|LEADERSHIP AND ETHICS|
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Foreign Policy/National Security
Steiner of Memphis, TN:
This is not really an issue to be debated, but I need to get a sense of how all the good things that will be touted, will actually get done and by when. How is a candidate going to rise above partisan politics and the inevitable disagreements to actually get action...regardless who gets the credit? I need to feel the statemanship in the next leader, and to sense true courage to do the right thing, to say no to voters or special interest groups if necessary, to give credit to the opposition, and to encourage everyone else to do the same. Most Americans can see through the transparencies of politics, and they understand that there are no angels (especially in Washington), but small-mindedness, blind acquiescence to party line, and posturing won't get my vote, regardless of the party.
J. Luedtke of Fish Creek, WI:
The next presidential candidate must first have the proven qualities of character needed for that position, honesty, integrity, morality, followed by a vision of leadership that can take power from those who are buying it and return it to the people.
Longchamp of Ramsey, NJ:
Excellent Discussion last night.
We need more such dialogue. There is a clear division between Republicans and Democrats. It's time to deal with these differences with dignity and respect. For too long we have been bashing others rather than defending our own values. For eight years we have been led by President Pinocchio.
That should be an issue as well as where we go from here. No one wants a Clinton Clone as President. This is a great time to ask candidates how they differ from the present administration.
of New York:
The issue that must be dealt with effectively at the national level is campaign finance. The "cynicism people have now about government, what government's role can be, what individuals can do, what families can do," as Doris Kearns Goodwin pointed mentioned, is more a symptom of the corporate body having more influence than the public body. Of course, without a younger, renewed Supreme Court point of view about the equality of speech and money, deep pockets will always have a greater voice. And journalism flashy venture into the profit sector is not helping the matter permeate into the minds of our nation's poorer people. Finally, if public opinion polls are worth something, then the people who rely on them shouldn't all be bashed with impunity as mere "finger in the wind" advocates.
H. Manning Jr. of Gibsonville, NC:
The main issue today is the correct and most useful function of government. The candidates should talk about this. Example: Every one agrees that the current good times do not reach all. Should government attempt to solve the problem by a redistribution of wealth or should the government encourage economic development and encourage personal responsibility. There are many other examples, education is one. The media must force this kind of debate. The media should simply ignore all nonsense about Gore's attachment to Clinton and all irrelevant stuff. Ask relevant questions and don't accept evasion as an answer. Thanks for your very good news program. You are the only reasonable news source that I know about except the Wall Street Journal. Please continue. Don't change.
of Norristown, Pa.:
First and foremost we need candidates who understand that the Country needs a President of strong moral character. One whose interest is in demonstrating the Honor of being an American, by the way that he or she handles all personal and business matters. There is no such thing as the private side of a person. One is who one is no matter what the forum or circumstance. We also need leadership by an individual who brings people together to make things happen. Division of any kind among our countrymen makes everyone ineffective. I am an American first, a Republican second. My votes are for the good of the people and not my party.
It is time to take a firm stand on returning this Country to one that is One Nation Under God, and to be that means that we will need to evaluate the destructive "anything goes mentality." When we adopt a social structure that is totally void of judgment, we allow ourselves open to all sorts of vile behaviors and practices. Therefore, strict gun control laws, funding for schools and a return to parent and community involvement with our schools, strict enforcement of local curfew hours for minors, creation of local recreational facilities for chaperoned activities for children, government funds for the rebuilding of inter city communities so that young people and old can experience pride of their neighborhoods.
What we need is a return to that which was proven to be good about the past. Yes, we do need to have an open mindedness when it comes to certain issues, but there were benefits of a smaller circle of what was considered good taste, honor and dignity, and I'm afraid we lost those benefits when we expanded the parameters and we became tolerant of what is morally wrong in our lives.
We have so much ahead of us, but let's not forget to look back and learn what was good, simple and pure. In this time of multitask living, cell phones, email, fax mail, etc., can we really say that we have added to our lives, or have we just complicated them? Moderation....moderation...moderation. Too much of a good thing is not beneficial. Before moving ahead, its time to stop, look and listen.
E. Giorgio of Brooklyn, NY:
The heart of America's problem is that We have turned over too much responsibility to The Government. It is time for a candidate to step forward and tell us We are accountable. This will take a person with guts but that is the person who gets my vote. We have all lacked the fortitude to stand by the principles that are called for to be truly great.
Feldbush of San Dimas, Ca.:
I believe the candidates should focus on the subject of ethics and as a related subject - personal responsibility. These subjects can be discussed without treading on the touchy subject of moral/religious viewpoints. Can we, as a society instill a new sense of ethics at every level - from students to the oval office?
Schwanke of Herndon, Va.:
I want to see the candidates discuss issues of personal responsibility and the lack of it in American Society. Parents especially have to be told to accept responsibility of their children, that it isn't up to the schools to babysit them or to teach them morality or religion. Parents have to be responsible enough to teach their children the morals and values they want them to learn and to enforce the rules they set of their children. The candidates need to state flat out the solutions to problems created by the rampant lack of personal responsibility in this country can't be legislated away, it is up to the parents to teach them away by example and enforcing rules...
Johnson of Louisville, Ky.:
I believe this presidential election (and even the one after that) should address the deep tribalization of our society. A sense of common goals and purpose need to be established. There are too many people who don't believe they are part of the solution. This is the alienation that isolates us from each other. In short, we need Dr. King's dream.
Lardas of Bainbridge, Ga.:
I would like to address the growing gap between rich and poor. I object to the idea that all is good in America. When income for ultra rich rises 20 times faster than for the lower middle class and poor, all is NOT well in America. Our schools are a mess, 20% of Americans are functionally illiterate and 40 million people are without health care. Robert Reich raised the issue of corporate welfare and was never heard from again. These are issues we need to be focusing on, and perhaps why Americans are saying the country is not on the right track.