First of all, Happy New Year. I hope you had a terrific New Year’s Eve. We were gathered with our family and had a great time.
A New Year Opportunity to Bring America Back Together
This week — beginning tomorrow, at the Iowa Caucuses — you have an opportunity to help improve the American political dialogue.
It’s an opportunity for Republicans, Democrats and independents.
It’s an opportunity for all Americans, regardless of which candidate they support for President.
If you have friends or relatives in Iowa — whoever their candidate for President is — urge them to go to the caucuses tomorrow, January 3. Once there, urge them to propose that the "Platform of the American People" be adopted as the first step toward bringing the American people back together.
An Opportunity to Get Beyond Red Versus Blue
The Platform of the American People (you can read the entire platform at AmericanSolutions.com) is made up of issues that are supported by an absolute majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents.
As pollster Kellyanne Conway suggested, the platform is made up of "tripartisan issues" because they have a majority among independents as well as Republicans and Democrats.
After the last seven years of constant red-versus-blue infighting, the platform offers a way for us to get both parties to agree that for the first three months of 2009 they will focus on working together to pass the legislation the American people believe in.
Why Won’t the Political Parties Listen to Their Members?
If a majority of Democrats believe in these issues, why wouldn’t the Democratic Party listen to its own members?
If a majority of Republicans believe in these issues, why wouldn’t the Republican Party listen to its own members?
And if there is a majority of independents in agreement with both parties, why wouldn’t candidates for the White House, the House and the Senate want to listen to them since it would make it easier — rather than harder — to get people’s votes?
Examples From the Platform of the American People
Here are some examples of the kind of issues which have an absolute majority of Americans supporting them:
Defending American Civilization
- English should be the official language of government (87% agree, 11% disagree).
- It is important to have references to God in the Pledge of Allegiance and the Declaration of Independence — that we are endowed by our Creator with the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — because they make clear that certain rights can’t be taken away by government (84% to 13%).
Staying Economically Strong
- There will be incredible possibilities to meet our country’s challenges in a variety of fields because in the next 25 years there will be four to seven times the amount of new science and technology in the world as in the last 25 years (88% to 7%).
- Therefore, we should dramatically increase our investment in math and science education (91% to 8%).
- We must rely on innovation and new technology if we are going to compete successfully with India and China (88% to 8%).
Incentives Rather Than Bureaucracy
- Prizes should be given to companies and individuals who invent creative ways to solve problems (79% to 18%).
- We support giving large financial prizes to companies and individuals who invent an affordable car that gets 100 miles to the gallon (77% to 15%).
- We support giving a large financial prize to the first company or individual who invents new ways to successfully cut pollution (79% to 18%).
- We support giving a large financial prize to the first company or individual who invents a new, safer way to dispose of nuclear waste products (79% to 16%).
Stewardship of the Environment
- We have an obligation to be good stewards of God’s creation for future generations (95% to 3%).
- We can have a healthy economy and a healthy environment (73% to 18%).
- We can solve our environmental problems faster and cheaper with innovation and new technology than with more litigation and more government regulation (79% to 15%).
- Entrepreneurs are more likely to solve America’s energy and environmental problems than bureaucrats (72% to 18%).
A Simpler, Fairer Tax System
- The option of a single rate tax system should give taxpayers the convenience of filing their taxes with just a single sheet of paper (82% to 15%).
- We must help defend America and her allies (85% to 10%).
- We must defeat America’s enemies (75% to 16%).
- We have to be prepared to survive an attack by a nuclear, biological or chemical weapon (83% to 17%).
- Al Qaeda poses a very serious threat for the United States (93% to 5%).
- It will not be possible to negotiate with terrorist groups such as al Qaeda (79% to 19%).
- America should take the threat of terror by fanatical religious groups more seriously (83% to 13%).
Why Action in the Caucuses Is a Good Start: Campaigns Are About More Than Just Personal Ambition
On Thursday evening, January 3, thousands of Americans will begin the real Presidential campaign by going to the caucuses in Iowa.
American citizens, Democrats and Republicans alike, will begin to take over from the consultants, the news media and the candidates.
More is at stake, however, than just picking individuals to be candidates for President.
Campaigns are about more than just personal ambition.
Campaigns are also about ideas, solutions and public policy choices that can change the country.
The real election dialogue is about what kind of America we want and how we want to get to that kind of future.
What Kind of America Do We Want?
We already have a number of people who have agreed to take the Platform of the American People to their precinct caucus Thursday evening.
If you have friends or relatives in Iowa, let them know that they can get the platform at AmericanSolutions.com and take it to their local precinct. And if they do, they will help start the dialogue to bring America back together and get some positive things done.
On Friday morning, I will send you an invitation to listen to a podcast of my analysis of the caucus results in both parties.
It’s a new year, and this is a new opportunity to change America. I hope you’ll join me in resolving to take advantage of it.