Open letter to Obama and Romney: We want a plan for America, not platitudes

We are still waiting on you to give us a plan to restore the American dream for this generation and for generations to come. Photo: President Obama and Mitt Romney talk, but do they tell us anything? AP

WYTHE COUNTY, Va., Sept. 5, 2012 — Dear Presidential Candidates, Please keep in mind the average American voter is not one of the conventions’ droning sycophants, applauding any and every sentence you speak, regardless of its content. We are not amused or impressed by parlor tricks or name-dropping by either party. We are still waiting on you to give us a game plan to restore the American dream for this generation and for generations to come. 

The average Joe the Plumber or Josie the Waitress will no more let Clint Eastwood determine whom they vote for than they will George Clooney or Oprah Winfrey. The average voter resents that either candidate would make such a ludicrous assumption. 

Democrat or Republican is really not an issue at this point, the process is so jaded that people are distrustful of all politicians, regardless of the party. The voter is waiting for a discussion of the issues that are important to them, and they do not need a celebrity or a candidate to dumb it down for them. 

Clint Eastwoods speaks to empty chair AP

America watched and waited, hoping the Republican candidates would give them a reason to believe, yet all they got was the same grandiose gestures and vague promises emphasized by “Make my day.” Republicans had the national spotlight and all that will be remembered about the Convention is Clint Eastwood speaking to an empty chair. 

America will watch the Democratic convention with the same anticipation, so please, President Obama, leave the celebrities out of it and use the time to address the issues that matter in a tangible way, complete with a plan of action. 

Both candidates need to tell us the voters what plans they have to make the American education system competitive with the rest of the world again. The candidates need to explain why it is that America lags so far behind the rest of the world in math and science skills, and what they will do to fix it.http://mat.usc.edu/u-s-education-versus-the-world-infographic/ Considering the fact that our work force has moved from manufacturing to service and technology, the average voter knows this is important. 

Education’s standards and methods are archaic and ineffective, yet politicians refuse to devote adequate funds, research, and resources to our most valuable national asset, our youth. Instead they continue to set a narrow path of compliance and either drug or expel those students who do not conform. The last thing this country needs is more emphasis on conformity. 

We voters know the last president to devote adequate funding to the infrastructure was Eisenhower in the 1950s, and the average voter knows our infrastructure is crumbling and needs addressing now, not “tomorrow.” 

We voters also realize more emphasis on education and the infrastructure will create jobs. After all, that is all any voter wants, a decent day’s pay for a decent day’s work.

We voters want to know why the ratio of CEO pay to factory workers’ pay rose from 42:1 in 1960 to as high as 531:1 in 2000, and why the CEO’s value has risen so high while the average American worker’s value has declined. Each is dependent on the other, aren’t they? 

We voters want to know why America spends the most on health care in the world, takes more medications than any other country by far, and yet ranks 11th in good health, and what will each candidate do to change that.

We voters want to know when our troops will finally be out of harm’s way and back with their families, because as we all know, war has been, and always will be, fought by the middle and working classes.

And last but not least, we voters want to know how we will be adequately fed, housed, and taken care of in our golden years, and not end up seeking post-retirement employment just to pay for their heart medicine.

Until those of you in power truly believe that the well being of all of us rather than the desires of a few is what really makes a nation great, will we ever be able to believe what the motives of our leadership truly are when voiced in the messages they now project.

These are but a few of our real concerns, so please, dear candidates, no more smoke and mirrors. No more name- dropping. Give the average American voters a little more credit and respect, and just maybe we will reciprocate with our vote.


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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present.

In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.

 

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