Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that next year is a Presidential election year. It’s all over the news.

I’d like to try something different this election. Let’s not pick a front runner until all the facts are in. Let’s not let the media pick the two people we should like.

Also, let’s agree on some basic items with which our next President has to deal. Here is my top three list and I have more, but I’ll save them for later.

  1. The War in Iraq. Anyone who thinks we’ll be out of Iraq by the end of 2008 is fooling themselves. We can’t leave this country until it has a stable environment. That means more troops and more money spent. (and, yes, unfortunately, more lives lost). We’ve started something that we just can’t leave. Not winning in Iraq means more terrorists, not less. This isn’t like Vietnam. The Vietnamese weren’t going to get on boats and planes and attack us. Terrorists trained in Iraq eventually will. Should we have started the war? No, but now that we have, we can’t just take our football home and not play anymore because it’s too hard to finish the game.
  2. Health care. 45 million Americans do not have any form of health care. I’m not necessarily advocating a national health care plan, but let’s find ways to reduce costs, while not reducing coverage. The company for whom I work is touting their new health care program for 2008. Smaller premiums, but they are encouraging each employee to put money into a tax free savings account — that translates to less is going to be covered. We shouldn’t have to lose coverage for lower premiums. Also, I’m tired of these rich companies complaining about health care, like it’s some great sacrifice to cover their employees. These same companies pay their CEOs so much money that if they got themselves a cheaper CEO, they could put that money into health care for their employees. (You know, the ones doing the work.) We need to offer better tax breaks on the employers’ portion of the premiums, maybe even credits (which is better than a deduction).
  3. Dependence on Foreign Oil. Enough is enough. We need, since our car companies can’t seem to do it on their own, to mandate higher MPG on our cars. If we have to subsidize some of this, take the money back from the oil companies to do it. We need more research into other alternative fuels — including electric cars. GM (correct me if I’m wrong about the company) had one, but they concluded that it was too expensive to mass produce and there wouldn’t be a large enough buying public. Are they kidding?!? I would’ve purchased the car. Also, let’s do real tax credits for buying electric or hybrid cars. Not this only the first so many buyers need apply and that it had to be by a certain date. Further, let’s encourage companies that provide company cars to purchase hybrids/electrics — give them a tax credit for doing so.

There are many other items we can agree upon, but these are a fairly good start. Let’s find the candidates that come up with the best solutions to these issues. Let’s not care about political parties. And, above all, let’s not let the extreme right wing Christians hijack our country for another four years.

God Bless