New president faces challenges of divided country

by: Maayan Schechter, Assistant Campus Voice editor, mschecht@unca.edu

To whomever wins the presidential election Tuesday, please tackle the uncomfortable issues and bring together our divided nation.

This nation relies on you to lead all of the people of the United States, and that includes the younger generation, among them the college students who will lead this country in the future.

You must be able to stand up to Congress when appropriate and work with Congress when appropriate. You must reach across the aisle to work with those in the other party to keep the nation moving.

The current health care laws need to stay in place.  Tie up the loose ends and make sure everyone can receive the care they need. Prevent childhood obesity, which has long-term negative health and economic consequences.

Finish pulling the troops out of Afghanistan. Do not spend money on weapon systems the Pentagon does not want. Watch out for our veterans returning home. Ensure they receive full healthcare benefits.

Ignore the wailing from the hardcore right and the hardcore left and recognize the fact from fiction.

Make a priority of boosting the economy, ensuring my generation has career options and improve the performance of both the private and public sectors.

These next four years will determine whether the nation continues to divide or unites across the spectrum.

My generation will ask how you will improve the economy as the Bush-era tax cuts expire on Dec. 31, as budget cuts take effect at $1.2 trillion and as America hits a new debt ceiling. Tell us whether the American economy will be on life support and need an oxygen mask for the next few years.

You must develop plans to innovate jobs in the United States and use outsourcing only when truly needed.

Recognize the upper and the middle class, but work hard to fight poverty. No human being should be left out in the cold and without food.

Inspire us to keep at our studies, motivate us to want to explore opportunities and not to be disappointed when a job opening does not choose us.

But the economy will not be the only tricky issue you will have to deal with. Latinos who are on visas or here illegally want to know that the president will call for immigration reform. You need to be pragmatic on this issue. Throughout the next term, ease restrictions on children of undocumented workers and make that pledge a top priority. If you are unwilling to stand up for the Latino community, you will hinder your connection and support from one of the fastest-growing segments of the American population.

You are going to have to deal with environmental issues, such as global warming.

Mr. President, you will need to figure out a way to end the school to prison pipeline that we so suffer in this country.  Education is a precious opportunity that all generations have a right to receive. Students across the spectrum of achievement must be recognized. Start the conversation on a federal level regarding the death penalty; that all religions recognize the death penalty as being unjust and cruel and that the death penalty is not a deterrent for crime.

For women, abortion needs to be legal, the morning after pill needs to be covered on health care plans and contraceptives need to be distributed widely and freely. Whether or not your ideals and values differ from said issues, you need to be on board the lady train if you expect a successful relationship with us.

You must allow gays to get married and be recognized just like heterosexual marriages. Regardless of your marriage values, let the gays get married. Their marriage will never hurt you, nor kill this country. Hurricanes, storm clouds, tornadoes and tsunamis are not due to letting gays be recognized in the military.

You must enact tougher gun control. Military weaponry does not need to be in the hands of the common person.

You need to talk about social security and enact legislation that allows my generation to receive it. It as have previous generations, getting back what we have paid into the system.

Be tough on foreign policy; defend this country against those who wish to attack or threaten to attack. But work just as hard to extend a hand and unify our relationships with other countries. We must strive to keep our allies, yet recognize the nations we have left behind and forgotten.

You have a lot on your plate. But you can earn the country’s support if your appeal is not political, not partisan and appeals to all American citizens, regardless of party affiliation and ideologies.

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