With only 22 weeks remaining until the start of the Feb. 3 presidential primary and caucus calendar with three, possibly four Republican candidates and 21 Democrats vying to be America’s president, it’s time to start winnowing down what voters want their candidate’s platform to emulate. The role of America’s president has evolved over time to be our chief executive, commander in chief, chief diplomat, economic manager and ceremonial head of state. Hence, selecting America’s next president should be taken seriously as s/he becomes our face and voice domestically and internationally.
Political historians argue it’s wise to select the candidate that best exemplifies what her citizens want as a whole, versus a political party in particular.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Pew Research Center, NPR/Marist, Harvard University and other published research, there are 15 policies the majority of Americans prefer as well as issues they do not support.
1. “Medicare for All” that replaces private insurance is backed by only 41 percent of the electorate whereas 70 percent of citizens want a public option health care system, whether it is related to Medicare, Medicaid or Affordable Care Act.
2. Only 33 percent of voters support making a health-insurance program available to illegal immigrants.
3. Twenty-seven percent of Americans favor decriminalizing unauthorized border crossings.
4. Three out of four citizens want the climate crisis to be addressed and resolved.
5. The vast majority of Americans want globalization of international trade to return to U.S., restore relationships with our pre-2017 allies and Trump’s imposed trade war to cease and desist.
6. Two-thirds of the electorate demand greater government regulation of the drug industry.
7. Eighty-three percent of citizens want to provide a pathway to citizenship for America’s 3.6 million Dreamers—undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
8. A whopping 89 percent of Americans favor stringent mandatory background checks for weapon buyers, red flag laws and gun magazine size restrictions.
9. Two-thirds of the electorate support legalizing marijuana nationwide.
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10. Nearly 3 out of every five citizens want $15 to be the minimum hourly wage.
11. Sixty-one percent of Americans favor a wealth tax.
12. Eighty-nine percent of the electorate wants universal pre-school to be available in every community.
13. Citizens overwhelmingly demand Congress and the president to be responsible and balance the budget.
14. Voters overwhelmingly feel the $22.5 trillion federal deficit needs to be rectified.
15. The vast majority of Americans want a president who implicitly and explicitly condemns racism, bigotry, xenophobia, white supremacy and foreign election interference.
There are many other issues Americans want resolved (e.g., immigration reform, rural revitalization, affordable housing, criminal justice reform, dark campaign money, etc.). Upcoming debates, political rallies, caucus and primary elections and the Democrat and GOP National Conventions will reveal whether any of the identified topics represent sound policy and who does and does not endorse what the majority of Americans prefer.
“Self-annointed” political gurus claim the party that best mobilizes and excites its base will win. However, recent surveys have shown 20 percent of Republicans and Democrats will not blindly follow their registered party’s candidate. (Most registered Democrats and Republicans are party lemmings and would vote for the devil if s/he was of their own party of preference.)
The swing voters of the red and blue persuasion and the ever increasing number of no party-independents – I hope you are one of them and intelligent enough to decide who to vote for on your own accord -- will carefully correlate the issues identified herein to the cast of candidates.
This roster of important policy issues might be a worthy scorecard to help determine who is most deserving to elect as leader of the free world come Nov. 3, 2020.