I know that my New Year’s message was a bit of a downer. And in the last week, the future of a calm America did not increase. We are in a state of derision that we haven’t seen since the Vietnam era. So what can any individual do about it?

First of all, internationally, there isn’t a thing. We must trust our leaders to act and react sensibly to those outside forces. But that doesn’t mean we cannot think. It also means that we have a chance in an election to ask that our leadership change, if not in name, at least in behavior. The impeachment is a waste of time. The jurors are meeting with the defendant, something that would never be allowed in a real criminal case. Mitch McConnell insists he will derail this attempt — facts be d—, full speed ahead, Republicans.

We see two Republican senators beginning to question their leader. But there needs to be at least four to make a difference. So, I am going to ignore that event and ask what this man in power should really do now. The assassination of the Iranian is over. Whether right or wrong, a bad man is dead, and repercussions will follow. Too many of these people do not think like us. Killing women, children and innocent people is not a consideration for them. They are terrorists. How we deal with these people and coming consequences must be dealt with by our leaders.

That leaves us non-politicians to think ahead about other things, things we can ask our leaders to consider in the not-to-distant future. I have made a list of areas that I believe we should all work on.

1. Get our own politics out of our opinions in apolitical areas such as international relations, climate control, fracking and immigration. Maybe fracking and increasing our own oil production will get us out of the Middle East. Why do we really need to be involved in Saudi Arabia, Iraq or even Iran for that matter? It is an economic reality that if we decrease our purchase of foreign oil, those countries will suffer, as will Vladimir Putin and Russia, as he is totally dependent on his sales of oil.

2. Try to reduce our military spending as a way of reducing our horrendous national debt. Decide that we do not need to “rule the world” even though we have chosen this role since the end of World War II. Do we need to any longer curb the spread of communism as we believed that we had to in the 1950s? Do we have to engage in military operations in Syria where we actually have been supporting the rebels against the man who is the legitimate head of their government?

3. Work on a systematic way of making immigration fair. This could be massive as Mexico and those countries south of us are having some terrible times and want a peaceful country with employment and less crime. How can we control the inflow in a fair way, and how can we be fair to those “illegals” who have been here for decades, have families born here and have been a productive part of our workforce for those years?

4. Restore relations with those countries who were our allies. Don’t play with the likes of Kim Jong-un and Putin. Accept them for what they are. Work with countries like England, France, Germany and others who are totally turned off to us right now for the way our leaders have been treating our international relations and prior agreements, be it NATO or climate issues.

5. Then, work on keeping a middle class. The super-rich do not need all that extra money over a few hundred million. The real stars are the Bill Gates people who give it back. Do not tax the middle class the same as the rich. Find a way we can all afford health care, not a Canadian system where you often cannot get treatment as quickly as needed, but a way that we can afford. Find a system that fairly compensates our medical professionals, makes funds available for research, but still comes to us affordably.

6. Finally, return our nation to a balance of power democracy, without the dictatorial ways of our present leader. There are three branches for a reason. Twittering is often an unedited stream of consciousness. Intelligent people used to think before they spoke. Our supreme leader should consider doing the same. Most leaders have speech writers to make sure that what they say and how it comes out is correct and not foolish. Demeaning the other branches of government is not helpful. People disagree all the time. That does not mean that the other person is totally wrong and an idiot. Some of the greatest decisions have been made with a meeting of minds from different positions. Think about the diverse opinions of the 13 colonies trying to forge a Constitution. Can our leaders find a way to conjoin those ideas without hatred and demeaning exchanges?

There is one area, however, that we can accomplish by ourselves and perhaps give an example to our political leaders. And that is civility. Quit the rhetoric that demeans opponents, be they political, business or fellow citizens. Who won’t like a candidate who says X is really qualified, but here is how I think I could do a better job as your representative? Novel, right?

My hope for the next few years is contained above.

Let’s restore the honor to the role of the president. Let’s act as world leaders as long as we have a position on that stage. Let’s make decisions based on what is right, not necessarily what is best for getting re-elected. Let’s spend money on making the infrastructure of America great again, not necessarily border walls or foreign aid to counties who contribute little to us and probably hate us. Let us think about all of us Americans.

Dennis Marek can be reached at dmarek@daily-journal.com.

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