There is some debate on this site about which issues are more important than others.
There is no debate among people who do not live in a political bubble, whether that be Wall Street, Washington, HuffPo, Daily Kos, RedState ...
In no particular order, here is what folk care about:
So just in case I was wrong about this, I asked Mrs Twigg, who is not very political, although curious, and happened to be sat next to me watching YouTube videos on her Tablet.
"Darling, if I were to ask you what are the top concerns of ordinary Americans, what do you think they might say?"
It took barely a few seconds for her to reply:
"Jobs, Health, Education".
See ... Told you! Honest, I really asked and she really said that! Mrs Twigg is a High School teacher who, until not so very long ago, was a straight-ticket GOP voter. They cured her of that (with a little help from me), but she remains unconvinced that Democrats will fix her school.
So when Liberals and Progressives have had enough of worrying about the NSA, become tired of debating the personal qualities of Glenn Greenwald or Edward Snowden, quit obsessing over the minutia that is the difference between a gun and a pistol, and generally decided that contemplating one's navel will not win elections; here are the things we might turn our collective minds to:
"Mr Boehner, I accept that you are concerned about the Debt Ceiling. Where is your "New Jobs for Americans Act"?"
"Senator Coburn, with what do you plan on replacing ObamaCare after you have impeached the President? While I have your attention, what are you doing about the fact that the schools in your state are hell bent on winning the Race To The Bottom?"
"Governor Walker, why are you allowing Wisconsin schools to fail, and what do you have to say to the parents of those students?"
Are there other matters we should worry about?
Of course there are, but please do not make the mistake of thinking that these are the matters preoccupying your neighbors, because they are not.
They are worried about their children and grandchildren's schools. They are concerned about the plant closings, the copays and deductibles. They also take a view on a number of other matters, the military, gun control, crime and drugs ... but they are not worried about them. They have an opinion which is usually completely uninformed, but they don't feel it.
We have to elect politicians who take the trouble to inform themselves on a whole raft of issues. Some are of critical concern, like Climate Change, another matter that your neighbors don't much worry about. They will worry when the water rises far enough to float the sofa, and probably not before..
If we elect the right people, the ones who can sell Americans on a platform of Jobs, Healthcare and Education, and those folk can offer workable and sustainable progress in those areas because they understand the issues, then we will be electing people who will take the appropriate steps in all the other areas.
Do I think the current President sux on some of these things?
Well no, I don't. I don't think he sux any more than the current Democratic National Committee, and he is ahead of them on many issues. Regardless, he won't change until Democrats in Congress force him to, and they are showing little appetite for that right now.
What we need is another Fifty State Plan. A Fifty State Plan that goes into every state and tells people what the Democratic Party is going to do on Jobs, Education and Health.
Acknowledge the other matters by all means. Address the concerns of citizens in Town Halls, in the street and in the workplace, but bring the conversation back time and time again to the Big Three. If you connect with people on those three issues, they will understand that you are aware of their concerns, and you plan to address them.
What do I blame President Obama for?
I blame him for the fact that it has been a long time since I heard him mention his "American Jobs Act". Sure there are some other matters, but if we don't get that right we may as well pack up that big tent, because we will elect Hillary Clinton (who I have little against, but "meh"), and nothing will change.
There is an election coming and it is time for the Left to "go to the mattresses" ... Look under that mattress, and pull out the Jobs plans, the Education manifesto, and the HealthCare improvements.
There is a strong argument to be made that Immigration is a fourth concern. I don't agree. It is a major issue and one that will help us with some voting blocks. We shouldn't do immigration reform because it will win votes, we should do it because it is the right thing to do; that is a slightly different argument though, and the immigrant communities are also more concerned with Jobs, Health and Education.