Let me begin by saying that as stated elsewhere in my Web site, the job of the President of the United States is to see that the laws of the United States as passed by Congress are properly carried out and enforced. The President’s job is not to try and make the laws of the country. The President may try to use his position, from time to time, to propose new laws and change or repeal laws, but his major job is as the head of the United States is to see that the laws of the United States are being followed, maintain good relations with our fellow nations and as Commander-in-Chief of the military. The three branches of the government as originally established by the Constitution are an excellent set of checks and balances and I am somewhat disturbed by the recent trends in trying to pull more power into the Executive Branch of the Government.
I believe the President of the United States has more than enough to oversee and manage without trying to grab more power and more responsibilities and will endeavor to work closely with Congress to do what is best for all Americans.
With this in mind, my stand on some of the “issues” may surprise you. Some items that are treated as national issues are, in my mind State issues and best left in the hands of individual states. I may have an opinion, but that is all it is, an opinion – not something that I feel the President should try and get changed. Some concerns are moral and, therefore, not particularly the job of the Federal government to try and enforce.
I would be very surprised if anyone agrees with absolutely all of my opinions. I will also be surprised if I don’t upset people now and then with my views of the issues, but that is what America is all about. Different opinions that come together to form a consensus view that is best for everyone. With the two major parties you don’t get the ability to have those discussions or develop a consensus – you toe the party line or you get thrown to the wolves. That will not happen in my Presidency.
The issues, in no particular order.
Social Security: Social Security was established as a safety net for people at a time when people were not expected to live much past the age when Social Security became effective. Fortunately for us, but unfortunately for the program, people are living much longer these days and are also able to work much longer. I believe that for Social Security to continue to be a viable program for future generations that the retirement age at which one may start to collect social security must continue to increase.
Death Penalty: As an individual I am not opposed to the death penalty, but I truly believe this is a State issue. However, I also believe that the death penalty system has gotten to the point where it is becoming not only impractical, but also economically unfeasible to continue with death rows and I see the system slowly moving away from death to life in prison without parole.
The Patriot Act: In some ways this is the scariest thing to happen to the civil liberties of the American People since the founding of our country. Not all provisions of the Act are bad, but I think it was cobbled together too quickly and may be far too overreaching in the long run.
Prayer in Public Schools: Once again, this is a State and local issue. I send my children to Catholic school so for me personally it is not an issue. However, I believe that the separation of church and state issue has gotten blown way out of proportion. The initial separation of Church and State as conceived by the Founding Fathers was to prevent the establishment of a state religion. Believe me, I never want to see the establishment of a state religion as current history shows that doesn’t seem to work real well. The separation of Church and State was not to keep god out of all state sponsored activities. If that were so, why is god mentioned in the Constitution of not only the country, but of every state constitution as well. I really don’t think most atheists are offended when they hear people say a prayer. Nor do I think most people are offended when someone chooses not to pray. Just too much Political Correctness.
Political Correctness: Political Correctness in pretty much out of control in this country. Sure we all need to be aware of others feelings, but it has gotten to the point where most people are afraid to give their opinions on an issue for fear of hurting someone’s feelings or, even worse, being accused of a racist even if it weren’t a racist comment. A person can’t expect to go through life without getting their feelings hurt or being offended now and then. People are too different and way to many different points of view to not clash now and then.
Taxes: The current tax code is way too complicated and getting more complicated all the time. My opinion is that the country needs to move towards a simpler, taxation structure to not only make it easier for people to pay their taxes, but also to make it easier to determine when people aren’t paying their taxes properly. At this time I also do not believe it is necessary to lower or increase taxes as I personally believe that the current rate structure is fair given that needs of the country. Additionally, I do not believe in increasing taxes for two reasons: First, increasing taxes are often counter productive to overall revenue gains in the long run. Second, increased taxes only lead to increased government spending and I believe the Federal Government already has it’s fair share of our money to spend.
Legal Immigration: I am all for legal immigration which is accomplished in a rational, planned way. If we were to just throw open our doors to the world, we would be inundated with new arrivals. America has a tremendous capacity to deal with new people, create new jobs and provide everyone with a great place to live, but we need to be able to do it rationally. The current wave of illegal immigrants that has hit the country are causing a serious strain on our social system and we need to slow the onslaught down in order to give our country time to catch up.
The Border Fence: The boarder fence is a great, feel good project. The people in charge and say, “Look we are spending millions and billions of dollars protecting our border. Aren’t we doing a great job.” However, I wonder if it is really necessary. The reason people come here is for the jobs. There are laws on the books that make it a criminal penalty for employers to knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Is that law being enforced? Just barely. Sure, you’ve seen a few headlines recently about some sweeps at a few big companies, but if the Federal Government was serious about enforcing the law they would just start in a city and go door to door. Throw a few business people in jail for the night and the job market for illegal immigrants would dry right up.
Appointment of Judges: I firmly believe in a serious separation between the three branches of government and do not like activist judges that use try to use their position on the bench to set new laws and establish new policies. The judges I appoint will be moderates who do not have a tendency towards political activism and who also believe in a strong separation not only between the different branches of the Federal Government, but also in strong state governments.
Abortion Rights: Having spoken with people who have been faced with the decision of getting an abortion or not, I realize it is probably one of the most difficult decisions most women can ever make in their lives and one rarely forgotten. My preference would be that no one would ever feel that they have to get or contemplate an abortion for any reason. However, I also believe that this is a moral issue that is best decided by a woman, her family, friends and religious beliefs.
Filed under: Frank McEnulty |