The national press and political pundits, always hot for a presidential election, have already begun printing off covers splashed with the faces of candidates for 2008. It will be a decisive election for U.S. history, so choose carefully.

While personality and culture wars have surfaced in recent electoral mud-fights, sufficient long-term problems have waited long enough on the back-burner. This season, whether or not Americans pay attention, the election will
both shape an administration and define a "political mandate" to oversee some tricky footwork. It's a vote to determine what hand will mold important strategic choices at a critical time. In other words, it's an election for Issues, not personalities; Platform, not partisanship.

So, instead of debating the candidates, here's a platform, off the top of my head. Tell me what you think; talk about it; improve it. It's just one citizen's thoughts--- what are yours?

  1. Lower military spending and appropriate these funds to balance Social Security or cut the Federal Deficit.
  2. Free the public education system by providing school choice with some standardization. OR, launch a national program giving union teachers an option for better compensation for participating in a merit-based program.
  3. Develop green energy and transportation technologies, by appropriating funding from the military and steering federal subsidies away from non-green energy and technology sources.
  4. Work internationally not unilaterally in foreign affairs.
  5. Encourage state and local government actions to steer legislative innovation. Focus federal government action on steering state and local actions with incentives and penalties, rather than direct manipulation. Allow the federal government to refocus on international and national issues that pass state boundaries--like education, energy, transportation, security, and environmental concerns.
  6. Reinforce the role of economic analysis in government.
  7. A campaign for civic community. Make the legislative process and government accountability more accessible to public individuals.
  8. Make election day a national holiday! (you know you want that!)
So what do you think? Really, I'd LOVE to know what other people think should be our top priorities. I'm all ears to find out what you think.


JAE said...

Implementation of numbers two and seven on your proposed platform have the potential to radically adjust American's sense of engagement with our country away from the current guises of rampant consumerism and media-warped identifications that serve to cloak and stall legitimate involvement in our communities. As a public school teacher, I fully support school choice when administrators and teachers are also given greater autonomy and the availability of resources to develop progressive models of education that truly serve to educate the individual and position each student to meet future life opportunities with the fullest expression of their talents and intellect. George Lucas has a phenomenal publication titled “Edutopia” that provides many examples of progressive education in action.

A number of cities have begun to offer community courses that foster involvement in the civic process. I have participated in the Asheville Citizen’s Academy and the Durham Citizen’s Police Academy; both provided me with a greater understanding of civics and public administration. I would advocate for the implementation of these programs in public schools – rather, bring the students to these programs to encourage their sense of engagement with the community beyond the brick and concrete exteriors of school buildings.

Thank you for your provocative and thoughtful blogspot!

Hillary For President said...

hear is what thing we should do:


It that simple really. Hear is the plantform I would choose:

1. Repeel 19th ammendment so hillary clinton can be president for life.

2. End Selections so Neocons cant rig the 2032 selection to kick hillary clinton off

3. Declair national emergenty -- look what neocons half done it IS an EMERGENTY

4. Put are trust in Hillary Clinton -- give her full rites and full power.

5. Do what ever Hillary say.

6. Recommend take Jock Shiraq (president of Frants for those less educate) advits.
That is the only solution.

Juanma-Argentina said...

Hi everybody, I think your platform is very good...you have very interesting points of view and I think that the U.S.A would change a lot its image in the world if at least some of this proposes were applied. I dont really know if you are informed of the negative image from president Bush and the Republican party in the rest of the world. You(American population)have the opportunity to change the world because of the power of your government and the economy...dont let the government tell you what to hear or what to watch..check it outside you borders(Latin America,Europe,Asia)and you´ll find the awful truth. Good luck!!
p/d: sorry,my english isnt the best..I´m Argentinian.
p/d: congratulations melanie for that excellent platform.public school and collegue for everybody!!!

Tom Bailey said...

It is a platform and it looks like you put some serious thought behind it. The issue is not always platform but a palatable person to present the platform.

Renegade said...

I don't think your platform will work. You see, after you take care of #1, we will all be killed by our enemies. Better luck next time!

Check out Renegade's BS

surajsharma said...

I was going to write a comment about how slicing military expenditure will actually help America both financially and also help improve it's image among other countries. But then I read the comment above me, and It made me think perhaps America just needs a really great spiritual leader than a political one.

Steven Estrada said...

gzbxebqHello Melanie

I'm new to blogging. Congrats on being a blog of note. I just read your post. I like the focus on issues and platform. I totally agree.

Our politics are a poor mix of mud and minutiae. A straight talking politician is a rare commodity. Lets all keep looking for more of them.

On your platform:

1.Strong military costs $. If you want a weaker military I can't agree with you here.
S.S. isn't a very good system. I'd rather look at private accounts. I give financial advise for a living.
If you look at what we get back in S.S. and what we could could get back if we put it into a private account you'd be amazed. We need a new system.

2. Free up education. Yes. Free it up completely. The quality of education isn't determined by how much money we spend. It's determined by a student with an open mind and a passionate teacher.
Public Education doesn't promote this optimum environment. Look at home schooling, magnet schools, parochial schools and any place else where results are already happening for the answers.

3. Green is good. Again leave the military alone. The government will not solve our energy problems.
Innovation in Green technologies will come from the private sector.
Support the companies that are already trying and vote for laws that will reward the companies that try the hardest. We are still capitalists. If money can be made someone will build it.

4.International input is essential.
Keep in mind that the rest of the world doesn't always have Americas best interests at heart. Sometimes we will have to go it alone.

5.I agree the states need to take back more responsibility and quit being so dependent on the Feds. The issues that you suggest the Feds should re-focus on are mostly issues that the states should handle. If you read the preamble of our Constitution the only thing that follows "provide" is "common defence". Establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, promote general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty are the rest of it. We are a union of states by design. The Feds are supposed to protect us with laws and a common defence and then generally promote a good environment for the states to do the rest. We have strayed away from this original concept and that's why politics have become about personalities and partisanship and not issues and platform.

6.& 7. I refer back to your point #5. If the states took back more responsibility; analysis, accountability and access would happen because 50 individual states
can do a better job of managing the above than a bloated, over extended, bureaucratic Fed ever could.

8. I agree, BUT to get paid for the day off you must provide proof that you voted. AND an attempt should be made to educate those getting the day off on the issues and candidates. I'll assume your goal is to get more participation in our election process.

Sorry so long, but I love what you are promoting. I started blogging because I want to improve the conversations we are having in America. We can disagree, but we can't hate each other as a result.
Keep up the good work.


Steph said...

As a Canadian reading your post, I wonder if universal health care is a concern for Americans. I'm always amazed at the horror stories that I hear of people who just can't afford health care. It blows my mind that Americans haven't demanded it.

Geoff said...

I completely agree with reduced spending on military. Aging politicians & other good ol' boys still equate superpower status with military persuasion... this is clearly not the case, given the flattening of the economic landscape of the world. Our government must radically alter its spending behavior away from the military drain & into the economy, e.g us, the American citizens. The young educated generation of America is packing up & leaving... myself included. Some day soon, I hope that I can come back to a place that is more suited to serving its citizens rather than its companies & wealth- mongers.

gene said...

Hi Melanie:
Thanks for taking a position. The failure of leadership during both Democratic and Republican administrations on the steadily weakening Social Security system is somewhere between tragic and ridiculous.

While I'm not sure I can endorse reducing military spending to get to the cure (I think our soldiers, sailors and airmen are chronically underpaid), honorable people can face this issue down.

Al Gore was on the right track with his "lock box".

What is missing in the Social Security trust fund, is, of course, the trust fund. We need real assets: stocks, bonds, timberland, oil wells, gold mines, shopping centers, apartment complexes, sovereign bonds - all the things that would be in your trust fund if you were born a Walton, DuPont, or Gates.

We have chosen emotional language to inflame the issue rather than a rational dialogue about investments, life expectencies, reasonable length of time that individuals should plan to work given longer life spans and so on.

Keep posting