I don’t have a solid preference yet among the Republican presidential contenders, but I do have a pretty good idea of what I’d like to see the next president be and do. Here’s my short list:
No more on-the-job training in the Oval Office, we’ve seen how that works out. I want the next president to be an experienced and successful manager – either in the public or private sector — for managing at the highest level is what a president does.
The next president should jump-start the economy by cutting corporate taxes (ours being the highest in the free world), eliminating regulations that hamstring businesses, and in general by being a friend of business instead of an enemy.
Restoring our national security is mandatory. Our badly weakened armed forces must be rebuilt, and we should take whatever steps are necessary to protect Americans and not shrink from calling our enemies (and those of the entire West) what they are – Islamic terrorists, a forbidden term in the Executive Branch. No more politically correct mumbo-jumbo.
Reform Obamacare or, better yet, replace it with a system that recognizes the need for government assistance in today’s super-expensive health care environment, but partners it with the private sector in a way that promotes competition and grants patients the maximum freedom to manage their own care.
Make comprehensive immigration reform/secure borders a reality, not merely a political soundbite.
Fill vacancies on the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary – one of the most important powers of a president – with conservative jurists who, among other things, will restore our religious freedoms, which are under serious attack today. Having a pro-life president also is important to me. I’d like to see a Supreme Court that’s the exact opposite of the liberal majority that gave us the shocking same-sex marriage decision.
Restore world leadership to the presidency, for if the United States doesn’t lead, others will, Russia’s current power play in the Mideast being only one example. There was a time, and not that long ago, when the brutal ISIS, which is slaughtering or driving out of the Mideast the remnant of Christians who lived there, would have been stopped in its tracks by a coalition of nations led by America. We also need a president who will renew our traditional friendship with and support for Israel, a relationship that is in tatters under the current administration.
Order a comprehensive, top-to-bottom, blue-ribbon review of the entire federal bureaucracy, keeping what’s truly necessary and downsizing, consolidating or phasing out the rest. That may sound like a pipe dream, but it’s worth a try.
Last, but high on my priority list, I want a president I can trust to tell me the truth. Political lying in high places has become endemic today, and it’s time for truth to make a comeback. I’m also looking for a president with broad appeal who can at least attempt to bring together the various polarized factions in our nation.
What I am most concerned about as the election year approaches can be summed up in one word: decline. Over the last seven years we’ve seen decline across the board – economically, militarily, socially, politically and morally. Polls repeatedly show that a majority of Americans think the nation is on the wrong track. On Election Day, I‘ll vote for the candidate with the best blueprint for getting us back on the right track.
I don’t expect to get everything I want, for that doesn’t happen in politics. But I’d settle for six out of 10.
Doug Kneibert is a former editor of the Sedalia Democrat.