Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Suggestions for the Inaugural Address
[Milo’s Note: An old friend, extended family member, and financial consultant in Ohio, Jerry has been thinking about how the Obama administration might begin its work. In this guest column he has suggestions for Obama’s inaugural address. Thanks, Jerry!]
Were I advising Obama, here’s what I’d suggest. In your Inaugural Address, make the following points:
Based on our common values, Americans agree on the following goals:
* A viable, affordable health care system for all
* An environmental policy that quickly reverses the terrible risk of global warming and instability
* An energy policy that supports our environmental goals and no longer sends trillions of dollars to the Middle East to finance terrorism, bigotry and inequality
* Economic policies based on the Constitutional imperative to “promote the general welfare”.
For decades, however, we Americans have engaged in fierce and often partisan debates about how to accomplish these shared goals. It is my responsibility as President to lead all of us to agreement on the “how”, and to then work with Congress to put those agreements into workable laws.
In order to begin this process, I am today calling on the governors of our fifty states to join with me in a process that begins at the bottom, with the people, and moves upward to our national government, a process that draws the people together to find the solutions we need.
My administration will work with each governor to create a six-month process of public hearings and discussion, throughout every level of every state that will show us how the American people wish to solve these problems.
At the same time, my administration will be working from the top down, with commissions staffed by both experts and politicians, to come up with their own feasible solutions to these problems.
At the end of the six months, I will ask the governors to join me in Washington to express the voices of their citizens. I will ask them to meet with our commissions, to debate the issues, and to publish their conclusions.
It is my belief that from this process, the voice of the people will be heard and the knowledge of the experts will be brought to bear, with the result that I, working with Congress, will be able to frame a set of legislative proposals that will have the support of all Americans.
We have many other pressing problems, including extricating ourselves responsibly from a disastrous war, solving a terrible immigration problem, assuring that our civil rights are protected, de-militarizing our economy, and so on. I will address all of these problems in due course. But today, I am focusing on the long terms challenges that must be solved if we wish to grow and prosper as a nation.
In proposing this process, I do not intend to abandon my responsibilities to lead and to propose legislative solutions; to the contrary, I believe the American people have given me a mandate to find ways to bring us together to meet the challenges and accomplish the goals that I have identified. This is how we will begin.