* A better America – My state of Pennsylvania will hold the next major Democratic primary. The following are issues I would like to see the presidential candidates address and adopt:
~Develop a plan to end our military involvement in Iraq that allows for anti-terrorist missions and training of Iraqi forces.
~Develop a multi-national plan to remove bin Laden and al Qaeda from Pakistan and this planet.
~Re-affirm the separation of church and state and pledge to remove the religious right biases that have been insinuated throughout the federal government.
~Establish a task force to create a multi-disciplined approach to reduce the human influence on global warming.
~Establish a task force to suggest legislation that will re-establish a system of checks and balances for the 3 branches of our federal government. A unitary presidency does not serve the interests of a democracy.
~Develop a plan to re-build the infrastructure of the U.S. that will also create much-needed jobs.
~Establish a task force to recommend legislation and regulation of the corporate and financial community and suggest incentives for corporations to invest in American production and technology. Safe and fair working conditions, safe products and energizing America’s research and productive capabilities should be part of this plan.
~Develop a comprehensive immigration plan that will prevent the influx of illegal immigrants and resolve the status of the 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants already in this country.
~Address the undue influence of lobbyists and special interests on politicians by developing legislation for the public financing of elections and meaningful ethics rules and oversight of congress.
~Establish a task force to address the costs of health care, caps on medical liability, oversight of insurers and physical and mental health coverage for all U.S. citizens.
~Develop a plan to ensure comprehensive and long-term physical and mental care for wounded military personnel.
* America can be better – From many perspectives we are a country where individuals have stopped caring about each other. The above subjects I would like to see addressed by our leaders in most cases result from an abandonment of the common good. It is not a call for socialism but a sense that for profit interests cannot go unchecked. It is not a call for the takeover of free enterprise but an understanding that the structure of an economy within a democracy should provide opportunities for a work and labor force versus domination of that resource to the benefit of a few. It is an understanding that greed unchecked in any segment of our society leads to majority failure. It is the realization that a government unchecked leads to domination by a few and the loss of freedoms. It is a lesson that unprovoked war leads to consequences present and yet to be encountered. It is a reminder that one of the very basic elements of our Constitution, the separation of church and state, is weakened by allowing a particular sect to influence the policies of government. We spend more energy telling others what to think and how to live their lives than embracing concern for the quality of each other’s lives. America has been and can once again be better. The overriding challenge we face in the 232 year of our country’s existence is finding the leadership that can correct our errors before they become permanent failures.