If I could have a "dream team" for the 2016 Presidential election, it would be:
President: Elizabeth Warren
Vice President: Robert Reich
When I look for a candidate, I look for a some basic things:
1. Intellectual capacity - someone who has a rational, scientific brain that's not clouded by ideology. Someone who can think on their feet and speak with clarity, and speak in a way that ordinary people can understand them. Someone who's well written.
2. Empathy toward people from all walks of life.
3. An understanding of the reality of people's lives, from poverty to healthcare to lack of income to lack of opportunity to advance, to the effects of discrimination (past and present), income inequality, voting rights, the daily indignities and struggles that people deal with, and so forth. And a commitment to do something about it.
4. Toughness - the ability to speak the truth to the powerful and the high and mighty, be it Wall Street, Health Care Industry, Insurance Companies, businesses, politicians, foreign leaders, or big-money financiers in politics.
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5. Fearlessness - the willingness and the ability to take on the powerful, the big corporations, the lobbyist, the financiers and Wall Street and be unafraid of them.
6. Humility about the United States role in the world, how we have abused our power in the past, how we have not been the beacon on human rights and abuses, and how we have exacerbated problems around the world instead of helping them. Until the US apologizes for everything from it's involvement in overthrowing governments to install leaders (dictators, many times) that we wanted, to bringing in arms and destabilizing a country for our own agenda, to propping up dictators that were "friendly" toward us, to interfering in the democratic process in other nations, to invading nations for spurious and false reasons, the world is always going to resent us. We can make it right.
7. Honesty and integrity both within our own government and with our dealings with other nations and leaders. Part of honesty and integrity is having an "open" process where people can see what's going on within their government and the halls of congress. There is no reason the people can't see more information that could be put online and/or streamed online. On a side note, we should be able to view what happens in the Supreme Court via cameras.
8. Commitment to human rights, both at home (looking at you Guantanamo), our prisons system, our justice system from local police to the courts, our treatment of migrants and undocumented people, the unjust system of minority arrests and incarcerations, as well as a strong commitment to human rights abroad, no matter where they occur (friend or foe). I want our country to be the brightest beacon in the world for human rights at home and abroad.
9. Commitment to privacy and security, both at home and abroad. Everything from data collection, to monitoring and surveillance, to warrants, to search and seizure, to the increased militarization of the local police, to the allowance of internet companies to collect private data, to consumer friendly privacy laws, to a high wall between big business and government regarding data sharing, to NET NEUTRALITY, to how we treat foreign countries and leaders, to putting a citizens advocate on the FISA court.
10. Involvement of the people in their government - a commitment to bring regular Americans to Washington to speak before committees on how legislation will affect their lives. Hearings around the country where the people speak on what is important and what our elected officials can do to make our lives better. Fewer meetings of lobbyists and one-sided hearings in Washington.
I honestly believe that Elizabeth Warren and Robert Reich would be the ones who would be favorable to the things I've mentioned. I've listened to them both for a long time, especially Robert Reich, and I've been impressed with their knowledge, their philosophy, and their understanding and empathy toward regular people in this country.
I know a lot of people are "gung-ho" on Hillary Clinton, but I just think Ms. Warren and Mr. Reich would be more to the liking of liberals like myself. Your thoughts are welcome.