1. End the war. The war on all fronts needs to come to an end. We have nothing to gain from the war in Afghanistan, as it’s not making us safer but simply causing them to hate us more. It is draining the economy and the overall moral of the American people. There is a very real correlation between this war and the recession that is seldom touched on by politicians. An end to the war will not only bring peace to that region, it may also breathe life back into our economy.
2. Invest in our infrastructure. This country needs to invest in infrastructure for a more efficient and successful future. Currently we are not even in the top ten for health care, life expectancy or even Internet speed. This is a sad state of affairs for one of the youngest and most powerful countries in the world. We need better cities, more schools, and all that other cool stuff they’re building in China (with our money) like high-speed trains.
3. Get the religion out of government. There is a reason the founding fathers put in a separation of church and state–to state it simply, religion clouds judgment. We solved that problem over 200 years ago, and we have come way too far as a civilization to let religion back into government now. Unless that is, you want to go back to the times when religion ruled, ever heard of the Dark Age?
4. Let gay people get married. It seems ridiculous to me that this is still an issue in 2011. America needs to put this one to bed already. This country has a long history of attempting to withhold rights from its citizens; let’s not make it worse. First it was minorities, then it was women, now it’s same-sex marriage. We all know it will soon be legal in every state, so what’s the hold up in Washington? This should be an easy one for Capitol Hill, especially after they just repealed the military’s don’t ask don’t tell policy.
5. Believe in our scientists again. When did America start to hate our scientists? Is it when they told them smoking was bad? I think that’s right about the time people turned on them. Scientists are some of the most itelligent people roaming the earth, and we need to use their findings to better society. America has always listened to religious leaders and politicians instead of trusting in the logics of science, and this is a crucial mistake. After all, it wasn’t a politician or a priest that cured the first HIV patient ever this month…it was a scientist, using stem cells I might add.
6. Renew our interest in politics. America has become complacent and uninformed from watching reruns of Two and a Half Men while eating Cheez-doodles in a Lazy-boy, forgetting the fact that we are one of the richest nations in the world, and yet we can’t even get access to free health care. Americans need to band together to decide what we stand for and what we want from our government. Chances are, the person sitting next to you doesn’t know who the Vice President is. In case you’re wondering yourself, its Joe Biden. While I have you tuned into a little politics, you might want to know we are getting completely f*cked. The stuff we put up with from our government today would have had officials tarred and feathered during Colonialism.
7. Protect Wiki-leaks. Our system survives on basic principles and checks and balances–principles like free speech and checks like the one Wiki-leaks provides us over our government as a whole. If our government is hiding things from us, then we have a right to know. After all this is government for the people by the people, right? So if we are the government, and it is for us, then it’s in our best interest to know everything that’s going on; transparency should not be a problem. In fact, it should be a requirement.
8. No more tax cuts for the rich. A country, especially one in tremendous debt, cannot afford to keep borrowing money in order to give tax cuts to its wealthiest citizens. It’s unfair, unethical, and unsustainable. It’s a documented fact that taxes are at an all-time historical low for the upper one percent. We need to return taxes to a higher level, so that the economy and country can rebound. Only in surplus times should the wealthy ever get a tax break.
9. Focus on green energy. Energy is the biggest player in the world market, and whichever country comes up with a quality renewable energy source will rule the world’s economy for generations to come. Middle Eastern countries, wise that oil is soon running out, have become hip to this game and are now some of the biggest investors in green energy. The U.S. needs to turn up that free market ingenuity and beat them to the punch.
10. Legalize pot. I know this one is a long shot, but what’s with the criminalization of marijuana? It’s 2011! The whole country is smoking the stuff from tweens to senior citizens, yet our government still considers it a crime. Pot is not a crime; it’s a fast food enhancer. Why are we still paying to lock people up over this stuff? There is also a definite upside in terms of tax revenue if you legalize the country’s most profitable cash crop.
11. Get the corporate money out of government. As long as politicians need a ton of corporate money to fund their election campaigns, politicians will always be at the corporations mercy once elected. We need to get the money and the lobbyists out of Washington; its corrupting the system and stealing the government from the people. Corporations have too much money and can’t be beat, so they must be barred from the political ball field in the interest of keeping the game fair for the people. Only then will politicians truly be free to vote in the interest of their constituents.