Senator and Democratic hopeful John Kerry penned his own note for ABC’s Notepad today. Since I don’t have an ‘in’ with ABC News, I’ll have to settle for responding here.
Good morning Note-readers. And thank you to ABC for sponsoring our upcoming debate in Columbia and for letting me write you this Note.
Over the next eight weeks, I will be laying out a vision for how America can make the most of the boundless opportunity ahead of us.
Why not make American [sic] stronger by reawakening our ideals of duty exciting a generation of young people to serve America?
First, they’re going to have to feel that they have better odds of serving most of their tour in peacetime and ending it in one piece, at least as long as the emphasis stays on recruiting those who have been or want to be college students. Second, better fix those big holes in the veterans benefits buckets. Their pensions and health care seem to be running out the bottom.
Why not have a health care system where accessible, affordable health care for all is a right and not just a privilege?
If we can do that without ending up like our neighbors to the north, we’d probably all be delighted. We want American kids to get their shots and poor people to have their inflamed appendixes removed and the elderly to be able to get their prescriptions filled. But we also want to be able to see a doctor in a reasonable time frame, not to jump through giant hoops to get reasonable treatment, and to have access through supplemental or private pay systems to “unreasonable” health care demands, like gold teeth with pictures engraved on them, breast augmentation surgery, gender reassignment surgery, or a pair of prescription contact lens that are a funny color or look like they have vertical pupils. Why? Because we’re Americans, and it’s these quirky things that a lot of us look at as representing the freedoms of everyday life.
Why not have a plan to protect our national security by achieving energy independence?
Hey, what a great idea. Can we do it without drilling in Alaska, even “temporarily”? Can we look into thermal depolymerization, and see if it is a feasible option? If it is, can we create municipal enticements to get that ball rolling? If not, can we just stop playing around with the automotive industry and get serious?
Why not make American [sic] stronger by making sure every child in America is given a strong start in life?
Step number one to achieving that, if you’re serious: create curriculum guidelines, material support from Education, and real finiancial support to encourage and enable school districts nationwide to do away with outdated Health or Wellness classes. They should be replaced with Life Skills classes, probably at the 6th, 8th, and 10th grade levels, that prepare students to function successfully as adults.
This means providing the hygiene and disease prevention information (encouraging abstinence is fine, but we want them to know what condoms are and what they do) that they already get in Health classes, but it also means teaching the kids CPR and first aid, checkbook balancing and responsible use of credit, job application and resume basics, household budgeting skills, and basic parenting skills. They should know how to avoid being parents, and what to do when and if they become parents. They should be able to pay their bills and avoid ruining their personal credit.
If we want a good start for the next generation, the best way to prepare for it is to create prepared parents. Sending children to school at 2 or 3 years of age isn’t the answer. Providing them with parents who know what to do when they are sick or crying or ready to learn the alphabet is.
I believe we need a vision to make American [sic] safer, stronger and more secure.
George W. Bush is taking our country backwards. But running for President is about more than pointing out that we’re going in the wrong direction. It is about laying out the new direction in which you will lead.
Absolutely. And Americans will be thrilled if we get to see a primary and an election that are about positives and plans rather than negatives and name calling. A good resume is a fine foundation, but we’re more interested in what you, as candidates, will do than in what you have done.
Our nation needs to reach down deep into the reserves of determination and daring that have always made us great.
—Senator John Kerry
Thank you, Senator Kerry, and may the best candidate win.