The reputation and influence of the United States is at a nadir. The nation is no longer the world leader it once was, capable of enlisting allies to fight terrorism and injustice. Our continued military and economic strength no longer intimidates rogue nations and troublesome groups.
Here are five recommendations for America that should help it regain its former status as the leader of the free world.
ONE: The U.S. must get its own house in order, politically and economically. Our enemies are emboldened by our inability to govern ourselves. America’s two-party democratic system is broken because neither side will compromise. In the past, opposing factions in government were able to negotiate through their differences for the good of the republic. This is no longer possible, and will not change, until the current leaders are no longer in office.
The best way to win over enemies, aside from invasion, is with economic sanctions. In spite of the Great Recession, our nation continues to be the strongest country in the world economically. Using this power in lieu of force is an excellent strategy when diplomatic efforts fail. The Iranian and Russian conflicts are prime examples where economic warfare may ultimately restore peace and nuclear security.
TWO: The U.S should never turn its back on an ally. If our country agrees to back another nation, we must live up to our commitments. The deteriorating relationship between the U.S. and Israel comes to mind. The continued support of the latter is crucial to its very existence. The ability of America to create and strengthen its ties to other nations will be greatly diminished if the U.S. does not stand by Israel or any other ally.
THREE: Notwithstanding endless criticism, America is still the place most people throughout the world would like to live. Historically, we have attracted great individuals from other countries. The resulting diversity has been a great strength of this country.
Now, however, we are under siege by illegal immigrants. This phenomenon is a tribute to our free society where anyone can find happiness and economic security if they work hard. But, there is a limit to the number of immigrants we can accept to ensure that our ability to service our citizens is not diminished.
Our government must be strong, reasonable and thoughtful at the same time. Our open borders have created a political, economic and humanitarian crisis. The lax way we have controlled immigration to this point has resulted in a whole new class of illegal immigrants. It is impossible to turn back the clock and rethink decisions to look the other way while millions have entered the country without authorization. So, they will likely receive a roadmap to citizenship. So be it.
But, new illegal immigration must be stopped immediately. It has become an issue of national security. America can be proud of its sensitivities towards immigrants, especially in recent years. We owe no other people in the world any favors. It is time that resources stop being drained from needy Americans for new illegal interlopers.
FOUR: The moral fiber of the country has deteriorated. Our elected officials are guilty of ignoring wasteful and illegal practices in virtually every aspect of American life. Old and non-productive expenditures for welfare, the military, social programs and corporate benefits need to be rooted out. Cheaters in all aspects of life must be identified and prosecuted. They include tax cheats, suppliers who cheat the government, people who cheat on medical bills, etc. The savings from these areas alone would be huge. Our citizens must be honest in their dealings with the government and each other.
FIVE: When elected, our leaders must select appointees based upon their resumes, not their fund-raising expertise. The current administration is chock full of amateurs that have not provided sound advice. I believe these unfortunate appointments are responsible for errors in judgment that have plagued the current administration.
Exacerbating the problem is that the current administration has continued to stand by political appointees who have made gross errors. The IRS, Veterans Administration and the Affordable Care Act debacles are prime examples of bad leadership. Instead of fessing up and admitting problems, the perpetrators are kept in service until the American people and/or Congress demand they be removed. Cover-ups only lead to more political mayhem.
American has a lot of fences to mend in the coming years. Hopefully, the elections of 2014 will be the beginning of a new breed of politician in Washington with many more appealing qualities that include an ability to work with others who have different opinions.What