I'm fed up with petty party politics!
I don't want to hear any more about what the Democrats propose to do or what the Republicans say they will do. They've had their chances and the results have been disappointing. During the next few months I want to see the emergence of an independent or bi-partisan candidate who can rise above the party strings and do what's best for the country
I want a new leader committed to do whatever it takes to restore our political integrity, restore our image around the world, and restore our economic balance. I know that a successful program will have to include controversial and unpopular elements. My hero will have to have the guts to make tough decisions and not worry about being re-elected.
Here are a few of the ideas my candidate might consider:
We should increase the Federal gas tax enough to raise the price of gas at the pump to $10 per gallon on petroleum-based fuel. We should use the revenue from higher taxes to provide incentives for developers to build new fuel plants based on new science and technology. We should then eliminate all taxes on gasoline from designated non-fossil sources such as ethanol made from wastes (not corn). Competition should bring lower gas prices in the years ahead.
We should also achieve savings by setting the speed limit on interstates at 55 in all metro areas and by allowing mini-cars, tri-cabs and ultra-lite vehicles —- such as those that we see in Hong Kong and Bangkok — on our city streets and rural roads.
We must revise our requirements for citizenship. We should give preference for citizenship to those with scientific skills, demonstrated leadership ability, or financial strength. We should require guarantees from private sponsors for those unable to pay their way. We must stop admitting welfare cases.
We must improve health care by injecting competition. Private citizens should be free to buy pharmaceuticals from Canada and elsewhere. Government medical units serving large segments of society should be required to get competitive bids for supplies and services.
We must stop filling up our jails. A good way to do this and, at the same time, reduce crime, would be to substitute public whippings for jail time for minor crimes. Those released from jail should be required to go to work — hopefully into jobs vacated by illegal aliens
We should seek to cooperate with all democratic nations — even if their citizens elect leaders not of our choice. At the same time we should be strictly neutral in the Israeli-Palestine conflict and the India-Pakistan confrontation.
We must require basic science and technology courses for every student.
We should require one year of national service for all 18 year olds. We should phase out the student loan program that has become a giveaway scheme for many. Instead we should give free college or training school support to needy students who have completed their national service in a satisfactory way.
National Agenda — We must let the people speak. At present, neither our campaigns nor our elections produce a clear expression of voter opinion on specific issues. We should conduct an official opinion poll every two years as part of our congressional elections. The ballot should list about 10 controversial issues -- such as abortion rights, the death penalty, and the proposed flat tax — selected by a bi-partisan committee. With this response our leader would be better prepared to plan a national agenda wanted by most citizens.
By now we have offended almost every special-interest group known to mankind — assuring the all-out opposition of hordes of highly-paid lobbyists. Thus it will be difficult to achieve any of the goals we have listed. The odds against achieving all of them are astronomical. Astute observers will say mine is an impossible dream. That's probably true.
However, let's just suppose that, as a result of brilliant leadership by our new president, my dream does come true. In 2012 we could celebrate one of the most glorious eras in the history of our country. Carve another figure on Mount Rushmore!
— McKinley Conway has authored more than 40 books on development strategies. A former Georgia Senator, he is Chairman of Conway Data, Inc., based in Atlanta.