One of the local newspapers emailed me over the weekend to get my opinion for their weekly opinion piece. You know, one of those "the roving reporter asked these people X and are their one liner responses with a bad picture of their heads" type of piece. The paper must be planning a special piece connected to their inaugural reporting. So anyway, the question was "What issue should the new President first address? (and why)"
This question is one which could take literally days and 100's of pages to fully explore. In fact, I am sure that Mr. Obama and his transition team have been doing exactly that. He is probably forced to read a couple of hundred pages of position papers from the team every day. But since this is a one liner type of reportage (the twitter of news?), I have to be brief and concise. And I don't have to consult with my transition team either.
So what did I answer? I was short and sweet:
The economy should be addressed first. If people are working, housed, and fed then the other problems can be handled on a more timely schedule.
How's that for a typical politician's waffle fest? In this case it happens to the the truth from where I sit. I suspect there are other views and positions, but to me it seems clear that the biggest problem preventing considered action on the myriad of other problems *is* the economy. People are running in fear. Those who have already lost their jobs are facing homelessness and hunger. Those who haven't are scared of being put in those situations. People who are scared and running in fear tend to be neither able nor amenable to solving problems
So how would you have answered the question?