"It’s 2001, YOU’VE been president of the USA for less than a year. You’ve got a whole bunch of ideas of what is wrong with the country and what it’s going to take to fix it...
...Please remember that in this “fantasy”, you are NOT the king nor are you a dictator. You are the leader of a nation where half of your people does not agree with your ideology—and yes, you have to consider ALL of them. You have a majority party but only a slight one and you need 2/3s to run a program thru. Tell me how easily you will pull out that veto pen and refuse to budge on your principals when the bills to fund the equipment for the men and women that you sent to war will be held up in Democrat Seniority laden committees. Please factor in the world economy, the Arab strong hold on our fuel and how we have to walk the fine line between a nuke Israel and countries with an insane religion trying to get their own "alternative" fuel sources…note that if you decide wrong, people die, lose jobs, forfeit rights.
Then finally tell me how you would take the time to discuss it with an impressionable and impatient public that is spurred on by a hostile media.
I’m serious. I want real solutions for all the complaints against Bush—all your pet issues that makes you question Bush’s conservatism, his intelligence, and his courage. I want you to tell me what YOU would have done differently than the man you blame everything on..."
I will have to break this scenario up into different parts, as there are many aspects to a presidency.
First, we have to go back to the 2000 election. I go back this far because I would not have run on the same platform as Bush. After the Clinton years, my platform would have been about integrity in government. Specifically, I would have called for more transparency in government. My "contract with America", if you will, would include the following:
1. The security of this country is the first priority of the federal government always. All policies and legislation will be weighed against this priority.
2. The end of pork-barrel spending, where the taxpayers send money to the government, which returns it to us in projects that only help a small minority of the people. If these projects need to be funded, let the states or localities do it. If there is a naional interest involved, then we should be able to get funding on the federal level with a stand-alone bill.
3. Protecting the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. These were not intended for financing other government projects. Instead, they should be used to pay current benefits AND to help fund this country's economic growth and educational system. SBA and educational loans will come from these funds. Defaults on these loans will have to be reimbursed from general tax revenues.
4. End the marriage tax penalty. This was also part of Bush's platform, which he managed to pass. I agreed with it then too.
5. The teacher's unions in this country do NOT have our children's best interests as their goal. They are there to look out for the teachers' interests ALONE. The teacher's unions either need to be disbanded, or a voucher system must be put in place to encourage educational competition. Our children's education, and the future of this country, is too important to be ignored.
6. Free trade must be pursued wherever possible. Protectionist policies only keep bad industries from improving themselves.
7. Campaign finance reform must be done, and it must be radical. It must reduce the effect of special interests on our political process, while keeping the political process transparent. No more back room deals for campaign donations. (I will go into more detail on this one later.)
8. I oppose gun control legislation. While I will not seek to overturn current gun control legislation, I will not be adding any further gun control laws.
9. Abortion is a non-issue at this point. While I would support a Constitutional Amendment which would return the legality of abortion to the states, there are other issues of greater importance at this time.
10. Socialized medicine does NOT work. However, someone must pay when a catastrophic illness occurs. Private insurance is poorly equipped to handle such occurrences. Medicare or Medicaid should be expanded to handle catastrophic medical conditions where costs incurred top $100,000, regardless of the person's age. This should help make private insurance more affordable.
If I was elected in 2000, this is the platform which would have elected me. In the next part, I will explain how I make it happen.