08
Jan
08

How should America change?

Hi there. You’re beating a path to the Daily Email in great numbers at the moment. Jumah in Kenya, Andre in Maine in the States, Jeremiah in Blantyre in Malawi, Robert in Uganda, Abdi in Somalia and Craig in Japan – welcome to all of you.

Even if you don’t believe the hype, it’s difficult to conclude that today’s vote in New Hampshire is anything other than critical to the future of America. We won’t have a winner by the end of the day, but we could have some losers. And whoever comes out smiling, they are sure to be promising change…
Apart their own names, few words can be coming out of the mouths of the Presidential hopefuls in New Hampshire more than the c-word. Barack Obama even has it written on placards which his supporters wave while he speaks.

All the candidates tell us Americans want change, and that the change they bring will change the world (you see I can’t stop using it now), but what exactly do Americans and the rest of the world want? How should the new President be different from the current one? And I’m after specifics here – so by all means express support or frustration with George Bush, but after that I’d like to hear what policies and leadership you want to follow him.

JUSTIN WEBB’S BLOG

Justin is our North America editor and is in the thick of it in New Hampshire. Reading it has become part of my routine when I get into the office.

MEET CHLOE

Chloe Tilley is a host at the BBC’s domestic news and sport network Five Live and she’s going to be your host tomorrow. She’s new to the show (though you may have heard her reading emails a couple of times before Christmas) so please make her feel at home. I’m back on Thursday.


163 Responses to “How should America change?”


  1. 1 abel oloo
    January 8, 2008 at 13:52

    well this is an interesting question.it is quite obvious that since 9/11 america became ‘nomerica’.it suddenly became the enemy of the world otherwise what reason do u give for the extraextra security that america is having?in my opinion i think its international policy needs rethinking..actually it needs a huge ‘abouturn’ and rather obviously u cant be misbehaving in other territories and not misbehave at home and that also means that they need a change in domestic policies..america needs to be restored to its lost glory and i think thats why every candidate has dove into ‘the audosity of hope’ those that are now piggy riding on change are the same people that thought of it as utopic sometime ago..i know change is coming and that change is in barack obama ‘change i can believe in’

  2. January 8, 2008 at 14:06

    America needs change? Of course, but I doubt if any politician would have the guts to really change things over there to make any difference. Their legal system needs a good shake-up. I mean, when was it ever sensible that someone who didn’t have the sense they were born with was able to sue a fast-food chain and get paid out millions of dollars because they scalded themselves with a cup of coffee? Their attitude towards the planet needs a real kick in the pants, but what politician is going to tell them to do the necessary, if it might possibly lead to a loss of jobs?

    I could go on and on – but you’d only get bored, because you and I both know that it’s all about getting elected into POWER, not doing the best for your fellow man.

    Happy New Year.

    Chris in Namibia.

  3. January 8, 2008 at 14:16

    Welcome Chloe to BBC WHYS. I am Roberto from Miami Florida. As a BBC Listener since the age of 8 [in 1970], I have always considered the BBC my home and family. My personal opinion of how America should change is the following:
    1. Abolish the Electoral College, the Primaries, and Caucuses in favour of direct elections.
    2. Replace the Republicans and Democrats by peaceful means with a Libertarian Government under George Phillies.

  4. 4 Xie_Ming
    January 8, 2008 at 14:38

    One could equally ask for a change in the worldview of the West.

    1) More sincerity, less spin.

    2) More international law and justice, less brute force.

    3) More equality, less privilege.

    4) More tolerance, less ideology.

    5) More brotherhood, less tribalism.

    6) More long-term, less short-term.

    7) Maximize happiness more than profit among the population.

  5. January 8, 2008 at 14:38

    Sean here from South Africa, My thoughts of change for USA would be that the USA wants to be the world police, dictating to sovereign states how they should rule their people and if this does not suit the USA then they go in blindly, undermining people resistance and getting themselves in trouble and then cannot find a way out, for example the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. The USA should concentrate on their domestic political arena, cause they are a very weak state domestically, but appear to be strong. In other words they should sweep in front of their own door before they attemp to sweep in fron t of some other countries door. They are getting their asses kicked in Iraq and Afghanistan and they will never admit this cause of their stubborness…

  6. January 8, 2008 at 14:40

    America needs to become a country where we look out for one another in the US, AND think about the consequences of our actions and decisions globally . It is not just about us in the USA. It is important for all people to realize we are INTERconnected, that in looking out for others, we are indeed looking out for ourselves, as well.

    We have taken many steps backward in our attitudes towards the environment. Our government needs to address Climate Change. We all impact one another in this area, as all people need clean water, clean air, stable weather patterns, arable land, etc.

    We have become selfish — resulting in growing poverty not only in the US, but around the world. Again, this needs to be addressed because it fuels terrorism, instability in governments around the world, and simply results in needless suffering. This attitude of looking out for one’s own interests has also increased diseases, both for humans and animals. Intensive “Corporate” farming practices, mountain top removal, polluting our oceans, etc., the short term “benefits” which some receive, have long term harmful consequences for many.

    Health care in the US is a mess. Insurance companies are bloated with the profits they make, while denying coverage to many US citizens. We need a Not-For-Profit system, so all Americans can get care, when needed. Every civilized society understands this concept — it’s time for the US to join the rest of the world.

    Education is available, but varies in quality depending on location. University education is often out of reach, or results in huge debt when the student completes his or her education. An educated populace is the future of our nation. Every citizen should be able to attend university without incurring debt.

    If the US truly wishes to claim a “Pro-Life” culture, we must put an end to WARS! This is the 21st century — surely we have the ability to use DIPLOMACY for conflict resolution. I would like to see the CIA and other “intelligence” abolished, as they have historically created mishief and mayhem around the world — everything from assassinations, to staged coup d’etats, to lying to start unjust wars. Again, a civilized society does not participate in such activities.

    As for Abortion, which was such an issue in previous elections — we need to ensure that women would consider this as a LAST resort, by creating a supportive culture, where poverty, domestic violence, unemployment, etc., doesn’t force such a decision. Most people would agree that abortion is not really something they would “choose” willingly, but rather out of desperation.

    America needs to change — and badly! Dennis Kucinich is the ONLY candidate who addresses these issues, and has voted consistently in a forthright manner. Another good choice would be Mike Gravel — another decent human being, whose name is not being promoted by our Main Stream Media, which is partially and in some cases, WHOLLY owned by the Military/Indstrial Complex.

    I do not expect to see this published — but I needed to express these views, even though I know it can “get me in trouble” in the US. The “Patriot Act”, HR 1955, NSPD51, and other legislation have pretty much made it a crime to be opposed to the “Bush doctrine”!

  7. 7 Mohammed Ali
    January 8, 2008 at 14:47

    Is not the question of whether America needs a change, but what pattern should the cange follow. In my view the wave of change is already sweeping across the country. Be it Clinton or Obama, the mere fact that Americans can accept that a black man or a woman is qualified for the most power position in the world is something that no one could dream about in the 70s.

    Let personally congratulate the Americans on this hiostorical milestone. We are now looking forward to Europe for accepting blacks and to some African countries like my own home country, Liberia, to accepting whites.

  8. 8 Katie Badertscher
    January 8, 2008 at 14:52

    As a 27 year old woman living in Midwest America, I want to see several changes. First, ending the “war” in Iraq. The US has spent almost $1 billion dollars and there is no end in sight. Second, there needs to be more attention to failing national programs, which are going to be bankrupted in the next few decades. Third, we need a new solution to the healthcare crisis. The hospital that I work for is losing money because of all the people that we treat that have no ability to pay. Also, to those who say that the USA “wants” to be the world police, I am constantly hearing countries who have problems say that the US should take action.

  9. 9 Uzondu Easionye
    January 8, 2008 at 14:52

    I do not expect lot of changes in the US after the elections anyway. the Word a “Change” is only been used because candidates are aware that lot of people are not in favor of the current Administration’s policies.
    let’s wait to see the changes that will occur.

  10. January 8, 2008 at 14:52

    tough question…
    i would say america should change in every way; the most important things are that it should invest huge amounts of money in the development of green technology and quickly change from using oil to renewable ennergy. moreover, it should stop torturing all these people and completely change all its policies and committ no more human rights abuses and not interfere in things that are not its business just for the sake of oil, power or anything else…. (yes sure, i know its unrealistic.)
    kalypso-vienna,austria

  11. January 8, 2008 at 15:07

    From Sylvester:
    Hello Ros, thank you kindly indeed for the opportunity to express my opinion on the changes in leadership I envision for the next American President- Barak Obama, or Hillary Clinton, John Edwards:

    I would like a President that extends a dynamic relationship with the world to include counties that are labeled bad under the Bush Doctrine. I would like these steps to be put into motion immediately. A President that adopts all measures outline in the Geneva Convention against torture.
    A leader committed to Education, the environment-adopting all principles outline in the Kyoto Accord, and Health Care
    A leader that is anchored at rolling back the Bush sweet-heart deals with the oil, energy companies, putting in place tax measures that forces Multinationals to pay proper taxes, applying taxes for companies that embark on Globalization.
    Addressing the immigration issues: we cannot enforce an exodus on illegal immigrants to return to Mexico. We must transition them to full legal status, pay a fine, and taxes. Focus on those who committed infractions and repatriate those to their countries of origin.

    In my view the Republican Candidates should not be allowed to be President. They have forfeited that opportunity. They became a catastrophic rubber stamp to Bushes reckless, and dangerous domestic, and international policies. Morality is not the cornerstone to my point; it is the legality of such policies that systematically went on for about 7 years with no objection from these candidates.

  12. 12 rosatkins
    January 8, 2008 at 15:16

    Hello to the lovely WHYS team,
    Wonderful to see the “Bush House” I hear mentioned so much on air and that you received the chocolates. Arsenal was a small bit of heaven. Listening to the WHYS show in London was extraordinary. The firmament was already dark outside in London at 6pm, whereas I listen at lunch time here in the US. Believe it or not, the reception was clearer and it sounded as if you were in the other room, delightful! How great it is to imagine if I lived in London and could listen to the WHYS show during dinner every night.

    This topic seems to really be about the changing of the generations in society along with immigration. Where does the US see itself in 20 years? Noone here wants to say that China will be the world leader, but the only other option is for everyone to share and get along. Again, not something that is easily imagineable when you’ve been preconditioned all your life to believe in an unfalliable, single country, superpower system.
    Unfortunately the majority in the US don’t even travel (about 17% have passports). Therefore as a whole we are ignorant and can’t face the facts.

    The world will change whether we do anything or not and it seems the main factor in the future is closing the gap between the rich and the poor. Honestly, the globe is in a critical generational transition over the next 20 years, and we have to look forward for this new event in history.

    Joey
    Colorado, USA

  13. January 8, 2008 at 15:19

    I’m not sure America has to change. I think the political process, including the new President, has to change.
    Promising change is nothing new. B. Clinton did it masterfully in his first term, and folks were so frustrated with Bush Sr. they would have voted for ANYONE promising them a new direction.
    Obama has adapted this strategy, and once again we see the effect it has on the American people.
    I think in Obama’s case, his lack of experience, at least in my mind, is working IN his favor because he seems to be bringing far less baggage than the other entrenched, Washington rivals.

    The new leader should have at least a basic understanding of the rest of the world, it’s history, politics, etc, and more importantly should surround themselves with strong-willed, independent people who can truly fill in the blanks when the President doesn’t know.
    Being defensive, or isolationist has proven it just wont’ work.
    And, maintaining party lines, for partisan reasons has to end, now, today.
    Both parties are horribly flawed, and someone needs to say, “Look, this isn’t working.”

  14. 14 Mark
    January 8, 2008 at 15:21

    America knows what the outside world wants. Europe wants America to commit economic suicide by signing and conforming to the ecologically useless Kyoto Protocol, stop fighting for its legitimate trade interests, subsidize the EU deathstate, and accede to Islamic demands that it abandon Israel’s ability to exist by defending itself militarily. China would like it to keep its trade doors wide open to its mountains of cheap junk exports while remaining impotent in obtaining equitable trade advantages in return. Mexico would like it to keep its borders unguarded so that its millions of uneducated unemployed can go north to work and send back money instead of demanding long overdue change from the thoroughly corrupt Mexican government that would improve their lives at home. Cuba would like resumption of full relations with billions in American taxpayer supported trade credits to prop up its inhuman dictatorship. Japan and Korea would like it to remain their protector so that they don’t have to spend any real money on their own defense while Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Emirates would like it to knock out Iran. Russia would just like it to go away taking its missile defense shield and its humiliating overwhelming military superiority with it (did you see the recent video of those 60 year old prop driven “bombers” they took out of mothballs that was supposed to frighten Europe?) while Africa will just settle for more tens of billions in payoffs to corrupt officials under the guise of “foreign aid.” Iraqis and Afghanistanis would like America to stay so that they can blame it for all their problems while continuing to demand that it leave. And Islamofascist terrorists would like it to give them complete freedom to act inside of America by protecting everyone’s “civil rights” including the right to complete privacy. Will America accede to all of these demands and make the required “changes?” If Barrack Obama is elected, maybe. Otherwise…????

  15. 15 Anthony
    January 8, 2008 at 15:24

    Here is what I would do to change America:

    1: Make growing hemp legal: Hemp is a great and inexpensive source of ethanol (you can create more per acre of corn, and its cheaper), protein (it has more protein than tofu, and its cheaper), paper (you can create more per acre of trees, and its cheaper and can be grown back quickly), plus all the medicinal uses (and no, I don’t smoke weed).

    2: Import Tax: So US car sales are declining in the States, well then add a 250-500 dollar import tax to imports. That will add revenue, and drive US cars sales. We’ll win twice.

    3: Outsourcing: Can you believe that companies actually get INSENTIVES FOR OUTSOURCING??? Do the opposite! Take away tax cuts for companies that outsource, and even penalize them financially.

    4: Pull Out Our Troops ASAP!

    5: Prison: Can you believe there are people that look at prison as a vacation! I personally know people that say things like, “it was cool, I just relaxed” and “who cares, I got 3 months and only had to do a week”. People don’t care. I think there should be some physical repercussions. They’ll think twice if they’re beat/whipped a few times before they go to their cells.

    6: Healthcare: UNIVERSAL!!!

    7: Raise taxes on the “top 10%”.

    Well, that’s a few points I believe in, Anthony for President in 2012!!!

    -Anthony, your average 27 year old from Los Angeles, California.

  16. 16 GB
    January 8, 2008 at 15:37

    Why would we change the greatest country on earth? People here obviously do not want change, otherwise they would not have voted for 8 years of what we have now. Remember, we all had the same “Intelligence”. Full steam ahead says I

  17. January 8, 2008 at 15:44

    Not only do America’s foreign relations have to change but our domestic policies have to change to bring the focus home instead of abroad. We have to become a compassionate country, one that takes care of its citizens, one that’s inclusive instead of exclusive with its own people. We need to take the weight off of the Incredibly Shrinking Middle Class and fairly distribute taxes. We need to make books not bombs. And mostly we just need a democracy and not the theocracy that President Bush has toted for the last 8 years. We need a country that guarantees no matter what you believe — or don’t believe, for that matter — you can live and work in peace because America is a tolerant, abiding country. We need someone who will take charge in the war on terror but not terrorize his or her own people in the process.

    On another note, we need a fracking President who can speak and think so that we’re no longer the laughing stock of the whole herking world.

    I’m a huge Obama supporter for a lot of these reasons. These are the messages I hear from him and he has a background in Constitutional law which means, unlike some people, he’s actually read the damn document. He’s a cross between JFK and MLK, which is exactly the sort of “change” that we need. I just worry that if he gets into office he’ll be assassinated. Because there are plenty of people who don’t want change at all, especially if it involves a black man in the highest office of the land. For this, I feel profoundly sad.

  18. 18 Lindsay
    January 8, 2008 at 15:50

    America was once revered for leading the world in human rights, but these days are far gone under the Bush administration. We were once a nation to look to and now other countries look away from us in disgust. It’s time that the United States builds itself back up to be a leader in human rights. There is a global stronghold affiliated with the idea of the United States and with this comes the responsibility to lead our nation and hopefully influence others to follow in the idea that all people are created equal and that EVERYONE (whether they are “citizens” or not) deserves the same freedoms and liberties that our nation holds so dear.

  19. 19 Marsha Adams
    January 8, 2008 at 15:56

    Consciouness would be a good place to begin. The President of The United States of America must be conscious on a global level, must be aware that any action taken effects the whole of this planet, as does any action not taken.

    Think of the good for the individual then apply it as a global standard. No special interest or dispensations for the “ruling class” (those with money).

    The change needed is a rise in consciousness. Setting a higher standard than being the biggest stick in the bunch following along behind the biggest di#@ in the bunch.

    John Paul sounds pretty interesting, Edwards has made some promising comments, Clinton can do it if they’ll let her, Obama might get there if not swamped by people who think he owes them something.

    The change must run deeper than just a new name in an old chair. It must be a new standard for life itsself. All life!

  20. 20 Jeremiah Chienda
    January 8, 2008 at 16:08

    America needs to get rid of their imperialistic ideology. They need to realize that the type of democracy that worked for them isn’t necessary compatible with the rest of the world; and that their chimera of creating a democratic utopia is nothing more than just that – a dream. Instead, I’d like whoever is to succeed Mr. Bush to work with (especially the less developed) governments in trying to devise political systems that work in those respective matrices.

  21. 21 GB
    January 8, 2008 at 16:08

    See here’s the problem with blogs “The US has spent almost $1 billion dollars and there is no end in sight.” I only wish this were all we have spent there. The figure will be somewhere in the “trillions” which is a whole other animal. We “lost” or “misplaced” something like 9 billion in the largest transfer of US currency in US history. Giant cargo planes packed with hundred dollar bills. Soldiers playing football (US style) with blister packed hundreds. We obviously have money to literally “throw around”.

  22. January 8, 2008 at 16:39

    This is not the first time the word “change” is resonating across the American electoral landscape. Bill Clinton is supposed to have rode a wave that demanded “change”. After another Republican spell, now we hear that again.

    As I see it from here in Bangalore, India, some of the things that probably could change are:

    1. America’s foreign policy of unilateralism has to end; it must recognise existence of alternative viewpoints.

    2. America has to end the policy of interfering in other countries for “the sake of democracy” while being openly happy about dictatorships in other countries. Democracy is no a panacea for all problems. The hypocracy is too jarring and doesn’t America at all.

    3. America will have to make a huge change in the way it deals with the Middle East: commonly perceived as the crucible of anti-American sentiments. This the most difficult, but arguably will fetch the best rewards. It will have to gradually, subtly with all diplomatic skills, create confidence in Middle East, that America has no issues with other cultures or other ideologies, provided we all can have peace and prosperity.

  23. 23 Michelle from San Francisco
    January 8, 2008 at 16:51

    For the U.S. to truly change, and not simply maintain the status quo, our next leader should:
    1. Not accept any campaign money from corporate interests.
    2. Ratify the Kyoto Protocol and other aggressive solutions to the climate crisis.
    3. Invest in green energy and administer a shift towards sustainability.
    4. Preserve social programs and fight privatization.
    5. Institute a single-payer, not-for-profit universal health care system.
    6. Immediately end our occupation of Iraq and bring the Bush Administration under charges for war profiteering. Moves toward impeachment is a must.
    7. Establish a U.S. Department of Peace to heal and promote diplomacy.
    8. Have NEVER voted for the war, funding the war, or the Patriot Act.
    9. Have actually been the one person to read the Patriot Act.
    10. Protect our Constitutional RIghts.
    11. Seek real solutions to end poverty and preserve the middle class.
    12. End U.S. participation in the WTO and NAFTA.

    Dennis Kucinich is the one candidate that embodies all of these ideals. Despite a strong following, he has continually been censored and excluded from national televised debates, most recently ABC/Facebook’s New Hampshire debates. The corporate media has never been so blatant in their endorsement of a candidate; and people seem to believe it! I cannot believe how much I’ve seen our so-called democracy has eroded in just a few short years. Welcome to the United States of DIsney. So, for there to be true change in the United States, the kind in which the leader of the highest-polluting, most provocative super power owns up to looking out for the greater global good (and not its corporate interests), we would need a man like Kucinich to make it through this muck of corruption. And that would mean the average American would have to educate themselves beyond the tabloids and morning shows. Check him out: http://www.kucinich.us

  24. 24 gary
    January 8, 2008 at 17:04

    Hello All,
    First, let me say I am proud to be a citizen of the USA. Citizens of this country have made significant contributions in most every field of human intellectual and physical endeavor. Now that that’s said:
    The average person here has a remarkably narrow worldview, coupled with an astonishing confidence in the validity of that view. We are wealthy, fat, wasteful, currently lazy, worldly-ignorant, and well-armed (individually and collectively). We allow our government to be controlled almost entirely by special interests, select our representatives with almost as much care as our choice of fast-food restaurants, and fashion our “foreign policy (chuckle)” on the fly using all the tools available to Madison Avenue. We are desperately in need of change; but the current crop of politicians with their wordsmiths, spin-doctors, marketeers, and other assorted sycophantic rabble are unlikely to provide it. I do not hold them responsible, however.
    We, the people, must change. We need to speak less, ask more questions, and listen to the answers. We need voluntarily to live with less convenience, so others in the world can live with more food and shelter. We need to use our religious heritage to act with REAL morality, rather than to let it be, as it has become, degraded to another element of mere jingoism. Lastly, but most importantly, we need a method of selecting leaders that recognizes and encourages the most honorable, capable, intelligent, and sage candidates, rather than the tallest, or the bravest, or the most sanctimonious, or richest, or most feminine, or least Caucasian ones.
    later,
    g

  25. 25 George
    January 8, 2008 at 17:08

    Change:

    1. Lawful government

    2. Dismantle the “national security” private crime use of CIA et al.

    3. End the sale of covert operations inside the USA against US citizens.

  26. January 8, 2008 at 17:33

    Hi to all my good friends in WHYS ! Hi to all WHYS good listeners ! I’d love from all the American presidential candidates to really care about the ordeal of ordinary Iraqis a little bit more and stop using the Iraqi cause as a bridge to reach the White House across ! We’re not numbers guys… Behind each Iraqi person killed is a story that deserves to be told to the world ! So to all American presidential candidates I say : Please guys, show some respect to those innocent lives that are murdered everyday in Iraq ! With my love ! Yours… Lubna in Baghdad !

  27. January 8, 2008 at 17:50

    Margaret via email

    Hi,
    I wont be able to listen today because of my work schedule, but I’ll check in on things after work today. Hope it all goes well. Here are my thoughts
    A change of the presidency that would be a real change for our country and for our relationship to the world, would be a person that:
    * joins the world nations to bring an ecologically safer and healthier environment
    * brings a balanced, affordable health care system to all Americans
    * makes education of citizens a priority, not just school aged children but adults who may not have succeeded in school when they were young
    *A person that brings into balance caring, feeding, sheltering its nation’s people.
    * a person that doesn’t see War as an alternative to tolerance.
    * a person that puts the welfare of all of its citizens above their own personal religious beliefs
    * a person that keeps a separation of Church and State
    Cheers!
    Margaret

  28. January 8, 2008 at 17:51

    Lubna via email

    Hi to all my good friends in WHYS ! Hi to all WHYS good listeners ! I’d love from all the American presidential candidates to really care about the ordeal of ordinary Iraqis a little bit more and stop using the Iraqi cause as a bridge to reach the White House across ! We’re not numbers guys… Behind each Iraqi person killed is a story that deserves to be told to the world ! So to all American presidential candidates I say : Please guys, show some respect to those innocent lives that are murdered everyday in Iraq ! With my love ! Yours… Lubna in Baghdad !

  29. January 8, 2008 at 17:53

    Susan via email

    I would like to see us change in I would like to see more Americans change by becoming more informed, taking a broader view of the world to make more intelligent decisions. If we want to be respected in our world, we need to change our actions and become more responsible to current conditions.
    Approximately 20% of Americans live in subdivisions that restrict energy conservation. They do that by not allowing clotheslines. How ridiculous is this with our present global warming, limited resources and high energy costs! I want America to change! and allow clotheslines to conserve energy…..!!!
    Susan
    Bend, Oregon

  30. 30 George
    January 8, 2008 at 17:54

    Lubna,

    The vast majority of civilians killed are killed by Iraqis.

    Trying to get your officials elected to stop the conflict seems pretty respectful on our end to me.

  31. January 8, 2008 at 17:55

    Cliff via email

    Hey all,
    I think that change is on everyone’s mind and lips, that much is no surprise. The war in Iraq is the hot topic always, but I want to ignore the war just for one minute to talk about a war that happens ever day in American homes including mine. The war on Medical Bills.
    Since my Wife and I got married nearly 11 years ago we have racked up over $30,000 in medical bills. A lot of this is due to our two children. Our children are normal healthy children, and have had no really intensive medical issues. But between cold and flu seasons, and our regular family checkups, minor issues, etc. we have racked up a phenomenal amount of bills. Most of these have gone to collections, and in turn destroyed our credit. Even though we pay what we can, it is never enough for the insatiable medical expense machine.
    My wife and I both work full time and make a middle class income, but are stuck renting with no hope of ever owning our home due to these medical bills. No bank will give us a loan because of all the bills in collections, yet we still make a rent payment every month that is more than our house payment would be. We are stuck renting homes that are less than ideal for our family for high prices because of these medical bills. At nearly 30 years old with a family of four, it is time to become a first time home buyer. Unfortunately we cannot see the way to that end no matter how hard we both work.
    So, what is important to me? Nationalized health care. Give me a candidate that understands that growing American families would be able to flourish if they could just get out of the medical bill hole, and I will vote for them. America is long overdue to join many other countries who understand that a healthy population is also a happy, wealthy population. In my opinion this is the one thing that must be looked at more that any other in America right now including the war in Iraq.
    Of course someone has to sort out the mess President Bush has made in Iraq. That much is obvious. But they need to sort out the mess made by countless years of inattention to our own battles here at home foremost. Every day thousands of people file bankruptcy due to medical bills. Thousands of lives ruined year after year, good hard working people financially destroyed because of medical problems they cant control. I urge all Americans and the person who follows Bush to start thinking a bit closer to home. While we worry about Iraq, our own American brothers and sisters are struggling.
    Cheers,
    Cliff
    Montana, USA

  32. January 8, 2008 at 17:58

    Uzondu via email

    Hi there!
    “Change” this seems to be the word of the elections in the US at the moment.
    I do not expect too much of a change in the US after the electionsn anyway.
    Mr. Obama is talking about change, because in my opinion he is aware that a lot of people are against the US Foriegn policy at the moment, so any thing like change will be a welcoming topic for voters. I hope to see the changes that will occur after the elections anyway.
    Uzondu
    Monrovia, Liberia

  33. 33 John D. Anthony
    January 8, 2008 at 18:02

    I would like to see:
    A reinstatement of “no first strike” policy.
    A foreign policy that doesn’t treat the rest of the world as a resource for the U.S..
    An America that leads the world in dealing with global warming.
    A Manhattan Project to develop alternatives to fossil fuels.
    An abolishment of any and all religion in politics.
    An end to the involvement of corporations in making domestic energy policies.
    A restoring of the executive branch to it’s place as one of the three branches of government.
    A serious effort to establish universal health coverage.
    A tax system that is truly fair.
    An education policy that triples federal funding of schools.
    An immigration policy which recognizes that climate change will enevitably force movement to higher latitudes.
    Drug laws based on science.
    College tuition in exchange for service in the Peace Corps or Habitats for Humanity.

    For a start….

    John in Salem

  34. 34 steve
    January 8, 2008 at 18:02

    All politicians are self serving narcissists. Thinking anyone is going to bring any kind of change is like expecting a shark to come to your aid if you are bleeding. Politicians are mentally ill by nature, and society unfortunately rewards their nasty behavior. We the public enable these vermin to do the disgusting things they do once they get into power.

  35. January 8, 2008 at 18:04

    Christian via email

    You all would agree with me that the US and the whole world at large has one peculiar problem which is at the origin of any other problem-that of ethics.It is what we all need not only the Americans!Most leaders today have failed in their rulership because they lacked the ethics to execute their job and it is to me the basic reason why the Americans today,and they will agree with me,are disappointed as far as Bush is concerned.
    In resume,WHAT AMERICA NEEDS NOW IS: E-T-H-I-C-S.

  36. January 8, 2008 at 18:04

    I’d like to know who in this country does not want an end to war.

  37. 37 Eliel Lucero
    January 8, 2008 at 18:10

    1) REMOVE CORPORATE INTEREST FROM CAMPAIGNS. NO MORE CORPORATE DONATIONS EVER!!!

    2) Free Health Care

    3) The US should stop thinking that we are the best Nation, and instead we should thrive to become a better nation

    4) I want to travel to England on holiday, Can someone please please please bring up the value of the dollar so that I wont have to mortgage my soul for a trip to Europe.

    5) Eliminate Petrol dependency.

    6) Fix the Earth, we only have one.

    Thanks.

  38. January 8, 2008 at 18:13

    Steve did you see the story off the coast of my home state on the Pacific where a group of Dolphins saved a man who was being attacked by Sharks: the Dolphins surrounded the man and prevented the Sharks from getting to him after they bit him once.

    I’d like to think a president could be a Dolphin.

  39. 39 L. Walker
    January 8, 2008 at 18:19

    ‘change’… it’s all rhetoric. i’ll believe it when i see it.

  40. 40 Lenny
    January 8, 2008 at 18:20

    Lenny in Boise Idaho

    Change? If change means following the constitution of the United States, declaring war with Congress voting on it, End the Central Bank which was abolished two times before with Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. Does anybody find it interesting that the Central Bank was created in 1913 the same year Federal Taxes were created?

    Ron Paul is not corporately backed, pure grass roots movement, large corporations don’t want him to win, and he also has the voting record that backs up his words. All the candidates talk about change but no one has the proof; the change they propose is keeping the status quo, the unconstitutional ways of the United States. The proof is Ron Paul, the constitutionists, for president of 2008!

  41. 41 steve
    January 8, 2008 at 18:21

    Zak:I don’t think anyone who actively seeks and wants to be President is the dolphin you are looking for. People run for office because they are narcissists and want power, not because they want to help out other people. They are there to serve their own aspirations, not to rescue you from the sharks.

  42. 42 Sandy Freeman
    January 8, 2008 at 18:23

    Change? Oh, yes, I’m looking for change. I want someone who images the best of Americans – intelligent, honest, forthright, open to listening to and working with opposing opinions. I want someone
    with a global perspective, because, like it or not, we live in a global environment and economy.
    I appreciate Edwards’ take on corporate America, but the fact is we work for corporate America and benefit from it. Tackling them would be a good job for a Vice President. For President, I like the way Obama thinks.

  43. January 8, 2008 at 18:24

    Eliel from Brooklyn

    I would love to see a presidential ticket with two parties on it. Why can’t it be a Barrack/McCain ticket? That would show massive change.

  44. January 8, 2008 at 18:25

    Tony in Portland, Oregon USA via email

    The only change in US politics that would ever make any real difference would be to have publicly-financed elections. As long as our political process remains nothing but a year-round money-grab, government responsiveness will continue to be focussed on those with money as opposed to the welfare of the general, un-rich population.

  45. 45 Chernor Jalloh
    January 8, 2008 at 18:25

    America´s foreign policy cluse needs some rectifications to meet the world´s standard.

  46. 46 steve
    January 8, 2008 at 18:25

    ) REMOVE CORPORATE INTEREST FROM CAMPAIGNS. NO MORE CORPORATE DONATIONS EVER!!!

    2) Free Health Care

    3) The US should stop thinking that we are the best Nation, and instead we should thrive to become a better nation

    4) I want to travel to England on holiday, Can someone please please please bring up the value of the dollar so that I wont have to mortgage my soul for a trip to Europe.

    5) Eliminate Petrol dependency.

    6) Fix the Earth, we only have one.

    Thanks.
    —-

    Typical socialist nonsense. Corporations have just as much rights as you do, I thought you like the Constitution? Oh that’s right, when it serves your purposes. Free healthcare, so the system can deteriorate and we can have huge waits? I think you meant “strive” to be a better nation, and every nation on earth says “We are the best”, not just the US. Bring up the dollar? Better yet, why don’t you travel during the off season and don’t eat out at expensive places? Gulp, you might even have to go to quickie marts and get sandwiches for 2 pounds rather than have a sit down meal! oh no! that would be terrible! What American uses the word “petrol”? Are you even really an American? The US alone cannot “fix” the earth, it would take all nations to do that, and unless you have some miracle anti selfishness pill that everyone can take, that will never happen, along with world peace, and people getting along. Please join reality.

  47. January 8, 2008 at 18:28

    Some of the text messages we’ve received…

    Ugbede, Nigeria
    America needs a visionary leader that is intelligent in this dangerous and complex world. that leader is Barack Obama

    Benjamin, Nigeria
    Experiece is useless unless you’re accountable for your actions. Obama will make the best president…

    Anonymous from Lesotho
    I hope americans don’t elect a Mugabe or Kibaki to the white house.

  48. January 8, 2008 at 18:28

    Anthony via email

    Dear WHYS,
    It is more than just change that Americans want. We want to have our government think about the greater good of all than just winner take all depending on which party has the majority. It is embarrassing to watch our policies take on an imperialistic stance and not have the kind of transparency when we ask where are the CIA tapes.
    I support Obama because I want a historic impact with an afro American president for the first time. Imagine the possibilities for foreign policies or a revival in civil rights, human rights, or a revival in enthusiasm about serving our country. Anyone else just seems like the same old same old.
    Respectfully Sent,
    Anthony

  49. 49 RAYMOND
    January 8, 2008 at 18:29

    I WOULD LOVE TO SUPPORT BARACK OBAMA FOR HIS AMBITIONS AND THAT HE IS A REFLECTION OF MYSELF A BLACK MAN. ITS ABOUT TIME WE SUPPORT OUR BLACK MAN AS THEY FAIL IN SOCIETY BECAUSE OF LACK OF SUPPORT. BUT I AM FOR HILARY, BECAUSE I THINK SHE REPRESENTS CHANGE, STARTING THAT SHE WOULD BE THE FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT IN AMERICA’S HISTORY. BUT NOT ONLY THAT, SHE HAS BEEN CHAMPION CHANGE IN THE MINORITY COMMUNITY FOR YEARS, SHE HAS THE EXPERIENCE TO DEAL WITH DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL ISSUES. WE CANT JUST GO ALONG WITH THE WINNER HERE, WE HAVE TO SEPERATE THE FACTS, THE EXPERIENCE, THE ABILITY TO DO THINGS, PEOPLE WHO ARE KNOWN AND HAVE LEADERSHIP ABILITY. BARACK OBAMA IS A GOOD MAN, VERY CHARASMATIC AND WELL LIKED, AND I THINK ALL THE PEOPLE ARE RALLY AROUND HIM FOR THE RIGHT AND WRONG REASONS, THEY WANT TO BE ABLE TO SAY THEY WERE APART OF MAKING HISTORY IN AMERICA, TO SAY THIER VOTE GOT A BLACK MAN ELECTED, BUT WE TO THING ABOUT THE JOB AT HAND, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE EXCITEMENT IS OVER, IS THIS PERSON ABLE TO DELIVER. WE HAVE TO BE AWARE THAT BARACK IS BEING WIND UP BY PUPPET MASTERS WHO WILL DICTATE TO HIM AS SOON AS THEY GET HIM WHERE THEY WANT HIM. HILLARY WILL NOT BE A PUSH OVER. SHE KNOWS HER STUFF, SHE WILL NOT NEED TO BE REMINDED THAT SHE IS IN A POSITION THAT SHE IS NOT QUALIFIED FOR. LETS SOBER UP AND DO WHATS BEST FOR AMERICA, A PARTY IS OF EXCITEMENT AND FUN, BUT LETS SOBER UP AND GET WITH THE REAL STUFF, LETS GO WITH EXPERIENCE, KNOWLEDGE AND KNOW HOW AND A PERSON WHO WILL BE ABLE TO KNOW WHERE TO FIND THE PEN AND PAPER WHEN LEFT ALONE IN THE OVAL OFFICE.

  50. January 8, 2008 at 18:29

    Tom in Oregon via email

    To the world:

    Imagine a homeless person begging on a street corner:

    Please, spare change for a country who has lost it’s way in the world?

  51. January 8, 2008 at 18:30

    Constance via email

    It’s ludicrous for polititians to throw about the word “change” as though it had some innate, universal meaning and would be a panacea for the world’s problems. We’ve had years of “change” with the Bush administration and we might as well have been thrown into a deep dark hole!

  52. January 8, 2008 at 18:30

    Anyone of these supporter of the current offensive in Iraq: Do you know why there is still a war in the desert?

    There’s still war there because we are stranded in the desert and vulnerable to what has been labeled an insurgency; what in reality is the same nomadic tribal gurerilla fighters that have been fighting for millenniums.

    So when you say we will continue to “occupy” that country then you’re also saying that we will be attacked for all that time. Read a history book of that region and understand why we are so badly stranded in territory that has always been left for the losers of wars.

    Staying in Iraq has 1 purpose: Oil. Why don’t you just admit that. If a president has the acumen to see beyond Iraq, and admittedly that will take a lot of thinking and behaving more like a Dolphin than a Shark, then there is a possibility we will see the way to sustainable alternative fuel.

  53. 53 Chernor Jalloh
    January 8, 2008 at 18:30

    George,it is true that Iraqis are killing Iraqis,but who are the main people who started it?Was it not the US and its bad foreign policy?

  54. January 8, 2008 at 18:31

    Richard in Oregon via email

    Regardless of who is elected, change will occur. Leadership must be measured by experience, not rhetoric. Otherwise, the popular vote will elect money, and the next four years will be about status quo.

  55. 55 Michelle from San Francisco
    January 8, 2008 at 18:33

    Dennis Kucinich suggested running with Ron Paul- now that’s one ticket I would consider buying. As for the rest of them, I don’t hardly see any hope for change from the lot of them.

  56. January 8, 2008 at 18:35

    With regard to the gentleman who supports John McCain, stating McCain’s strategy is to remain in Iraq and establish a US military base. My comment regarding his statement is “how is that change?” It sounds more like status quo to me. What bothers me is McCain jumping on the “change” bandwagon when his policies, especially with Irag are not change but status quo. Let’s just call a spade a spade.

  57. 57 Michelle from San Francisco
    January 8, 2008 at 18:38

    I’m very disappointed that you are only featuring supporters of the top-tiered candidates on your show– it’s no better than media here in the U.S. We ought to hear from supporters of Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul as well.

  58. January 8, 2008 at 18:39

    Brian in Portland via email

    Obama reminds of us of Bobby and John Kennedy and the kind of centrist type of change agent and healer that Lincoln represented. He is a black man with a strange name, and yet he reminds us of the best of what American politics represents.

  59. January 8, 2008 at 18:42

    Kent in Iowa (US) via email

    I think it says a lot about the American people’s displeasure with the job President Bush is currently doing when almost all the presidential hopefuls tell us that if they are elected things will change. My hope is that the changes that are made, are made in the best interest of the nation.

  60. 60 Scott
    January 8, 2008 at 18:42

    Question from a California Independent voter:

    I keep hearing Hillary and her supporters talk about her “experience of making change for 35 years.”

    And yet, I’m confused. In the debate Saturday night, when she was listing examples of what SHE (not Bill) has ACTUALLY accomplished, HER example from the White House years was healthcare. That was HER choice to highlight. I thought that was a failure.

    As an Independent, I’m hearing the Hillary team keep talking about everything she’s DONE and yet I don’t hear anyone actually giving examples.

  61. January 8, 2008 at 18:42

    Some more text messages…

    Sami-baghdad
    Whatever the prsonality of the president we just want them to change the tragic situation in Iraq.

    Murithi Mutiga, Nairobi
    Obama is not just a candidate. Like Martin Luther King jr, he’s a phenomenon. That’s why it’s hardly possible for Hilary, for all her merits, to stop Barack.

    From mende Ngoh in kumba cameroon.
    Hilary Clinton surely still has a potential to bounce back. Obama is just a shadow.

  62. January 8, 2008 at 18:43

    Nick via email

    Hello,
    Most of the world won’t see any big change from the United States once this election is over and the new president is installed in January 2009. And yet, there will be change though hard to see because the changes will be smaller than many people want.
    We won’t get out of Iraq quickly, but I think we will be gone from there before the end of the next presidential term ends (John McCain excepted). I see an increase in taxation to help rebuild our countries infrastructure. There will be new Supreme Court members needed. I hope we will become more tolerant of negotiation and listening instead of using our fists so quickly.
    Then again maybe we won’t have change after all. We will continue to stay in Iraq, spend way to much on weapons, and continue to see the split between rich and not rich become more extreme.
    Nick Bonnell
    San Francisco

  63. 63 Joey
    January 8, 2008 at 18:43

    Coming from America… and elsewhere too I believe… we can all see there is not a good enough person/leader in the lot. Whoever the winner, will be by default. If there was an actual leader, then it would be plain to see and there would be 80-100% support from the people for that leader.
    We won’t have a leader like that unless we plan for it, and maybe in 20 years, there could be a decent person out there to lead such a great nation. Let’s hope someone from the next generation will be there.

    Joey
    Colorado

  64. January 8, 2008 at 18:46

    Rochelle, via email

    To me, illegal immigration is the main topic I would like to see taken care of. Stopping the illegal immigrants from not just come into America, but getting free healthcare and education is the major change I would like to see.

    The second would be the language block we have built. My grandfather was a full blood Blackfeet Native and spoke his native tongue until he was taken (yes literally taken) from his family at the age of 10 and forced to speak English. He was beaten, I have seen the scars, when he spoke his own language. Now, America spends so much money to print everything in 30 plus languages to appease the “New Americans.” This is a disgrace to all of the natives who look over their shoulder before they speak their own tongue in fear of beatings to this day. Everyone should have to learn to speak the language of the country they want to live in. Everyone in America should speak English because that is the language of the people who founded the democracy.

    Thank you in advance

    Rochelle
    Roseville, California

  65. January 8, 2008 at 18:48

    Kalypso in Vienna, Austria via email

    I’m wondering if these callers are not a bit unrealistic about how much their canditates can actually change once they’re elected. I dont think anything will be different (except maybe the image of the US).

  66. January 8, 2008 at 18:49

    Pavel Plachky Prague, Czech Republic (text)
    I want to see change in environmental protection. Under Bush the environment is seen as exploitable resource and I would like to see it as a treasure to be preserved for the future.

  67. 67 Anthony
    January 8, 2008 at 18:50

    Just a side note, I would LOVE to see Clinton and Obama, in a President/Vice President situation. That would be quite the tag team! I think in that scenario there would defiantly be change!!

  68. 68 RAYMOND
    January 8, 2008 at 18:50

    WE AS BLACKS CANNOT AND SHOULD NOT GET CAPTIVATED BY THE EXCITEMENT FOR VOTING FOR A PERSON BECAUSE HE IS OF THE SAME COLOR AS WE ARE. IS IT JUST THAT. THEN LETS LOOK AT SOUTH AFRICA, MINUS APARTHIED, ARE THE LEADERS THERE MEETING THE NEEDS OF THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE (BLACKS) THEY ARE DOING A FAILING JOB. TO VOTE OBAMA IN JST BECUASE HE IS BLACK AND IF HE FAILS PUSHES UP BACK SO MUCH FARTHER THAN WHERE WE ARE NOW. LETS GO WITH EXPERIENCE AND WISDOM AND KNOW HOW. THE CHANGE WILL BE A WOMAN IN THE WHITE HOUSE WITH EXPERIENCE. NOT A BLACK MAN FOR THE SAKE OF HIM BEING BLACK.

  69. January 8, 2008 at 18:50

    Lamii via email

    Dear Ros,

    Change seems to be the buzz word for a lot of political leaders, most especially those that want to counter the argument of being inexperienced. This is just what Sen. Obama has succeeded in doing. He’s cleverly made Clinton to change her message to his. This has made her to appear like she’s not the real thing but just a copy cat.

    Obama is quite a smart and charming fellow. I think he’s going to win the Democratic nomination but I don’t see him clearing the final huddle into the White House against the Republican Sen. John McCain. So I think that Sen. McCain can go to sleep because he’s most likely the next “Most Powerful Man in the World”.

    Lamii in Monrovia

  70. January 8, 2008 at 18:51

    Caller Ryan claims that Mike Huckabee is the best candidate to stand up for the interests of “average Americans.”
    But what about the average American who has AIDS, who Huckabee–in ignorance of medical science–has said should be quarantined in isolation camps?
    What of the average American who happens to be gay, who Huckabee has said are essentially a monstrous disease who will destroy civilization?
    What of the average American who is an immigrant, the American who is not white, the American who is not an evangelical Christian?
    Huckabee has made it clear he believes in theocracy. What of the average American who does not share his religion, and wishes to practice their own in peace and freedom?
    How can a President who believes some of his citizens are subhuman, should be locked up in camps, truly serve the interests of all Americans? What makes forcing one religion’s laws on the whole population democratic?
    As do all the candidates, he promises change–but not all change is good. Huckabee would bring changes that would do concrete harm to many Americans.

  71. January 8, 2008 at 18:53

    Marek. Prague.
    Clinton is a puppet. Obama is bland and inexperienced and will become a puppet. The only one who would bring real change -that is strength through humility and liberty through example is Ron Paul.

  72. 72 L. Walker
    January 8, 2008 at 18:53

    one thing…

    greed and the corruption it spawns.

    it seems all things stem from this, from iraq to healthcare to the environment.

  73. 73 Shannon in Oregon
    January 8, 2008 at 18:56

    The abomination that is the current US administration has weakened our country through a focus on Fear and Aggression.

    Real change will be apparent when there is a perspective shift to cooperation and support (in house and abroad) rather than conflict. We desperately need a Democratic leader willing to be thoughtful, HONEST, human and supportive. I realize that the system is deeply competative. What would it be like to invite an intellegent and compassionate example of leadership?

    Any Democratic leader will be a huge blessing for this country, will represent the beginning of a deeply needed healing process that will not happen over night.

    Change will provide for the future health of a nation (environmental preservation, new energy sources, shift from an obsession with war to the only work that matters for long-term change – health care and education).

    I congratulate all Democratic candidates and look forward to the healing that will begin when any one of the three highly talented leaders in the Primary, (Barak, Clinton, and Edwards) ascends to leadership. Thank you, thank you for your efforts!!

    Shannon

  74. January 8, 2008 at 18:56

    To dearest George : Hi…. Thanks very much for your comment ! In fact I do totally agree with you that there are outlawed Iraqi militant groups who are killing innocent Iraqis on daily bases, but the innocent Iraqis aren’t only killed by Iraqis right?! There’s also Al Qaeda terrorist organisation and foreign fighters who are wearing explosive belts and exploding bombed cars that are killing innocent Iraqis brutally and senselessly, and also there’s the influence of the regional countries that are supporting criminal activities in Iraq ! The Iraqi problem is much much bigger than Iraq alone ! The US government and the US occupation forces must clean up the mess they have taken part in creating before they leave Iraq ! With my love ! Yours Lubna in Baghdad ! PS, George, I’m interested to know your assessment of how the US government has managed the Iraqi crisis since 2003 !

  75. 75 Kweku
    January 8, 2008 at 18:57

    Whoever wins November election should turn America’s attention back on the environment issue–global warming, over-dependence on fossil fuel, etc.
    Kweku, Accra, Ghana

  76. 76 Joanne
    January 8, 2008 at 18:58

    The most important change that can happen in America is to focus on alternative energy sources. This one “issue” touches virtually all others: environment, security, employment, economy, etc.

    We are strong supporters of Barack Obama but have urged him to back away from nuclear power as an option and move toward a purely renewable energy policy. We have the resources in this country to meet our needs through a decentralized energy-creation system, including solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels and efficiency. This is a do-able change for a new leader to affect, and in short order.

    Thanks

  77. January 8, 2008 at 18:58

    Give us another 7 years and see how the pressure against global warming has increased to keep us from utter annihilation. Imagine what would happen if this president was put under that pressure; he would crumble like a house of cards.

    Personally my belief is in America realizing why countries like Chile, Argentina and Germany have changed: Electing women into power. A country like Germany realized the need to lead a different way, and America needs to take the view after nearly a decade of warring. However this country still doesn’t have the experience of history or the intelligence in politics to acknowledge the smarter leader. Unfortunately the only thing this country knows is brute force and that is the job of a man as dictated by the people.

    Does anyone realize how belittled this country will be if a woman is passed up. Everyone would believe that America is supposed to be a very intelligent leader but if we cannot rationalize basic Human truth then we deserve to suffer the fate. The only thing that could save this country from ruin is absolute genius, the smartest leader should emerge but I’m not sure that is what will happen in the best interest of this country.

  78. January 8, 2008 at 19:00

    Hi Ros,
    Its very amusing to hear people talk about experience when it comes to leadership. You can have a lot of exposure and experience, but as to whether that makes you have sound judgements or not is something else. Leadership is not about experience, its about making sound judgements.
    Obama is the candidate with a the greatest conviction and safest judgement.
    Atsu in Ghana

  79. January 8, 2008 at 19:15

    Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and John Edwards all pander to the pro-Israel lobby and put Israel’s interests ahead of America’s.

    Barack Obama conveys that he is not influenced by special interests, but take a look at the beginning of the following (’The Lobby Strikes Back’) article from the December 3rd, 2007 issue of the ‘The American Conservative’ magazine to see how the pro-Israel lobby has Mr. Obama wrapped around its finger as well:

    The Lobby Strikes Back:

    http://tinyurl.com/yoa4df

    Obama has disingenuously mentioned that he is the anti-war candidate, but look at the following article to see how he has been in support of missile strikes on Iran:

    http://www.nysun.com/article/45694?page_no=2

    Senator John McCain (and his admiral Father) sold out the USS Liberty crew for the pro-Israel lobby as well (see http://www.ussliberty.com) and also pushed for the Iraq war for the pro-Israel lobby (look up his name in the recently released Mearsheimer/Walt book – see http://www.israellobbybook.com). Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani is all for the Iraq war (and the coming one with Iran) for the pro-Israel lobby as well (take a look at who some of his Israel first advisors are via the following article from the American Conservative as well):

    Declaring War Forever:

    http://www.amconmag.com/2008/2008_01_14/cover.html

    Hillary Clinton supported the Kyl-Lieberman Iran amendment (basically giving President Bush the go-ahead to bomb the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) for the pro-Israel lobby (AIPAC – American Israel Public Affairs Committee) as well. Senator John Edwards (who has spoken before the annual AIPAC convention more than once putting Israel’s interests ahead of America’s as well) has mentioned that he is against the coming war with Iran but earlier last year (in Israel) and the year before was basically in support of military action against Iran (pandering to the pro-Israel lobby like the other candidates mentioned above have done).

  80. 80 Mark Birdsall
    January 8, 2008 at 19:15

    Soon we will see the “powers that be” unite to try and stop Barack. And that will be the real test of his ability to bring change to America. Look for the upcomming corporate media storm repeating every unfounded attack against Him, while failing to point out that his campaign is financed by individual small donors. By stepping into the front runner position the media will now be able to cast him into the roll of a candidate being forced upon us by the early primaries.
    The big question is if the Clintons will be foolish enough to help big money and power try and rip him apart. For the sake of the Democratic party, I hope they have the sense to come to his defense or at least not participate. The past week does not bode well for that hope, however, and we could see yet another example of the Dems shooting themselves in the foot.
    Mark Birdsall
    Portland Oregon USA

  81. 81 Mark Birdsall
    January 8, 2008 at 19:25

    For myself I believe America will change in innumerable ways in the comming years. We will see either a move toward inclusive politics, and away from corporate controlled legislature, or we will see the advancment of a police state. I believe we are at a precipice of potential and crisis here and across the world. The stalemate of the status quo is breaking apart in the wake of global warming, global energy crisis and as the result of American Imperialism. We will change because we must. The question is in which direction.

  82. 82 ivey
    January 8, 2008 at 19:30

    I am becoming increasingly convinced that the words “Hope” and “change” are used too frivolously by these candidates only to garner votes. True change, as difficult as it might be, might not really come about. All these high profile oratory seems like plain humbug. I could be wrong and I wish I am.

    Its intriguing as to why none of the presidential candidates feel the need to address the voes of the highly skilled immigrants in this country. I am one such immigrant and I am increasingly sickened by being ignored time and again by all the presidential candidates and their rhetorics. It is quite apparent that by addressing immigration in any other form other than by at the least insinuating the message “let us build and fence and get rid of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants”, these self proclaimed change agents fear losing the support of tons of xenophobic bigoted conservative zealots.

    Like the gazillion other skilled immigrants I have contributed tremendously to this country’s economy and research. I was educated by one of the most prestigious engineering schools of America. Where is my value and dignity ?

  83. January 8, 2008 at 19:39

    Kim via email

    In terms of changes of attitude towards each other and the rest of the world, American’s aren’t the only ones that need to change. The whole world could use a lesson in that. However, what I’m looking for in a candidate is someone that has the ability and the drive to change our foreign relations. Bush ruined us – who can fix us?

    Kim in Portland, OR

  84. January 8, 2008 at 19:40

    John & Linda via email

    what exactly do Americans and the rest of the world want?

    Eliminate international borders.
    Freedom to immigrate to countries with jobs we can fill.
    United Global assistance to feed,clothed and educate the poor. Each country giving what it can.
    not just depending on good will.
    How should the new President be different from the current one?
    open doors toward those wanting to immirgate to the US.
    remove requirement of $40,000 bond to be given to the INS for those wishing to immigrate.
    Remove all fences, police from our borders and request those wishing to immigrate sign in at the closets INS Office.
    Bridge the gap of mistrust between the President and minority people.
    Listen to minority people’s needs and wants and do all he can to make their needs and wants become reality not just promises.
    Remove Federal income tax and have a consumption tax on everything except food, electricity,natural gas and water would not be taxed.

    John & Linda in Minnesota USA, listening on Siruis Radio Channel 141

  85. January 8, 2008 at 19:41

    Karl via email

    Yes, I want change! But, I don’t think a man (Romney) who’s “religion” believes only good Mormon men get their own planet when they die is the kind of change I want to make. I don’t care what someone believes unless that someone is the leader of a nation… then, it becomes particularly relevant. Many of our problems in this country today are due to having a man in charge who believes he was sent by God to lead this country. We can’t afford another religious wacko.

    Karl
    Portland, Oregon

  86. January 8, 2008 at 19:46

    Tom via email

    By definition, a conservative is against change, so we can discount the credibility of Republican Conservatives who are obviously just mouthing the word to fool people.

    Tom
    Bend, OR
    USA

  87. January 8, 2008 at 19:47

    Kwame via email

    What an opportunity for America to show the world how liberal they are by just electing Obama.America would then have less to talk but rather show that what she stands for is about equal opportunity for every person.
    What then will America’s critics say when they see a person of African descent in the helm of their state?

    Kwame Francis Kanu,
    Freetown, Sierra Leone.

  88. January 8, 2008 at 19:48

    Barrett via email

    I’m very pessimistic about the possibility of real change because I don’t believe that in our election process a candidate capable of real change could survive all the way to the White House. I would like less rhetoric and someone with the courage to stand up and say, “This system does not work,” even to their own detriment.

  89. January 8, 2008 at 19:49

    John in Salem via email

    Can someone name one political candidate in U.S. history who did not run on a platform calling for “change”?

  90. January 8, 2008 at 19:49

    A government that can attrack islam
    Abdulkadir in Somalia via text

  91. January 8, 2008 at 19:51

    Donna via email

    Re your question about the kind of change, I think people want someone who tells the truth. People are tired of being lied to, and I think that is the common reason behind the wins of Obama and Huckabee in Iowa, who are so different otherwise.
    In response to the Clinton supporter who said some of Obama’s advisors are former Clinton advisors, I have never understood why they want to point that out. If a former Clinton advisor, who knows Hillary, has chosen to support Obama instead, isn’t that something that Clinton wouldn’t want to trumpet?

    Donna Childs
    Portland Oregon

  92. January 8, 2008 at 19:52

    Tim via email

    It doesn’t matter who Americans elect because the same corporatist machine that writes self-beneficial policies controls both parties. Until corporations are removed from the political process, Americans will unfortunately elect a new version of George W Bush.

    Tim M
    Portland, OR
    USA

  93. January 8, 2008 at 19:52

    Erin via email

    Let’s face it. The Democratic candidates are basically pursuing the same policies. However, I think there are a couple of things that Barack Obama brings to the table that other candidates cannot. First of all is a matter which the media has not addressed, perhaps to avoid seeming superficial. That is, an Obama White House would by its very existence go a long way in relieving the tensions created by America’s racist history. But moreover, I think Obama, through his youthful attitude and intelligence is capable of fostering the national sense of optimism and regeneration created by past leaders such as JFK and FDR.

    Erin
    Kent, Ohio
    USA

  94. January 8, 2008 at 19:53

    Kent via email

    Ros asked before the news break if it was possible at the Federal Level to reach across the aisle to make changes as Mike Huckabee in Arkansas did during his time as Governor. The answer is yes, it is possible as long as the president is willing to compromise. President Bush is well known to be stubborn and uncooperative with this congress. Thats why changes are needed.

    Kent
    Iowa(US)

  95. January 8, 2008 at 19:54

    Dear World have your say,
    I think that Obama will burn himself out. Hillary Clinton has to be the best choice for the USA.
    Linda in France (via email)

  96. January 8, 2008 at 19:55

    Ron from Oregon via email

    Maybe at some time the two party system was beneficial, but it has gotten to the point where it now does more harm than good.

    It seems that congress and the senate cannot get anything productive done because of the polarization.

    The biggest change I would like to see from ANY president is the uniting of the efforts of congress and the senate so that some of the USA’s problems can be resolved.

    Ron

  97. January 8, 2008 at 19:55

    Scott via email

    You just gave about 5 minutes to someone who sounded as if they were reading Hillary Clinton’s talking points but there’s a fundamental question I haven’t heard anyone address:

    She keeps talking about all the “change” that she’s accomplished over “35 years.” And yet, in Saturday night’s debate when SHE was giving examples of what SHE’s accomplished, SHE highlighted Healthcare for HER example of the change she accomplished during her White House years. That was her choice of what to highlight. Wasn’t that a failure?

    What has SHE (not Bill) actually accomplished? Seems
    as if the mainstream media has simply given her campaign a pass on this.

    Just wondering as I’m trying to make a reasoned decision as an Independent voter in California (which as I understand is now the new battleground).

  98. January 8, 2008 at 19:58

    John via email

    USA needs a young, energetic, brilliant president for the next 4 years. I can see that only in Barack Obama. The age of the old, technocrats and so-called experienced is over!

    USA needs a president that will prove to the world that America needs the world to live and the world need America to survive and I have heard that from only Obama

    John Awuah

  99. January 8, 2008 at 20:00

    Raymond via email

    I would love to support Barack Obama for his ambitions and that he is a reflection of myself a black man. Its about time we support our black man as they fail in society because of lack of support. But i am for Hilary, because i think she represents change, starting that she would be the first woman president in America’s history. But not only that, she has been champion change in the minority community for years, she has the experience to deal with domestic and international issues. We cant just go along with the winner here, we have to seperate the facts, the experience, the ability to do things, people who are known and have leadership ability. Barack Obama is a good man, very charasmatic and well liked, and I think all the people are rally around him for the right and wrong reasons, they want to be able to say they were apart of making history in America, to say thier vote got a black man elected, but we to thing about the job at hand, what happens when the excitement is over, is this person able to deliver. We have to be aware that Barack is being wind up by puppet masters who will dictate to him as soon as they get him where they want him. Hillary will not be a push over. She knows her stuff, she will not need to be reminded that she is in a position that she is not qualified for. Let’s sober up and do what’s best for America, a party is of excitement and fun, but lets sober up and get with the real stuff, lets go with experience, knowledge and know how and a person who will be able to know where to find the pen and paper when left alone in the Oval Office.

  100. January 8, 2008 at 20:01

    Adrienne via email

    Hi,
    The thing I don’t hear people talking about is that Obama is able to make me(others) believe/feel that we can be a nation of Americans again – not Democrats vs. Republicans, Red vs. Blue states, liberals vs. conservatives.
    Though I would love to see a woman in the White House and I agree with Hillary’s “actions speak louder than words” debate discussion points and her ideas, she is too much of a polarizing force/face in our country.
    Obama rarely talks in an “us vs. them” manner and in doing so is drawing new and more jaded voters to his platform.
    Thanks you,
    Adrienne

  101. January 8, 2008 at 20:02

    Tom via email

    I’m a economic conservative republican who would like to see US foreign policy be more collaborative and pragmatic with the rest of the world. I was very upset in March of 2003 when George W. Bush invaded Iraq because I felt the way he did it was the biggest foreign policy mistake in the history of the US. This leader needs to understand that we live in a world with other people and nations. A strong leader, if he/she is right, will use their leadership skills to build consensus.

    Secondly, we need to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions.

  102. January 8, 2008 at 20:02

    Sean via email

    It’s true that the word change is becoming rhetoric, but we do wish to set a new course for this country. The foreign policy of the Bush administration has been detrimental to the United States. The next president must make a move to reach out to our allies. Whether we’re talking about the environment or the war in Iraq, multilateral cooperation has to be absolutely essential. To this end, I have been more than impressed by Barak Obama’s success in reaching out to the American people. I believe he has the capacity to effect positive change in this world.

  103. January 8, 2008 at 20:03

    I’d like to see the US stop trying to dominate the world and go back to making and keeping treaties and laws to get along with the rest of the world peacefully.

    Tom in Bend, OR, via email

  104. January 8, 2008 at 20:03

    Maghboeba via email

    Hi,

    I am sorry to say, but even if Hilary Clinton is the one receiving the nomination from the Democratic party, I will not vote for her. I will abstain from voting, that is for sure. I refuse to have any part in having a Bush-Clinton dynasty continue. enough is enough. Something is terribly wrong with any system where the power is concentrated amongst just a few elitest.

    I am not sure if Obama can change things drastically in Washington, nonetheless, right now he has my vote. The way he speaks and thinks makes me feel hopeful – I do not know how that will translate into policy but we do need someone who is a consensus builder.

    Maghboeba in Cleveland, Ohio

  105. January 8, 2008 at 20:05

    Ros,

    The way Washington works and has been working for a long time needs to change.

    Clinton lived in the white house for 8 years and that doesn’t make her an agent of change.

    McCain is good guy but he has been a senator for a long time, and he may be too old to be president.

    My choice is Obama/Edwards when it is all said and done.

    Isaak via email

  106. January 8, 2008 at 20:05

    Matt via email

    Your Hillary supporter is neglecting to mention how her “experience” told her to vote for the War In Iraq. She also is somehow equating Bush with Obama, which is misguided and almost dishonest. Your McCain supporter has the disgusting idea that the U.S. has not long overstayed the disaster there. If he supports the war, he should be fighting it himself.

    Obama called the war for what it was before it even started, “a dumb war.” If that’s not good judgement, then I don’t know what is.

    Thanks,

    Matt
    U.S.A

  107. January 8, 2008 at 20:06

    Carl via email

    The change that is needed in the US is the restoration of our Constitution and the full functioning of our system of checks and balances. The Imperial Presidency that this administration has built must be carefully and full dismantled and power restored to Congress.

    The corruption that has been institutionalized by the likes of Halliburton and others must be removed from the functioning of our government.

    The power of the federal government has been perverted since the “Reagan revolution” of the 1980s to favor the interests of the Rich at the expense of the ordinary citizens. This is deeply Anti-American and must end.

    Our aggressive military adventurism around the world must be stopped. We must reassert the US as a member of the World Community, not its dictator.

    Warrantless domestic surveillance and abuse of the rights of citizens must stop. We must decisively move away from our slide toward a police state, run by fear, fixated on “security”.

    There is a great deal of change needed. My choice to lead this is John Edwards.

    Carl in Mill City, Oregon USA
    KOPB listener

  108. January 8, 2008 at 20:07

    Mark via email

    All this talk about hillary as an experienced agent of change makes me laugh. I think the past seven years has made us forget the truth about the clinton years. Bill Clinton was closer to a moderate republican than a democrat in terms of what he accomplshed. NAFTA? FCC deregulation?
    Not to mention Hillary’s total failure on health care.
    The Democrats that are supporting Hillary are responding to a false memory of the Clinton years
    and not her record. Her record is abysmal.

    Mark Birdsall
    Portland, Oregon

  109. January 8, 2008 at 20:08

    Margalo via email

    While presidential candidate Rep. Kucinich (D-Ohio) (who has qualified for matching federal funds) has been kept out of debates by the media (ABC on Sunday) or when on a debate asked 1 or 2 questions while others have been asked many, he is a genuine agent of change.

    He has the only bill already in Congress for public national health care which is single payer. His bill puts every American under Medicare, which now covers people over 65 and the disabled.

    He has a bill to create a cabinet level Department of Peace, which has both a domestic plan to teach nonviolent conflict resolution to children and gangs and to stop domestic violence and an international plan to work with other countries peacefully towards a nonviolent world.

    He has a bill to get us out of Iraq.

    He is very concerned about the flagrant flouting of our Constitution by Bush, Cheney and various Congressional bills. He has a bill to impeach Cheney first in committee, on which he has tried to get a vote on the floor of the House.

    His whole career has been about representing the people, not corporations, and that would be a really big change in US government, bigger than Ron Paul’s, who is for corporate power without regulations.

    Margalo in Oregon

  110. January 8, 2008 at 20:09

    An end to partisan politics. We cannot accomplish anything unless we work together in the end.

    Carole in Portland Oregon (via email)

  111. January 8, 2008 at 20:10

    One thing to change? Roll back Bush’s intrusive policies and bring back civil liberties!

    Michael in Los Angeles

  112. January 8, 2008 at 20:13

    Laurie via email

    Hello. I’m an independent voter, and I like John Edwards for President. To say you’d vote for Ms. Clinton because she’s a woman or Mr. Obama because he’s black is exactly the same as saying you’d vote for an individual just because they are a white man. They both have excellent qualities to recommend them without needing to mention those facts. I trust Mr. Edwards, and I also admire personal qualities of John McCain and Ron Paul, but I’m so upset with the entire Republican party that it’s hard to get past that. I’m not impressed with either Mr. Romney or Mr. Huckabee. (I think it’s funny that since Chuck Norris is a strong supporter they’re calling it the Chuckabee Campaign!)

    I want to mention that I realize what a luxury it is to be such a big country that we don’t hear from other countries who they want to ‘put in’ as our leader, although they have to hear that from us. It’s embarrassing to the normal people in America to hear such short-sighted support of the ‘democratic’ process. I hope other countries send observers to make sure we have a clean election. Laurie. (female: white: NPR member)

  113. January 8, 2008 at 20:13

    Hello, I’m from Germany
    I would like to see that the next US President very much cares about global warming and takes immediate action to cut emissions of greenhouse gases.

    Stephan Späth (via email)

  114. January 8, 2008 at 20:14

    Cindi via email

    I want to see respect become commonplace, something that has suffered for decades here. I want to be able to respect my leaders and I want them to respect me. I want my leaders to treat our allies respectfully and people around the world respectfully. I am tired of the contempt and arrogance we have seen in our leadership and believe that developing respectful relationships will go a long way to solving many of our problems.

    Respectfully yours,

    Cindi, Belchertown, Massachusetts.

  115. January 8, 2008 at 20:15

    I expect the new president to listen to the people and act accordingly. Obama seems appealing to the people in my view than Clinton. She’s been there for several years and could not offer the change that she is talking about.

    Theo in St. Paul, MN, via email

  116. January 8, 2008 at 20:15

    Sinow Beat via email

    As far as change what about the restoration of Habeus Corpus? The processing of prisoners kept in prisons all over the world without reason? The end of Extraordinary Rendition? The reduction of spying on the country’s own populace? Discouragement of moves like the national ID card and RFID chips in newer passports? These things would make the populace feel like the government is actually looking out for them, rather than just looking for them. And overall would be some steps that would help in bringing about an era of a peaceful international community and strong international relations.

    I’d support Obama among other reasons because of his lack of haste in pulling out of Iraq (which at this point would most likely further shake the region) and because I feel that Clinton is ‘establishment’ as someone said earlier, and I don’t feel she’d take steps to restore a solid and admirable country that would could be.

  117. 117 Mark
    January 8, 2008 at 20:25

    America already has changed. In response to the weaker US dollar and the rising price of crude oil, the US has diverted a small percentage of its grain production to ethanol which is being mixed with gasoline. As a result fuel prices haven’t risen all that much in the US in recent months when oil went from $65 to $95 a barrel but food prices around the world have skyrocketed. Domestic food prices by contrast are also stable. That’s just the beginning. America will divert more of its agricultural output to fuel raising prices still higher. There may be an economic slowdown or even a recession reducing imports from other countries hurting their economies and the huge cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be paid for by deflating the currency, that is by printing cheaper dollars (inflation) to pay for the relatively more expensive overseas debts already incurred. It happens EVERY time. Those who think the entire world won’t foot the bill for the war on terror are only kidding themselves.

  118. 118 Mark
    January 8, 2008 at 20:33

    Hello, I’m from Germany
    I would like to see that the next US President very much cares about global warming and takes immediate action to cut emissions of greenhouse gases.

    Stephan Späth (via email)

    One way to do that is prohibit importation of gas guzzling high CO2 emitting cars like Mercedes, BMW, and Porsche that the top EU offials drive as their personal vehicles. We could instead import low end Toyotas and Hondas…or…we could just buy those cars and other lower emission models built here in the US. I’m with you on that one Stephan. We do not need those inefficient high end imports on our roads.

  119. 119 George
    January 8, 2008 at 21:20

    Chernor-

    We are here now. The problem is taking steps from here forward. You cannot go back to 03.

    Lubna-

    The management of the entire war has been worse than a worst case scenario until recently.

    Thank God Gates and Petreus replaced Rumsfelt. Hallelujah!

    I started to list foreign fighters but like a tidy answer that is clear at a glance.

  120. 120 Linda
    January 9, 2008 at 01:56

    There will be no change in America until the people are allowed to choose their Leader.

    Iowa and New Hampshire are important to those 2 states and the Media – forcing the candidates to make them important and the circle begins.

    33 years of voting every election – Politics is so corrupt the good are chased away at the beginning – no more will I waste my time encouraging a corrupt system that [b]pretends[/b] to care what the people want.

  121. 121 viola anderson
    January 9, 2008 at 05:16

    Politicians saying they offer “change” is like the endless tv ads that claim their products are “new and improved.”

  122. 122 Alma Cristina
    January 9, 2008 at 05:40

    WHY SHOULD AMERICA CHANGE? Because if America doesn’t, it is doomed to chaos, anarchy or worse, and sooner than it’d seem.
    HOW SHOULD AMERICA CHANGE? America needs to change in radical ways and not only to secure its own survival and well being. America has created AND EXPORTED a whole way of life, a mindset and world-view that the planet can no longer support. It is destroying ALL of us. Our way of life, our mindset and world-view– these must be radically changed and FAST. The world has grown too small, its problems too overwhelming, too threatening, and time is running short. So the issue of change reaches NOW beyond America’s shores and beyond its political and economic interests. Here’s what I mean IN SPECIFICS:

    ILLEGAL LAWS and LEGALIZED UNLAWFULNESS:
    A deceitful, self-serving, forked-tongue government deceives citizens but ONLY initially, only for a while–we’re all ignorant, but people aren’t stupid! The damage done by such a government is pervasive throughout society and long lasting: People’s trust is undermined, Values are gutted, PRINCIPLE becomes a commodity up for sale, and the very underpinnings of civilization are gnawed through. Today, deceit and dishonesty at the service of power and wealth are the expected bedfellows of politics and business, top down and bottom up; cynicism, derision, frivolity grace public and most private interactions as well as the media; and FEAR runs the show. People no longer trust governments; governments no longer work for the well-being of the nation.
    So, what does America and the world need? Governmental transparency, brutal honesty and full accountability of public officials to the People under the Law; leaders with moral integrity committed to the health and well being of ALL peoples.

    ILLEGAL WARFARE, WMD’S, WEAPONS ARSENALS:
    Ending ALL WAR, ending the war in Iraq, ending the build up of America’s weapons arsenal these are now essential. Only when America does this, can America demand that others follow suit. Only then can the billions spent on weapons be spent to eliminate poverty and misery, to ensure social viability, healthcare, and improved education WORLD WIDE. This is crucial and essential to America’s health, to the health of the whole planet, and the survival of Law and Order globally.
    When/IF we put an end to global misery and poverty, when the unacceptable gaps that now exist between rich and poor are bridged, terrorism will have no fuel and terrorists no cause. Where there is no social abuse and the well being of people is actively pursued with honesty and bearing tangible fruit, hatred and violence find no soil on which to take root. A well-governed, wisely led America has the wealth, the know-how, the means and the technology to achieve this and far more than this. What is now needed are leadership and commitment.

    LEADERSHIP–GENUINE, HONEST, COMMITTED:
    Ameriica, and hence the world, have been literally robbed of the leadership and statesmanship, of the position of trust we once had. Now leadership and trust are essential to effectively address and solve the multi-faceted crisis WE are all facing. The entrenched dishonesty and the lust for wealth and power that inform a self-seeking government and the corporate establishment that profits from it are luxuries neither America nor the world can afford any longer. Radical change in these sectors more than matters, it is pivotal to the continued existence of civilization.

    EXCESS:
    EXCESS in all sectors–EXCESS of population, of production and consumption, of poverty and misery, of corruption and abuse of power; EXCESS OF wealth and self-indulgence, of social neglect and irresponsibility, of violence and legalized abuse–these are destroying Earth and destroying civilization. They must be curbed, managed, eliminated. The global ecological crisis IS real. The real culprit, however, is EXCESS, EXCESS in all sectors, which must be ended and fast IF civilization as a whole is not to sink into chaos, anarchy and the horrors of barbarism. Such have and are still happening elsewhere (think of Africa, where they have grown and worsen in the last 100 years), and America also will soon arrive where others are unless…

    THE PRESIDENT AND A CHANGE IN PARADIGM:
    What is wanted and urgently needed is a change in paradigm informed and fueled by a higher and tougher world view than is now ours. For this to happen, genuine leadership and great discipline will be essential …
    As President, America needs a person NOT beholden to the corporate cartel; not bound by promises owed and monies received. America needs a person of high integrity and higher vision, a person of great commitment to the well being of ALL and greater love of country, a person empowered by moral courage to put America back on track. And America needs Legislative and Judicial bodies themselves NOT beholden to the political apparatus or bound by promises made and monies received. America needs elected officials who will support and counsel the President, not The Party, and hold themselves and all officials accountable to The People under LAW. America needs a government capable of perceiving and committed to achieving the welfare and well being of ALL peoples as much as its own.
    America must return to the Principles, Values and Dictates of its Constitution, of its origins and its Bill of Rights–so thoroughly violated and undermined in recent years.
    America must become once again worthy of the respect and trust of the global community and work to regain its lost leadership among nations. For the well being and even survival of the WHOLE are at risk.

    THE STAKES WE FACE:
    Unless we humans can ensure the well being of the whole as well as that of its parts–of all Peoples, of all Nations, of all ecosystems– our global ecosystem will not support any of us much longer. The Earth and its systems are not in danger, WE ARE. This boat we’re all on is now too small, too crowded, and the waters holding us afloat too rough… We cannot afford the luxury of further shenanigans…

    Alma Cristina
    California, USA

  123. 123 Rian
    January 9, 2008 at 12:19

    I like Bush. If you attack my country i would attack you back. an eye for an eye. America change?? yeah sure, lets just pull all the troops out of Iraq and let it sort itself out? no this is not feasible. The war is here and now. The British are leaving the country way to early. Stay the course. If you fail in Iraq, America fails credibility. It does not matter what reasons the US went into Iraq in the first place, they removed the worst dictator in modern times. Stay the course. CHANGE CHANGE CHANGE. Change the government, but do not change the course in Iraq, it will have significant drawbacks, if America is not successful.

  124. 124 Jamila Thomas
    January 9, 2008 at 14:42

    Michele from San Francisco,

    I totally agree with you. I was hoping the BBC would give both Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul equal air time as it does other candidates. Needless to say, I am disappointed.

  125. 125 Rob
    January 9, 2008 at 16:37

    I would like the next US president to:

    realize that the United States and the European Union are going to need to work together in order to solve the worlds problems from terrorism to global warming

    Rob in Dublin, Ireland

  126. 126 Bud Carlson
    January 9, 2008 at 16:38

    Provide the leadership to transform America as a “Force for Good”, not just a military or economic force, but truly a force for good.

    Bud Carlson, Freeport, ME, USA

  127. 127 Art Persyko
    January 9, 2008 at 16:38

    Restore respect for the US Constitution and the US Bill of Rights, and ensure that our great tradition of civil liberties is not sacrificed for a “War on Terror” which allows the current administration to manipulate fear to undermines our democracy. -Art in San Francisco

    Art Persyko

  128. 128 Hazem Behiry
    January 9, 2008 at 16:39

    I would like for a new American president to change the foreign policy of the U.S.

    to leave the world alone & don’t interfere in other countries business.

    HAZEM BEHIRY
    Orlando, Florida, USA

  129. 129 Richard Beers
    January 9, 2008 at 16:39

    Revisit globalization by increasing import tariffs and returning jobs to america.

  130. 130 Tegan Hoovey
    January 9, 2008 at 16:41

    The main thing that the next US president should change (other than the obvious getting out of Iraq and making reparations) is becoming A leader (not THE leader) in the world “team”
    T.

    Marin County, CA USA

  131. 131 Marta Knight
    January 9, 2008 at 16:41

    Single most important issue:

    Environment and development of alternative energy sources, which means divorcing yourself from established corporate powers.

    Second most important issue:

    Re-engage with the international community in global conflict resolution

    Who do I think can do this?….

    Dennis Kucinich but no one’s talking about him.
    After him probably Edwards.

    Marta Knight
    Davis, CA

  132. 132 Sinow Beat
    January 9, 2008 at 16:42

    As far as change what about the restoration of Habeus Corpus? The processing of prisoners kept in prisons all over the world without reason? The end of Extraordinary Rendition? The reduction of spying on the country’s own populace? Discouragement of moves like the national ID card and RFID chips in newer passports? These things would make the populace feel like the government is actually looking out for them, rather than just looking for them. And overall would be some steps that would help in bringing about an era of a peaceful international community and strong international relations.

    I’d support Obama among other reasons because of his lack of haste in pulling out of Iraq (which at this point would most likely further shake the region) and because I feel that Clinton is ‘establishment’ as someone said earlier, and I don’t feel she’d take steps to restore a solid and admirable country that would could be.

  133. 133 Nial Opiew
    January 9, 2008 at 16:42

    changes the change I like to see is for all the candidates to live with the realty of Iraq, we(Americans) are going to be there any talks about withdrawing US troop in Iraq is just nonesense…We have to stay the course and win the war before we could talk about bringing home our troops.

    Nial Opiew USA

  134. 134 Daniel Mathews
    January 9, 2008 at 16:43

    Mr. President,
    It’s energy, stupid! Move to reduce energy consumption A LOT, reduce fossil fuels especially, and massively research alternative energy technologies, lots of them, and energy conserving technologies.

    Daniel Mathews
    Portland OR, USA

  135. 135 Daniel
    January 9, 2008 at 16:44

    I believe that Obama and his family with bring the importance of the family back to this country.

    Daniel

    San Francisco CA

  136. 136 Stephanie Houser
    January 9, 2008 at 16:45

    I would love to see the next president remove corporations’ legal personhood so the actual decision-makers become responsible for their environmental destruction & human rights violations. But that’s not going to happen because most members of the government are in bed with corporations, and this whole idea of choosing a president that will make a difference is a delusion – the two parties are so similar in their fundamental ideas.

    Stephanie Houser in Portland Oregon, United States

  137. 137 Steve
    January 9, 2008 at 16:45

    My list of changes – We have too many issues to limit it to one:
    Healthcare – we need a single payer plan to be competitive globally
    Environment and Global Climate change – to work with the rest of the globe
    In general, stop the fear mongering within the US. The fear of others – immigrants, gays, other groups internal or external, is dividing our country

    Steve

    Portland, Oregon

  138. 138 Andrea
    January 9, 2008 at 16:46

    I want someone who will get rid of the stranglehold corporations have on America – I believe that action would help us address the issues of the environment, education, and mercantile aggression, health insurance, and many other social ills here.

    Thanks,
    Andrea – out of Portland, OR

  139. 139 Susanne
    January 9, 2008 at 16:47

    The one change I dream of is an American foreign policy driven by true democratic intent, supporting human rights, human dignity and self determination for all peoples of the world. Not driven by self interest, economic greed coupled with international ignorance.

  140. 140 James Decker
    January 9, 2008 at 17:00

    All other issues suffer from current abuses of legislative lobbies. A truly viable remedy already has been proposed, unlimited but anonymous contributions. The undue influence of monied special interests through lobbies is a primary cause of political apathy among the middle class, not to mention naked corruption among corporations and legislators. The world must be saved from unchecked power and political influence, it can only happen with presidential clarity.

    James Decker
    San Francisco, CA

  141. 141 Jill
    January 9, 2008 at 17:01

    I feel that we need to keep ourselves home and take care of our own mess in our own yard. I would like to see a big environmental movement to help us get off of oil and become a greener America. I have never seen or heard of so many depressed young people that we have here now. They need to see some hope in America’s future.

    If you could set the candidates side buy side not see the race or sex of the candidates I think it would be clear that Hilliary and McCain are the most qualified.

    Jill

  142. 142 Art Persyko
    January 9, 2008 at 17:01

    Restore respect for the US Constitution and the US Bill of Rights, and ensure that our great tradition of civil liberties is not sacrificed for a “War on Terror” which allows the current administration to manipulate fear to undermine our democracy. -Art in San Francisco

    Art Persyko

  143. 143 Andrew
    January 9, 2008 at 17:02

    America is in pretty good shape, but there is always room for improvement. As far as what a new administration can do immediately, I would like to see a decrease in the polarizing “Us vs. them” mentality that has dominated the current administration’s rhetoric since its inception. I think this rhetoric has done much to harm America’s global interest and it needs to stop now.

    Andrew
    Arcola, Illinois, USA

  144. 144 Rusty
    January 9, 2008 at 17:02

    Only ONE wish from the next US President?

    Genuine humility and respect for the rest of the world, plus commitment and ability to appreciate and learn from experience and perspective of allies and adversaries, resulting in adoption of global, rejection of unilateral foreign policy and approaches, and elimination of all efforts to manipulate events for our own (perceived) narrow benefit.

    Rusty
    Truckee, CA, USA

  145. 145 Eileen
    January 9, 2008 at 17:03

    Hi, This is Eileen (British) living in Virginia with an interest in the election process.

    I hardly ever meet anyone who supports Bush. It cannot be that I only meet Democrats, so a lot of Republicans have to be discontented too. There is a feeling that politics have become bipolarised in America, and that every issue is approached in a partisan way. There is a yearning for more cooperation and consensus. The current administration is widely perceived to have made America internationally unpopular. Although there is supportive sentiment for the armed forces, there’s a tremendous yearning to end the war that should not have been started.

    Millions of Americans lack basic health care and live in peril if they develop chronic diseases, because health care is unaffordable. A visit to an emergency room can leave you with thousands of dollars to pay, which may take a decade or more to pay off. Many people with toothache cannot afford to have a tooth extracted.

    Rash lending programmes have directly promoted the current housing meltdown and credit crisis, which will have worldwide repercussions. One hundred per cent loans were given out without control to people whose prospect of repaying loans was unrealistic. Presumably lenders thought they could benefit from reposessions, but debt is so widespread it is threatening to tip America into recession.

    Lack of political will is what stands between these problems and the solutions. Less bellicose foreign policy, social concern at home and responsible monetary policies would go along way to effect the changes that Americans yearn for.

    Eileen in Virginia.

  146. 146 Sonya
    January 9, 2008 at 17:04

    i would like to take big money out of the picture….restoring govt to for and by the people; curtail lobbyists access to legislators….largely by financing campaigns publicly

    we own the airwaves after all that collect billions from candidates and big money

    sonya in portland

  147. 147 Michael
    January 9, 2008 at 17:04

    Let’s start with abolishing the electoral college,
    Then out of IRAQ, and end illegal immigration.

    Michael Holmes, RPS
    Los Angeles, USA

  148. 148 Phil Toms
    January 9, 2008 at 17:06

    Clearly there will be no peace in Palestine until Israel stops encroaching on Palestinian territory or all the Palestinians have been killed or their spirit broken.
    The fact that the BBC goes along with this absurd corrupt process without pointing out this obvious truth in no uncertain terms is testament to your deeply pro Israel bias.
    The Palestinians have had 80% of their land stolen and it is blindingly obvious that this is the beginning middle and end of the conflict there.
    Furthermore the white settlers who Israel pays to move from Russia on to what is indisputably Palestinian land are probably not actually semitic at all (unlike the Palestinians) but are much more likely from Khazaria, a word which is taboo to western media.
    The fact that you turn a blind eye to this travesty proves your hypocracy.
    Lets hear you talk your way out of that. Of course you cannot!
    <>

  149. 149 Nat King
    January 9, 2008 at 17:11

    Dear Have Your Say,

    It’s my view that the expressed rigging of Kenya marks the death of the belief indemocracy as a means of bringing about peaceful change. The fact that the US and the UK couldn’t condemn the Mr Kibaki, probably because of his role in the war on terror, will embolden other African sitting presidents to rig election and allow the passage of time to give them legitimacy. And one wonders whether the next Kenyan elctions woold not tbe a very violent affair.Importantly, it seems that a contagion has been let loose. It unchallengingly started in Nigeria; one wonders where next will catch the bug.

    Nat King, Germany

  150. 150 Shoshana Alexander
    January 9, 2008 at 17:13

    that I would like to see changed is:

    the end of our empirical foreign policy that leads to endless war and exploitation

    Shoshana Alexander
    Ashland, Oregon

    Thanks for your great program

  151. 151 Angela
    January 9, 2008 at 17:14

    It is essential that the next U.S. president rid our country from the grip of “health insurance companies” who operate for profit. People’s lives and well-being should not be determined by the bottom line. Edwards is the only major candidate who is committed to working towards the goal of achieving health care for all. Please read the Michael Moore web site for specifics.
    Thanks,
    Angela
    in Eugene, Oregon

  152. 152 Dennis Young, Jr
    January 9, 2008 at 17:16

    HOW DO YOU WANT AMERICA TO CHANGE?
    time for george w. bush and his cronies
    to be immediately impeached and charged
    with all crimes of his time in office…..

    then we correct any and repair the damage
    that he caused to the united states
    in the international community!

    WELCOME CHLOE, WE WILL ALL BE
    NICE TO YOU!!!!!!

    Dennis


    January is here!!!!
    =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
    Mr. Dennis E. Young, Jr.
    Madrid, New York (U.S.A.)

  153. 153 Mike
    January 9, 2008 at 17:19

    Barak Obama represents a different kind of politician, coming across like a genuine human being instead of a game show host or snake-oil salesman. His votes against the immoral war in Iraq confirm that he is in tune with the rest of the world. I only wish he had the environmental awareness of an Al Gore, because we are in the 11th hour of an environmental crisis.
    Mike in Oregon USA

  154. 154 Linda
    January 9, 2008 at 17:20

    I have voted in every election since I was allowed at age 21. Yes, I helped to see that 18 year olds got the vote. No longer is it an honor to stand in line to fill out our ballots – now we have to remember if we mailed it in or not, Or did a hacker get to those automated machines??

    This year will be the first time I give up – voting in the US is a farce, No longer can we feel our vote matters. The media focuses on those candidates spending the most money on media. To hear them talk once Iowa and New Hampshire is done the other 48 states might as well pack it up. Our choices denied us – we are brow-beaten into believing the hype there are only 2 viable options.

    Let’s face it – popular vote doesn’t win elections. This is how politics has changed since I began voting in the 70’s:

    Media has made an issue of Iowa and New Hampshire in their own feeding frenzy. The popular vote no longer matters – it’s the Electoral Collage that chooses our next President. Ergo – if you’re not in those 2 states and enamoured of the media’s choice – why bother voting.

    Change in America?? Not until we completely revamp our voting system so it’s 1 person – 1 vote, the people choose the President – and the issues of government are what count – not what church you belong to.

    Thank you Ros, for allowing me to vent some of my frustration. What’s really scary is my attitude is why you see fewer and fewer Americans voting each year. :(

    Linda
    Burns,Or

  155. 155 Vivian Corres
    January 9, 2008 at 17:22

    Howard Dean was penalized for his “scream”.
    Hillary Clinton was rewarded for her “tear”.
    Could not this be “gender profiling”?

    Vivian Corres
    Milwaukee, WI USA

  156. 156 George
    January 9, 2008 at 17:24

    The biggest, most immediate change needed is to

    STOP DIEBOLD ELECTION FRAUD.

  157. 157 bjay
    January 9, 2008 at 19:14

    How should America change?
    Ye! You should ask this question
    when the baby-bloomers moved over (in the senate, ect.).
    Then might be become an antiquated concept.
    These phenomenom typical for the western civilizasion.
    Sorry to say I might add.

    bjay connotation with accent

  158. 158 Rian
    January 10, 2008 at 07:40

    The next president must stay the course in Iraq. Do not draw back. It extremists have made Iraq their home-battle ground. Stay the course. do not end the war simply, because you want CHANGE. Leaving too early will have significant drawbacks.

  159. 159 Togo
    January 10, 2008 at 12:59

    Ros and Team,
    The CHANGE Americans need is A NEW WORLD ORDER IN WHICH AMERICA KNOWS THAT IT HAS NO CENTRAL AUTHORITY ON THE REST OF THE WORLD.OTHER POWERS ARE EMERGING {ECONOMICALLY AND MILITARILY}SO WE HAD BETTER COME TO TERMS WITH THEIR EMERGENCE BEFORE A CLASH TAKES PLACE DUE TO VESTED AMERICAN INTERESTS.

    Togo Kasoro
    KAMPALA-UGANDA

  160. 160 John P.
    January 10, 2008 at 13:29

    Change? Locally in Northern California we have all but given up on the Federal Government doing anything right and we are changing ourselves.

    We’re doing our best to get universal health care (in California). Solar panels are popping up all over town; even the county jail has a few acres of solar panels as well as the city’s sewage works. More people are switching to bicycling instead of driving and new bikes are being made that can carry the groceries easily. And houses are being refit to be more energy efficient.

    The government needs to get it’s nose out of the rest of the world, sorry Iraq, and start taking care of business at home. The homeless in the US are a national embarrassment. America’s business practices have relied to much on outright fraud for too long and need to be reformed. Climate change needs to become a major priority before the storms scrape us clean off the ground.

    But other than our lousy health care, businesses, foreign policy, environmental policy, social welfare and hostile weather we’re doing great.

    Does anybody want 42 million used SUV’s? They make great greenhouses.

  161. January 13, 2008 at 17:52

    Pls make some correction in your questuion.
    In fact,america need no change it is bringing fast changes in the world some of acceptable and some of unacceptable.

    Vide middle east political situation efforts are being made to longstanding compromise putting Hummas aside

    Former rulling party in Iraq are allowed to worke under the leadrship present authority.No doubt it is good change.

    On the name of weapon of mass destruction a no change is expected in the persian region.

    Some part of the world has been changed and remains awaiting forthcoming changes.

  162. 162 Hiam via email
    January 14, 2008 at 20:05

    No, America is not ready to elect a black man, but at the same time Obama will be rejected not because of his color but because of his policies, beliefs and attitude. He is just a phony liberal.
    change is a hollow word, that does not mean anything, unless you mean to change the president. Obama wants to change his job, Clinton loves to change her husband.

    No democrat will win in 2008.
    Hiam

  163. 163 George
    January 15, 2008 at 04:03

    Drop the rhetoric.

    If you look out your window at America today-

    Is Rome burning?


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