I am a middle class, non-partisan, white woman, old enough to join AARP. I think America is and always has been great. I also think there things that can be done to make America even better.
1. The President of the United States cannot have conflict of interest issues between his own business interests and the interests of the nation. To this end, in my opinion, President Trump needs to release his tax returns. He needs to put his business interests into a blind trust. And even doing that, I find it hard to believe that anyone could make decisions of the sort the president will be asked to make, and not take their own interests into consideration on some level. We've just never had a non-politician with large business interests holding the office of President of the United States. I personally think he should be selling all of his business interests that are held in foreign countries, for example his hotels. I think if his company has loans through foreign banks, they should be resolved. I don't know how you go about accomplishing that, but how can it not be a conflict of interest if you owe millions to foreign banks, even if they were initially legitimate loans.
2. Healthcare - I think we really need to start working on a single payer, publicly funded, socialize healthcare plan. We are the only major nation without one. The only one that wins in a battle of insurance companies are the insurance companies, and the politicians that receive PAC funds for their reelection campaigns. I believe that if the US Senate and US House of Representatives are making decisions on the healthcare options of the people they represent, those decisions should effect them as well. I feel it is up to the public (who employs those representatives) to offer the same healthcare options to the senators and congress-people as we get. If it is good enough for us, it should be good enough for them.
And for heaven's sake, who in their right mind thinks abortion should be a governmental decision! Do I believe in abortion? For myself, it is not an option I would choose. But do I think it is any of my business or the government's business to choose for others? No - absolutely not. Anymore than it is anyone else's business whether a man has a vasectomy or a woman has hysterectomy or tubal ligation. Those decisions should be between the patient and the doctor. If a doctor does not want to perform abortions, that is his/her choice. My statement to anyone who thinks it is their business what others do is this - Mind YOUR OWN business, and judge not lest you be judged as well.
3. We need to take better care of our veterans, the military and their families.
4. Foreign Aid - In my opinion, we take care of our own first. To me that means the majority of funds collected through our tax base stay in the US. The analogy to me is like the safety warning flight attendants give before take off. Secure your own mask first, then help others. We need to take care of Americans first, the help others!
5. We need to be willing to pay for alternative energy sources so that we are not so reliant on foreign fuel.
6. We need to explore whether the electoral college is the way we want to handle our elections vs popular vote. (And can we really explore getting rid of Daylight Savings Time too?) Some things/reasons have run their course.
7. Term limits - another thing for consideration. Can an 80 year old senator who has held the office for years and years really represent the interests of the younger generations? Here I am, a senior citizen. I want someone in their 40s or 50s representing me. That age group holds a unique view. They have just come through that time of life that you are finding yourself, finding your way, establishing your self, and providing for your family. They are also in the position of looking at retirement and all the problems and benefits that go with that. That should account for more than which "powerful committee" they are eligible for.
8. Education - I'd love to see a version of funding college educations similar to the GI Bill that would be available to young people who either join the military or a volunteer work program such as Habitat For Humanity or the Peace Corps, and serve for 2 years for a community college degree or 4 years for a degree from a state university.
As far as K-12 education, we need more funding for smaller classrooms and better pay for teachers and para-educators. We need to spend less money on the ridiculous testing, and focus more on actual teaching. Testing does not insure that no child is left behind - TEACHING does!
9. Immigration - This should be a matter of documentation. American should be welcoming one and all, but those immigrants must be willing to be held accountable for their own financial support and their actions. I believe anyone wanting to live in the USA without becoming a citizen needs to have a sponsor who accepts financial responsibility for them. The sponsor provides the job, the insurance, the housing. It is not the responsibility of the US Government to provide for non-citizens. Those that want to become citizens should also be able to prove they can provide for themselves, or have sponsorship in the instance of the elderly parents coming to live with their children who are citizens. And speaking English, having passed an ESL course, should be a requirement.
Those are just some of the issues I personally feel need to be addressed by our federal government and I listed them in no particular order, just as they occurred to me while I was writing this entry. And I'm sure once I post this, more things will occur.
I hope that we as voting citizens of the greatest nation on earth can begin to start holding our governmental officials and representatives accountable to doing that - representing their constituents, their employers! If you don't like what is happening in this country, in your state, in your districts - demand action from those who represent you. If they don't represent you, don't vote for them in the next election cycle. Your vote matters. Those representatives are just as interested in job security as the people who live in their districts/states. Make them work for it!