The future is not looking good for the thousands of displaced Rohingyas. Last year, close to 600,000 escaped the pogrom unleashed by the Myanmar army aided by machete wielding Buddhist neighbors and escaped to Bangladesh swelling the numbers already there.
Like the rest of the country I sat glued to the TV throughout the evening on Tuesday, November 8. The people have spoken and we now have a President-elect. I congratulate him and also Secretary Clinton for a hard fought campaign. Needless to say, the campaign has left a bitter taste in the mouth for many. But it is now time for healing, bringing the country together and moving forward. Much has been promised during the heat of the presidential campaign and debates. Reality will soon set in and then it will be time to take stock of what can be done in the short term and what needs to be put off till later. I have compiled a list of five things that the President should consider doing in the first 100 days in office.
- Bring back civility, bipartisanship and accountability in politics. I was shocked but not surprised to hear that nearly 70% of Americans are either angry or not satisfied with the government in Washington. Therefore, have a plan on raising the favorability rating of senators, congressmen (and the president) to e.g. >30% in the next 2 years. They should be more attentive to the interests of the people who elected them. We want to vote for a person because we genuinely like him/her, it should not boil down to whom we dislike the least. Have term limits for senators and congressmen: 2 terms (just as we have for the president).
- Reassert global leadership. Have a plan to combat or manage rising tensions with Russia, China, North Korea and in the Middle East including ISIS. This includes settling the Israel-Palestine issue, a long-standing, festering sore.
- Have clear, actionable plans on creating new jobs, raising living standards, improving infrastructure and increasing economic growth leading to a more equitable distribution of wealth.
- Ensure that the Affordable Care Act is truly affordable. If you really want to repeal Obamacare as you said you would, (I would rather you didn’t, it has helped many), then have a universal, affordable, quality health care system in place for all Americans. And please do consider having a single payer system. It works, Medicare is a good example. Everybody does not have to subscribe to it. If someone has the money to afford better care elsewhere, he can keep it.
- Ensure Social Security is adequately funded and benefits are not curtailed. Above all, it should not be privatized, not even a small fraction. Just think of what a market crash like 2008 would have done to the portfolio.
I know he will have an overflowing inbox the day he walks into the Oval Office, so I have purposefully kept this list short. But, I don’t think anyone would quibble over the five points made. I wish the next President the very best in moving the country forward.