Predominant themes are gun control in the wake of the Newtown shooting, marriage equality for homosexuals, the fiscal cliff, and religious freedoms under the Affordable Care Act. Poll 5 pundits, and you'll receive 15 different answers, depending on which tracking poll they've looked at last.
Well, here's your chance. You have been named President. You are guaranteed that your next policy or legislative proposal will receive filibuster and veto proof (of course, you're the President so why would you veto it, but let's ignore incongruities for now, shall we?) votes for adoption or passage in Congress, and it will be fully funded in the requisite budgets or appropriations bills. Let's double-down and state for this thought experiment that this legislation will remain in effect for at least the next 12 years (your entire term, and the next two presidential terms). Unfortunately, you do not know, you have zero guarantee, as to how your proposal would actually work out. This isn't complete fantasy (just a very close approximation). You don't get to override the Law of Unintended Consequences. You still have to pay the piper.
So, what would your legislative proposal be? What critical ill of the nation's would you attempt to solve? Why is that issue more important that any other? On what basis do you think you have the authority to pass that legislation?
I have gone back and forth on this. The three issues that concern me the most right now are protecting the 2nd Amendment, preserving religious freedoms, and restoring some sort of fiscal responsibility in Washington.
My three proposals would look something like this:
I would push for National Reciprocity, with a definition of civilian firearms that basically stated that if it's good enough for LEOs it's good enough for civilians, excepting weapons capable of select fire. I have Federalist concerns, but between the 1994 AWB and NICS background checks, that horse has left the barn. The Federal government already intrudes in State legislative control over those matters.
This is a Constitutional question, and the President is sworn to protect and defend that document. Now, granted, the fight would simply move on to other issues of populace thought-control, but I would draw the first line in the sand on this one.
I would provide that any and all persons or organizations would be allowed to claim the religious equivalent of conscientious objector status to the mandated coverage requirements of the ACA. In fact, I would try for broader legislation that would grant this status for all persons in any economic activity. If a wedding photographer wants to limit their clientele, I believe that should be their choice. Let the nature of free market economics sort it out. If no one is willing to utilize their services, they won't be in business long. However, I don't think the government has any right to force a company to do business with someone when such a business transaction would violate their religious beliefs.
This would be omnibus legislation incorporating several proposals. These would include initiatives like a Balanced Budget Amendment, having the annual budget tied to GDP, and No Budget, No Pay for Congress. Something has to give, and I fear it's too late.
Yes, I'm cheating at my own game by not proposing a single initiative to push, but these are the three "biggies" on my list. They are most likely listed in order, too, but the first two could easily be flipped.
So, that's where I sit today. What say you?
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26 (ESV)