This is the first of a series of posts I will write on this general issue.
As I request and accept contributions toward my presidential campaign, I do so humbly, recognizing that the people who contribute are putting their faith in me because they like me, my politics, my tone, my vision. They see contributions as an investment in the future of our country. However, to those who view their contributions as pre-payment for favors, access, or influence I decline their funds. And anyone who, after I am elected, tries to bring up a campaign contribution as a chip to be cashed in for influence will be run out of my office faster than he can say quid pro quo.
In order to facilitate political functioning and effectiveness, we must change the rhetoric. We must repudiate the professional political polarizers like Michael Moore and Rush Limbaugh. We must acknowledge that those on the other side of the issue are as reasonable and intelligent as we, and that they hold their views for some personal justification, even if we don’t agree with it. We must get away from the idea that opposing views are somehow alien, subhuman, or foolish. This will allow us to benefit from all points of view, no matter how far from the middle; after all, abolition of slavery, suffrage for women, and much of the rest of the best legislation of this country was once considered extreme. By toning down our political discussions, we can reintroduce respect into politics, and, although I’m not a fan of Reaganomics, hope that it trickles down into our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and homes.
We must face the fact that our legislative idealism is out of whack with our economic reality. The country’s economy needs immigrant labor. And yet we issue only 5,000 unskilled workers visas per year, a mere drop in the bucket of what the economy requires. A comprehensive immigration system would supply the workers the economy demands, and, just as important, allow registration and tracking of immigrant workers so that:
1) Laws are kept.
2) Taxes are paid.
3) Dangerous persons like drug traffickers and terrorists are isolated, caught, and brought to justice.
4) Immigrants face less danger on making the crossing to the U.S.
5) The extremely dangerous and exploitative business of human trafficking is nullified.
6) Immigrants who are in the country legally integrate more fully and participate in law enforcement and other civic duties.
7) When the time comes for guest workers to return to their countries of origin, the process is possible.