In our upcoming elections, these are three broad commitments
that I would like all candidates to make.
 Let's talk about real issues: restoring a politics of
Politics within our present context has been debased. Real
policy alternatives are often not discussed or debated. It
sometimes seems that "image" is almost everything. Candidates
need to be part of a process of rebuilding politics in the United
States, generating spirited debate over the policy choices we face
on a range of critical issues and building public support for
 We're all in this boat together: rebuilding a sense of
"shared public values"
I believe our nation is more polarized that at any time since the
war in Viet Nam. The words and actions of candidates can further
this polarization or counteract it by emphasizing the values we
have in common rather than what divides us.
 Leave a legacy for our grandchildren: accepting
responsibility for the future impact of today's policy
Candidates need to address how the policies they advocate on
taxation, government spending, environmental policy, education,
arms control and other issues will contribute to the health and
well-being of future generations, not only in the United States but
around the world. Short-term gains for some can sometimes
have negative long-term consequences for many.
 There are several more specific concerns that I hope
candidates would address:
 Public education in this nation is losing
ground in the great majority of our communities from the elementary
to the university level. What new, innovative ways do
candidates see to fund public education and give critical federal
support for the states' role in education?
 Health care should be a basic human right
and available to all. How do the candidates envision a health
care system that operates on the basis of this right?
 How do candidates propose to better protect our air
and water, save natural habitats, reduce our consumption
of fossil fuels, and develop alternative sources of energy?
 As the number of people living in poverty
has grown in this nation and globally in recent years, the assets
of the wealthy have expanded greatly. This is a moral
failing, a waste of our human resources and a threat to
democracy. What economic reforms, domestically and
internationally, will candidates advocate to begin to redress this
 Global cooperation is needed in order to
address the issues of poverty, disease (including AIDS), and
environmental degradation as well as multiple other threats to
security - terrorism, the ongoing nuclear danger, and the reality
of regional and intra-national conflicts. Do candidates
recognize the degree to which our own nation's future is
interdependent with the future of others on this planet? What
steps would they propose to enhance global cooperation to improve
the health, security and overall well being of this planet and its