"Which team are you on, Democrats or Republicans?"
"I wasn't aware our political system was a Twilight movie?"
The perception, for better or worse, is that America is divided into two camps: Democrats and Republicans. The perception is that Team Blue and Team Red are for themselves and only themselves. No effort should be made to connect with the other team, no effort should be made to woo the other team. Our team is the best, is always right, is beyond compare, is the Beyoncé of the political realm. Their side has almost 50%, our side has almost 50%, so let's try and get whatever stragglers we can to ensure our continued stay in power.
This is the perception, and it's crap. Not because it's necessarily wrong; no, because it's far more true than it should be.
When was the last time a Democratic Presidential candidate campaigned in Birmingham, Alabama in a general election? Or a Republican candidate visited New Hampshire outside of primary season? For the most part, our parties remain divided, almost content in their hold of various regions while focus persists on "battleground states" for that treasured 51% and enough electoral votes, just enough to stave off losing power for another four years. This is crap, a terrible way for a leader to act. Our President is to represent all people and must reach out to all people, engage all people, partake in both sides of an argument, and if necessary, try to sway others to their side using the fundamental principles this great nation was built upon.
We need someone who is not just capable of listening to every State, but someone who really wants to listen to every State. I care not whether your state is blue or red. Like most Americans, I cannot and should not be confined to a single stance or ideology; most of us are not 100% leftist, 100% rightist, or 100% centrist. But what we all should be is 100% reasonist. Logic, reason, and critical thinking help keep us centered, focused on the tasks at hand, tasks that all of us as Americans must participate in. Through logic and reason, skills demanded of us by our Forefathers, facts and opinions can be addressed without threat of the political sound-bite syndrome that plagues all candidates. This is the freedom that all leaders should have, the freedom to see and engage in all sides, to participate in all perspectives. When it comes to America, when it comes to helping ourselves, we cannot be divided. John Boehner and Harry Reid should be able to talk openly and candidly about any issue, to work through potential solutions without fear that their respective parties will crucify them for doing so. President Obama should be able to engage members of the GOP and not worry Democrats will excommunicate him like some blasphemous heretic.
Because America- and this is key- we must remember that our elected officials represent us. They are in office for us. Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate are to speak with the voice of their State, not their lobbyists nor their own party if their party's interests don't line up with their State's. And our President must represent all States, all people of America, executing our laws and protecting our Rights and freedoms across the globe.
I guarantee your State's voice would not be ignored. I will listen and give voice to you all. Being a computer programmer with a decent amount of technical awareness will help make this happen. Technology in the 21st century will assist us in organization, in making our government more efficient, will help our infrastructure, will give our children new opportunities to learn and grow, will give businesses more economical means for revenue generation, and most importantly, it can bring us closer to a true democracy than we've ever had before. Everyone's voice is needed. Everyone here is responsible for our future. We owe it to ourselves and to our posterity to move forward with real, united progress, no matter how difficult the challenges and issues may be.
And let's be honest, we have a lot of issues that need to be addressed. Some of these can be tackled by a President alone, but the vast majority require legislative fixes. No matter who gets elected President in 2016, remember that they cannot make law. They are not a King/Queen. That is the power of Congress and Congress alone. But as we discuss these issues, everyone can become more aware of the problems and really question our State representatives over how they plan to address these matters.
In no particular order, here is a list of many things we need to address as a nation:
- Intellectual Property Reform, the crux that can solve many, many other issues we face as a nation
- Privacy Reforms for the 21st century
- Education reforms, especially with higher education
- Addressing our nation’s infrastructure for both energy and technology needs
- Addressing military needs to keep our troops safe and our country secure
- Tax reforms that can aide both individuals and businesses of all sizes
- Healthcare reforms to address the ever increasing cost of healthcare, not just making sure people are covered but taking steps to keep costs down
- Tort reform, especially when it comes to ridiculous statutory damages
- Addressing issues with trade agreements you’re probably not familiar with but should be, like the Transatlantic Free Trade Area (TAFTA), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
- Addressing our energy needs for the next century through increased scientific research
- Addressing ever increasing inefficiency and wastefulness of the Federal Government
- Along those lines, getting our Federal budget under control
- Create new opportunities for blue collar and white collar jobs
- Create new opportunities for competition in our capitalist economy, both for big and small business
- Re-introduce alternative methods of agriculture and fund new initiatives
- Federal Election reforms including campaign finance reforms
- Changing our tactics in Foreign Policy matters
- Actually creating a strategy for Foreign Policy matters
- Reinforce our Rights and freedoms granted us in the Declaration and Constitution, including but not limited to our freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and freedom from unlawful search and seizure
- Crackdown on lobbyists and the revolving door problem with corporations and government officials
- And finally, provide unprecedented and unparalleled transparency into what is going on with the Federal Government and why
This last one is very important to me and should be to anyone who would be a representative of the people. They say brevity is a great virtue, but sound bites and over-generalizations in politics are what cause misunderstandings. I will do my best to explain why I feel the way I do about issues, what is good about them, and even what is bad about them. Because any reform of any sort that takes place will create problems for someone, somewhere. Anyone who tells you otherwise will be lying to you and I promise to be as honest as my awareness of any given situation allows me to be.
These issues are problematic for all Americans, no matter your party affiliation. I guarantee you the vast majority of us Americans agree that these are issues. Real, concrete plans are required to tackle all of these subjects. The challenge for any candidate running for office in America is whether they have such a plan or whether they will hide behind generic sound-bites, dodging questions and doing everything they can to not engage. The biggest fear every other candidate has is that they say something that might cost them political clout, something that might keep them from getting elected. As an Independent, as a political UFO, I am free from such a burden. I will address these and more with solid, detailed plans. They may not be the best plans, but they are real plans and real starting points for discussion by all sides.
Political discourse is born from freedom and genuine desire to see improvement, regardless of the cost to the self. Fear and cowardice have no place in this arena.