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When/If Joe wins . . . the major Top Four


Is it really possible to write this, list what America needs most, doing this on a Tuesday, this Tuesday, one of the most important Tuesdays of the rest of our lives
I assume (but you know how off-kilter assuming can be) that Joe Biden will be our next president. I can only hope so and here state the major priorities for the new administration, short- and long-term.
Following are the top four:
No. 1 . . . wear a mask — or else! A federal law requiring mask-wearing is undoubtedly not the answer. It would draw lengthy legal fights and, even if approved, would be difficult to enforce.
A better approach: to work with the states to jointly develop a mask-wearing policy by businesses, small to large — that if you walk into a store with expectation of a purchase, you must wear a mask. No mask, no purchase, a simple extension of “no shirt, no shoes, no service” policy.
It should include penalties for businesses that fail to set this requirement, but also broad police protections for those that do comply when, inevitably, some customers refuse and become combative.
To work, this should be supported by a major marketing effort, a campaign that links mask-wearing to (first) patriotism and to (second) keeping safe your friends, family and every stranger you meet, further bolstered by a media blitz making it clear that failing to wear a mask is not just selfish but distinctly un-American.
No. 2 . . . enhanced firearms regulation. While the virus is a scourge, it will eventually go away, be controlled and conquered. But that’s not the case with America’s gun death pandemic. Every day in this country, more than a hundred people are shot and killed and without an array of new, common sense regulations controlling the acquisition of guns it will continue, on and on, day after day, year after year.
This will be a long haul, probably years to accomplish. And again it will require not just new laws but a sophisticated marketing effort – and, as a basis, a valid accounting of deaths by firearms.
Thus, Biden’s first action in this category should be reinstatement of the Center for Disease Control’s establishment of a firearms database, serving to track gun deaths as a major public health concern and thus clearly identifying the problem – the only basis for sensible solutions.
No. 3 . . . infrastructure repair of roads, bridges, a whole bunch of stuff. America has for years been in need of a major overhaul of its assets in steel, concrete and asphalt. Every politician has known this, Trump knows this. But he very openly refused to provide the dollars for this, a default reaction to legal suits filed by the Democrats to seek his financial info.
The message of this: he wasn’t going to do anything that looked at all bipartisan –if it wasn’t good for him, even if it was good for the country. Refuting his own claims of wanting to make American great again, what prevailed was his own childish narcissism.
For Biden, major dollars to repair and build this country’s infrastructure should fall in the “no brainer” category. Broad infrastructure repair would provide jobs, those jobs in turn supporting sales and a path to GNP rebound.
No. 4 . . . slowing global warming. This of course is the longest, most difficult job of all given that we may already be too late, too far past the tipping point. One can only hope that America would lead a global effort – an effort bigger than getting to the moon, or to mars, bigger than “solving” homelessness or hunger, bigger than the worldwide removal of nuclear warheads.
The best Biden is likely to achieve is broad revival of the hundreds of environmental regulations that Trump wiped away, thus enabling the continued pollution of air and water. Perhaps the best Biden can do is to cobble together a holding action and set the stage for an intensive “green” revolution that will lead all nations in the fight versus global warming.
At minimum, this would provide a foundation for future presidents to expand on, to save the lives of millions – millions of our grandchildren, multi-millions of our great grandchildren.
So, Joe . . . those are my Big Four. But if and when this op-ed appears in an issue of the paper and Trump has won reelection — God help us all!

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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