Common-Sense Summary: Local control with federal resources and best practices but limited federal mandates. Potential for private sector competition in select instances, support for better teacher pay and accountability, and exploration of tuition-free college as a collaborative effort between Washington and the states.
To seize the future, we must return to a time when our commitment to fundamentally sound education made our people unquestionably the best and the brightest throughout the world. While the Peppe Administration will respect state and local autonomy, it will seek to lead via collaborative advocacy efforts and funding incentives for priorities it deems critical. For instance, we will work to promote programs that emphasize language and reading, STEM, history, and civics. Leaning upon the advice and guidance of renowned leaders from the academic community at all levels, the Department of Education will advance and promote best practices in these areas, considering the potential for competition in local education markets to determine specific policy decisions and direction. On the other hand, areas in which the federal government may consider public school mandates could be the promotion of English as our national language, Spanish as a required second language for all, and curriculum designed to ensure a common understanding of our shared American origin, its founding documents and the democratic systems that were devised and preserved at the cost of immeasurable blood and treasure.
Another reflection of the Peppe Administration’s priority on education will be its effort to determine the viability of tuition-free higher education at state run universities. While private schools will always be free to advance whatever programs they see fit at whatever cost to their customers, it is possible we may reform both the mission and the means of public universities to advance our nation and its future generations back to the fore of academic excellence and global leadership. Continuing education for adults along with retraining opportunities for workers in career transition will also be a critical point of emphasis.
It is time to break through our petty disagreements and renew our historic commitment to education through strategic investment and innovation to ensure our ability to shape our own destiny.
Common-Sense Summary: We should not ruin health care for the many in the pursuit of assistance for the few. By more accurately identifying those truly in need, we can better aim existing resources and infrastructure in the direction of efficient and effective aid to our neighbors.
Nearly everyone agrees that ObamaCare has massive problems. However, while we do not support its clear objective to turn the provision of health insurance into a “right”, we do see the government’s role in the health care arena as critical to ensuring the “general welfare” and happiness of all Americans and believe the federal government can and should act to help those truly in need. Consequently, we will strive to repair ObamaCare and make America's health care better than ever. We will begin by effectively identifying those in greatest need of assistance and then channel them into existing infrastructure that has proven itself to be effective at delivering care. Just as with welfare and Medicare, after the determination of need the primary issues are cost and who pays. Our challenge and commitment will be to equitably fund programs to ensure care for those who cannot afford it without limiting options or negatively impacting service quality for those who can or otherwise impair the competitive insurance marketplace. In addition, we must take special care to guard against repeating past mistakes in the welfare arena by unintentionally creating generational dependency upon the government for health care. Policies such as this must amount to true but temporary assistance while happy, healthy and productive Americans pursue incentives to be self-sufficient. Working together, we can modify the existing mission and framework of the Affordable Care Act in common sense ways to leverage competitive markets and maximize the benefit for everyone.
Common-Sense Summary: Climate Change is real, but we don’t all have to agree on that in order to agree that it makes sense for America to lead the world in the development of 21st century clean and sustainable energy technologies. This ongoing fight is an unacceptable waste of time and money.
Climate change is real and poses a myriad of challenges. However, the extent to which humans cause climate change and, therefore, our ability to mitigate its effects, is less clear. Regardless, it is unquestionably in America’s strategic national interest to aggressively pursue advanced clean and renewable energy technologies and ween our economy off fossil fuels just as quickly as we can. Few will disagree with the common-sense of that notion, making this position the obvious national consensus the political establishment has intentionally ignored for too long. The Peppe Administration will facilitate the move to America’s next chapter on this issue, providing the political opportunity for Republicans to come together with Democrats in pursuit of a better future for all, even if it is for different reasons.
While our leaders have long sought to borrow from the inspiration and model of America’s space program, our commitment to next generation energy and climate solutions will aggressively move beyond hyperbole and symbolism to real action. NASA will lead the effort and will work in close conjunction with the engineering and construction community tasked with our infrastructure upgrade as well as with private sector innovators to advance our shared goals. In short, this effort will represent a critical investment in America that is long overdue.
Common-Sense Summary: The key to a sensible immigration policy is the fundamental understanding that immigrants are welcomed in America within the framework of some simple rules. The All-or-Nothing position of our current ruling class contradicts that common-sense and is intentionally designed to prolong the fight and keep Americans at one another’s throats forever, thereby advancing the financial and power interests of the establishment.
America is smart enough and strong enough to secure our borders and restore our historic commitment to immigration at the same time. The first and foremost key to building an effective 21stcentury policy will be to enthusiastically express that unequivocal, unwavering commitment. The grandson of immigrants himself, Pep will proactively engage our immigrant community and address people around the world who seek to come here to reassure them that America remains open to them as the land of opportunity it has always been. Those who wish to come to America to pursue a better life – like so many throughout our history – need no longer fear that they will find this country to be unwelcoming and inhospitable.
That message of assurance and promise of welcome will be combined with a common-sense requirement of reasonable responsibility from all who wish to live here, again, just as we have always required. Upon review, we will streamline and simplify our processes for work permits and naturalization, while endeavoring to disabuse Americans of our largely irrational fears of newcomers. We will also implement economic programs to address concerns about jobs, and we will clearly convey to all sides that lawlessness will be aggressively countered utilizing all available and reasonable means of enforcement, regardless of the citizenship status of the offenders.
Although border walls represent a symbolic image that is patently unAmerican and in stark contrast to the Statue of Liberty, we will combine all practical technologies to ensure that immigration is funneled and managed through orderly points of entry while conveying in no uncertain terms that America not only continues to welcome immigrants, but will work proactively to help them integrate successfully into American life. This new Pax Americana will be a two-way street, defining clear and reasonable expectations of all immigrants, including a return to traditionally accepted norms of assimilation relating to employment and educational requirements.
21st Century Infrastructure
Common-Sense Summary: We will invest $1 trillion in a comprehensive modernization effort that will advance public safety, promote domestic commerce and ensure the security of our vital infrastructure.
The dedication of $1 trillion to cutting-edge infrastructure improvements will elevate our economy to unprecedented heights of prosperity. Across the board, we will modernize all aspects of our transportation, communications and energy transmission systems to maximize our potential for innovation, advancement and competitive advantage over our global rivals. From the integration of “smart” technologies to the deployment of the most advanced materials and construction techniques, our systems will be effective, long-lasting and safe, hardened as much as possible against all form of attack, natural decay and disaster. In doing so, we will create millions of high-paying jobs to construct, operate and maintain these facilities, not to mention the additional multipliers emanating from the resulting growth in every segment of our economy. America must lead, starting right here at home.
War on Terror
Common-Sense Summary: Going forward, America’s anti-terrorism strategy will be to deny our enemies the results and reactions they crave while quietly and systematically hunting them down all over the globe and exterminating them from the face of the earth. This is a shadow war that we can and will win.
The best of America’s special forces personnel will be brought together to form a new, ultra-elite anti-terrorism unit to lead an international effort to hunt down and exterminate terrorists from the face of the earth. This unit will be proficient in all manner of unconventional warfare, combining investigative policing practices, clandestine intelligence gathering techniques and war fighting tactics suitable to every potential theater of operation. American leadership will strive to counter the definitional objective of our terrorist enemies by denying them publicity and the typical knee-jerk reaction that invariably leads to a curtailing of individual liberties and a steady deterioration of the American way of life. Instead of tens or hundreds of thousands of conventional forces boots-on-the-ground in occupation of hostile foreign territory, our new effort will remove to the shadows where our terrorist “hunters” will track and, one by one, eliminate those who would threaten our country. We will no longer allow terrorists to affect our daily lives and manipulate us into costly and lengthy wars. America will move forward fearlessly and effectively to end terrorism as a means of advancing religious and political objectives around the world.
Common-Sense Summary: It is time for our nation’s second Constitutional convention to modernize the Constitution’s language and update it for our changed times. Too much has been expended in time and money arguing over the meaning of its 18th century language and feeding the cottage activist industries that have developed around controversial issues like guns and privacy. While it may be unrealistic to think we will end all debate, we can and should take this easy step so that our country may leap into the future by putting divisive issues behind us.
For far too long our so-called political leaders have allowed Constitutional disagreements to keep us divided when an obvious solution has been available all along. Why do they do it? Because the impassioned fights over issues like abortion, guns and civil rights translate into raw power and money for them, and so the last thing they want is for those fights to end.
Take gun rights, for instance. Every time we witness a dramatic gun violence event on the news, both sides crank up the fight, whipping their most passionate followers into a frenzy of anger and fear about what the other side will or will not do. Consequently, those concerned citizens flood the airwaves of old and new media with the repetitious arguments for their side and the accompanying vitriol for the other. They join their side’s political army, going to war in the reelection campaigns of their champions as motivated, inspired volunteers. And then, most importantly, they give and give and give and keep on giving until their hundred dollars multiplies into billions alongside the hundred given by millions of others. Power and money.
The available solution? A Constitutional Convention at which long-standing and ultra-divisive issues are addressed and our rights as Americans clarified with modern language utilizing the most fundamentally democratic process at our disposal.
Here is how it will work:
Following the election of 2020, each state will appoint a delegation to represent its interests at the Convention. For the next 18 months a series of events will be held around the nation to promote civil discussion and debate about issues under consideration. This will culminate on July 4th of 2022 with the result to be sent to the states for final ratification. Individuals running to be Governors or legislators or members of Congress in the states will most certainly base their candidacies largely on their support or opposition to the proposed amendments, allowing Americans the opportunity to directly determine the outcome and resolve the long-lingering disagreements over these divisive issues for at least the foreseeable future.
Issues to be considered may include:
Gun Rights – How much time and money has been wasted over the years on repetitive arguments about the true meaning of our Second Amendment and the corresponding fights over Supreme Court appointments? Obviously, the language of the Constitution is outdated, and our society has changed with the times such that many people view gun rights differently than they did in 1776. The Constitutional Convention of 2022 will afford us the opportunity to rewrite the Second Amendment in clear and concise modern language, thereby relieving us of the arguments and judicial fights that have angrily divided us for so long. We will not all agree on the outcome, but we will find some common ground, and we will at least know the true democratic will of the American people.
Privacy and Abortion – For far too long we have relied upon the shifting decisions of the judiciary to define our privacy rights for us because the Constitution does not do so explicitly. At the forefront of privacy is the conflict between a woman’s right to control her body and manage her health and the right to life of the unborn. Despite the inherent passion on both sides of this issue, most Americans understand intuitively that we will never have a solution that will satisfy everyone, and that even a consensus solution will leave many Americans very unsatisfied. However, by working toward whatever common ground we can find through the public dialogue of the Constitutional Convention of 2022, we may at least clarify the will of the American people such that we no longer have to expend tremendous resources fighting and arguing over what the Constitution means.
Despite the assertions of some, the definition of life that entails Constitutional protection in our democracy is for the people to determine – not doctors, not academics, not lawyers, not clergy. As a matter of common sense, regular Americans know that this is the best we can do and that taking this step may allow us to finally move forward and redirect those extensive resources to people and places in our communities in true need of assistance so that they can make a real difference in the quality of people’s lives.
Term Limits – The United States Congress is filled with members who have promised to support Constitutional limits on the number of terms they may serve, and yet no serious legislative effort has been made to enact term limits. The Constitutional Convention of 2022 will almost certainly change that, as this is an issue that an overwhelming majority of Americans have long supported.
The Electoral College – Once and for all, regular Americans will have a chance to decide if their President should be elected by the Electoral College or by the popular vote. The Constitutional Convention of 2022 will provide a welcomed opportunity to educate Americans on the original rationale for the Electoral College as we debate its merits in the modern era.