I'm not sure I can take "Four More Years" of yelling at the TV, and I don't even watch American Idol!
We have to get that second term, the alternative is unthinkable, but can we have some realistic and measurable objectives please, then can we achieve them?
In Four More Years (actually it's five), my eldest daughter will be thinking about college. The middle child will be 10th Grade and the human freak that is our youngest daughter will be a teenager ::: sigh :::
So it will be a difficult enough time without me sitting here and throwing my laptop/phone/cat whatever is handy through the television in abject frustration.
Plus, I will be old by then and I have my blood pressure to think about.
I don't expect four more years to be a panacea to all of societies ills, any more than I expected the first four years to manage that, but some modest progress would be nice.
In five years time we will not have Single Payer healthcare, but it would be nice if the Insurers had been castrated a bit. It would be great if the Federal Government was offering, or close to offering a decently affordable Plan I could buy into. It would be marvelous if we could strip billions out of the Medicare budget by controlling and reducing medical costs from suppliers, and administration, and be on the way to using that money to fully fund Planned Parenthood, or a series of publicly owned clinics offering similar services.
In five years I want to see Ed Schulz, or Rachel showing graphs where there is a modest uptick in the earnings of the 80%, and a corresponding dip in the grotesque incomes of the 1%, even the 0.1%. Unemployment below 5% would be great, and the spread of re-training, funded college and other benefits for those with real employment issues could be operating by then.
No one should ever lose a home because they became unemployed, or sick. That's not Socialism, that's decency.
I'd like the prison population cutting to below two million, with a stated ambition to get it to 1 million in ten years. These are modest proposals that don't even approach European averages. This is not radical stuff. We need more and better Probation Officers, Social Workers, Teachers. They matter a great deal and between them, properly funded they could really make a dent in anti-social behaviour that leads to prison and a life of hopelessness ... which leads to prison, or drugs, or acohol abuse, or all of the above.
I would like to see Collective Bargaining reinstated everywhere. It was removed in a year, surely it can be restored in five? I would like the Government to open meaningful and ongoing dialogue with Trades Unions. I want to see those Unions represent their members, and to see their membership grow. They are our backstop, which I guess is why they are under all-out assault.
It must be possible for "Right to Work" to mean "Right to Work", rather than it's current meaning of "Right to Fire". Stability in the workforce increases wages, and productivity, and profits, and improves the health and general wellbeing of the nation. If employers don't want stability, then they are either stupid or they are operating a different agenda to the rest of us.
I want to see a complete end to Foreclosures. I don't mean that they should slow, or that there should be "schemes" to help. I mean a mandated end to the practise. If a Bank makes a mortgage loan, then they are responsible for the conduct of that loan. There should be help for the Banks, and the homeowners. Comprehensive help that, if all fails, leads to the family staying in the home even if they are only renting it.
Those folk were considered a decent risk at one time, very few become a poor risk out of choice.
I'd like the Fourth Estate to read the First Amendment.
I'd like the Churches to read it too ... and not just the bit they agree with. Read it all please.
I would like all of our troops to come home, and I want them to stay home unless and until someone tries to actually invade us, or we go to the aid of an ally who is invaded. Actually invaded, not pretend. We could cut the Military Spending in half and still be the most powerful country on the planet, and think of what might be achieved with the other half of that budget.
Finally, and I am aware that this is an incomplete "starter" list, I would like the Obama Presidency to hammer one point, one single, easy to understand point ....
I want them to be remembered as the Administration that started the ball rolling on real, meaningful Campaign Finance Reform. At some stage we have to start to get the money out of politics. I'd like Barack Obama's legacy to be that of the President who return democracy to the people of the United States of America.
He won't achieve it, but someone has to start.