Making a difference on a single global issue for the next 12 months
Project #2: Creating an Election ’08 Voter Manifesto
If you could tell the presidential candidates what is most important to you, what are the top four hot button issues you would ask them to address?
Deadline for post: June 15, 2007.
Project #1: Choosing a single global issue is mind-boggling. There are so many. Addressing worldwide poverty, fighting childhood illnesses such as malaria in developing countries, fighting for human rights, or world peace are all worthwhile goals. But I have to say taking care of our planet has got to be the most important issue. If our planet cannot sustain human life then everything else becomes irrelevant. So, do you define this single issue as global warming, pollution control, population control, or environmental protection? I believe global warming is a symptom, and like good medical care, you don’t just address the symptom, but you address the cause of the symptom. Global warming is caused by airborne pollutants, which are caused by various industries from many countries, including the United States and China. Global warming is a big issue, certainly not solvable in a year, but raising awareness of its importance at the global level is an achievable goal. That’s my vote.
- Foreign Policy. I would like the ’08 candidates to address our foreign policy, specifically in regards to Iraq, but more generally. I would like our nation to return to its legacy foreign policy that eschewed preemptive war and relied on diplomacy to promote democracy and peace. I don’t believe you can gain new friends and allies by engaging in preemptive war. We need to bring our troops home now and end the war in Iraq. “Do as I say and not as I do” may work for an overbearing parent, but it doesn’t work when you try to export democracy. Indeed, exporting democracy is not necessarily the best way to create a peaceful alliance with other countries.
- Health Care. Our entire medical/pharmaceutical/insurance industry pretends to offer healthcare. But in fact, its number one goal is to make money and usually this happens at the expense of the people the industry purports to serve. As our country ages, this problem will grow. Medical care should be affordable and accessible to all people. Alternative medical arts should be incorporated into traditional medical arts. (As a side issue, our health is also undermined by the powerful food industry that promotes unhealthful food and dietary choices. Effective education can help loose the bonds of the fast food/snack food/hormone and antibiotic laced meat and dairy products.)
- Education. Public education should be available to all and it should be effective. Limit all class sizes (probably to 20), reduce the importance and number of standardized tests, increase salaries for teachers, reward creative thinking and peer mentoring for students, and help parents become supporters and advocates for their children.
- Environment. Global warming is a “global” issue, but it needs to be a national issue, a state issue, and a local issue as well. This is an umbrella issue and it needs to include finding alternative energy sources, such as wave power, wind power, and solar power. Our remaining wilderness areas need protection.