Tom Friedman: Four Things Wanted from a Winning President

Cultural Intelligence

American Voters: Still Up for Grabs

By

New York Times, January 21, 2012

A Washington Post-ABC News poll released on Friday found that two-thirds of Americans would consider voting for a third-party presidential candidate, while 48 percent definitely wanted a third party in the race. Now what does that tell you? It tells you that with the campaign about to go into full swing, as the president delivers his State of the Union address next week, voters are still casting about for a leader with a winning message. I can save both parties a lot of money. I am one of those voters, and I can tell you exactly for whom I want to vote — and I don’t think I’m alone.

I want to vote for a candidate who advocates an immediate investment in infrastructure that will create jobs and upgrade America for the 21st century — ultrafast bandwidth, highways, airports, public schools, mass transit — and combines that with a long-term plan to fix our fiscal imbalances at the real scale of the problem, a plan that could be phased in as the economy recovers.

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Second, I want to vote for a candidate who is committed to reforming taxes, and cutting spending, in a fair way. The rich must pay more, but everyone has to pay something. We are all in this together.

Third, I want to vote for a candidate who has an inspirational vision, not just a plan to balance the budget.

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Finally, I want to vote for a candidate who supports a minimum floor of public financing of presidential, Senate and House campaigns. Money in politics is out of control today. Our Congress has become a forum for legalized bribery. Americans are losing faith in the instruments of government because they think the game is rigged by big money — and they’re right.

Any candidate with that four-part agenda would win — and so would the country, because he would win with a mandate to do what needs doing.

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Phi Beta Iota:  Friedman makes four sensible points.  He has absolutely no clue what is going on outside the two-party tyranny, nor does he have any clue (or he is actively dishonest) with respect to everything that needs to happen to restore integrity to our electoral system–money is the LEAST of our problems in relation to ballot access and gerrymandering and electronic fraud– but his four points stand on their own as a useful contribution.  Learn more at We the People Reform Coalition.