic to the Finnish schooling system.  Google it and read about it.  As for charter schools and private schools, families are free to send their kids to them, but that should not absolve them of their responsibility to contribute their share of taxes to public schools.

“Corporations are People” – No, I do NOT agree with this concept.  Per, a corporation is “An association of individuals created by law or under authority of law, having a continuous existence independent  of the existences of its members, and powers and liabilities distinct from those of its members.”
So, if this association is created to separate its human members from liabilities, and to collectively have powers they otherwise wouldn't have, how can you say corporations are people? 

I hear too many pundits blaming unemployment and lack of health insurance on lazy welfare recipients, etc. Sure, they are out there, but my own exposure has been to mostly decent, hard-working people who are unemployed due to no fault of their own.

I find the polarizing talk shows and bigmouth one-sided pundits to be very discouraging and a threat to America's well-being. I admit to being a huge fan of Rush Limbaugh for a couple of years in the early 1990's. After awhile I started to realize that I was only hearing one side of an argument; the fact is there are always two sides to an argument. The truth lies somewhere in between. I believe people who only listen to pundits on one end of the spectrum are doing themselves a huge disservice. I rather like the concept of "equal time," but with the proliferation of all media beyond traditional broadcasting, it's unlikely to be workable today.

There is no way that conservatives can be right all the time or liberals can be right all the time. Society, industry, technology, communication methods and transportation methods are always evolving. What may work in one era may not work in another era. What may work in one geographical location might not work in another geographic location. While we must learn from history, we cannot set in stone that past methods will or won't work today or in the future. It is through true, honest DISCUSSION and not mudslinging and attacks that we will find compromise on these issues.

I am very proud to be an American. It may not be a perfect country, but I like it better than any other country and there is no other place I'd rather live in.

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