The members of both main parties need to wake up. Public dissatisfaction with not only the candidates, but the parties as well, is leading a lot of the electorate to really start looking at third-party platforms, or longing for a party that combines the better elements of the two main parties.
If you want my vote, here are my priorities (in no particular order). I’ve had it with the current crop, and their infantile way of thinking and behaving.
1. Congressional term limits. Give human beings a finite time limit to accomplish things and watch what happens. You get a max of twelve years total in Congress. Period. That’s 2 terms in the Senate, or 6 terms in the House, or a combination of both.
2. Gerrymandering political districts have led to far-left/right purists that are impossible to work with after the general election. If they don’t to need to embrace the art of compromise when getting elected, they will not be able to perform it when installed in Congress. Democracy is majority rule, but compromise is still necessary to get things done. It is NOT a four-letter word.
3. We are not going to box up 12 million people and send them back to their countries of origin. Give them a pathway to citizenship, and let them start paying taxes like the rest of us. At the same time - secure the borders. Give me a plan that is practical and pragmatic - minus the wall.
4. If you don’t like the candidate for the Supreme Court, vote them down. But for God’s sake, at least perform your Constitutional duty, and give them their day before the Senate.
5. Climate change is real. Stop proving yourself incredibly stupid by insisting that it is a hoax.
6. Give me a flat tax rate. Close the loopholes.
7. If we are going to have deficit spending, then limit the deficit to a percentage of GNP. Have a plan to wipe out the deficit in 50 years - sort of an economic moon program. Build paying down the principle - not just paying the interest - into every budget. Sorry folks, but it will require reduced spending AND higher taxes, Congress prefers the other way around. See #1 and #2 above to remedy that process.
8. President/Cabinet Members/Congressional members pay for Social Security taxes, health care plans, and their own retirement just like everybody else. The current plan of full retirement after 5 years of service (collectible at age 62) does not match the reality of their constituents.
9. College is not free. It is an elective choice for further education. Make the loans interest-free though, and allow the recipient an option of paying it off through community or military service.
10. Prove to me that you are someone that I can honestly respect, even if I might disagree with your policies. I want to be able to point at you and tell my 10-year old daughter “there is a distinguished human being”. Inspire her. Admit your mistakes, and learn from them. When you succeed - no end zone dances, please.
The world is getting more crowded, and its resources (other than solar) are finite. Things are not going to magically get better. I’m looking for leaders that can articulate comprehensive, holistic, long-term planning and then translate it down into simplistic messaging that makes it easy for the electorate to understand with its 15-second attention span. The needs of the many better start taking precedence over the needs of the few (or the one). Everyone must shoulder a little bit of pain - it’s the only way to get people away from this “I’m right and everyone is an idiot” mindset that we have perpetuated.
It’s too bad we don’t have more third-party Congressional members. This either/or two-party system has become so polarized, there is no room for compromise and hence the gridlock. The European model of parliamentary coalitions, with the ability of multiple parties joining together for the common good, I find intriguing.
What I do know is that with our current two parties, with the demographics of our country changing, is that neither party’s philosophy is economically or morally sustainable. If they are unable of evolving, they will eventually harden and become irrelevant (provided our democracy continues to survive). To me the time is ripe for a new party to come forward, one that can embrace the best policies of each party, and appeal to the center majority that straddles both philosophies. Hopefully, this will be the real by-product of the disgusting and thoroughly embarrassing election we endured in 2016.