Update October 27, 1995

Opinions and suggestions for Mr. Clinton ...

by Richard Petersen

Some people are still supportive of President Clinton, some have become disappointed in his leadership while others never liked him in the first place. My sense is that President Clinton has missed many opportunities to show leadership and that he has not done very well toward sticking to what he promised during his campaign. This has contributed to a general sense of cynicism about politicians and the government in general. He campaigned on populist platforms but when it came right down to it, he seems more interested in satisfying special interest groups. My guess is that President Clinton (like many Presidents before him) has isolated himself in the White House and listens mostly to what his staff tell him is going on.

What can he do? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Do a better job of explaining to the American people what you have done. What have you done to reduce and improve government? Explain from the heart - your strong suit. Write some of your own speeches. Your Accomplishments of the Clinton Administration is a good start - though all the links did not work when I tried it.

  2. If might be useful for you, Mr. Clinton to take some time alone - away from everyone - your advisers, Hillary, everyone. Figure out what is really important to you. Forget about reacting to the Republican agenda. This only reinforces your image of weakness. You need to create a vision. Not just read polls to see what voters tell pollsters. Talk to people about your vision, refine it and then communicate it to the people of America. Read Thich Nhat Hanh, Robert Green Ingersoll and Swedenborg.

  3. Make peace with Cuba. This one has fallen in your lap. Much like Nixon got credit for softening relations with China you have the opportunity to be known as the President who made peace with Cuba. Castro wants it. You can take credit for it. Still a good idea

  4. If you decide to do anything more with Medical care, do it carefully. Perhaps a study of what works in other countries and coming up with a plan which fits America would be helpful. You are bound to get resistance from the American medical establishment who is used to high salaries, getting paid for unnecessary procedures and hospitals, insurance and drug companies who will not willingly give up the benefits they derive from the current system. Make the plan understandable. A major problem with your last plan was that no one could understand it. Consider a single payer approach.

  5. Get the government to respect the rights of citizens. Stop the abuse of citizens rights in the name of the "War on Drugs". Perhaps a government wide training program to help government employees understand that their job is to serve the citizens who's taxes pay their paychecks. Ask that government employees read and respect the 5th amendment to the constitution.

  6. Be clear and strong in your support of the rights of citizens to do things which do not hurt others. Clearly support the rights of gays to be in the military or any other job in America. Support the principles of freedom. Read Benjamin Franklin. Remember that many of the principles of the United States were formulated as a result of experiencing oppression. Reformulate the government so that citizens feel it is helpful and not repressive. Some research about how people feel about the government high help. You might want to look at the First Amendment Cyber-Tribune.

  7. Confront the issue of crime in America. Realize that building more jails and enacting stricter gun control laws is not the solution. The United States has more prisoners per capita than any other major country. Face it, there are already too many people in jail in America. Drugs are a big part of this. You need to confront squarely, that as with prohibition, adding more police is not the answer. Take the suggestion of those who came up with the Resolution For A Federal Commission On Drug Policy. and be willing to study the issues and possible solutions.

  8. Stop lecturing other countries about aggression and punishment. If you talk about Chinese prison labor then be willing to look at California prison labor. Remember Vietnam. Spend your time getting your own government in order and examine American imperialistic practices overseas. People all over the world will respect you more for it.

  9. Be willing to use the help of former President Carter . His success as a negotiator is positive for both you and your party. If people in your administration (such as Warren Christopher) get their egos hurt, so be it. The goal is to find solutions which work - not massage the egos of insecure people.

  10. Actively try to surround yourself with intelligent and wise people. Al Gore is a good example. Find more.

  11. Take a close look at money and the banking system in America. Study alternatives which would put more money directly into the hands of working people and not just be a source of funds for speculators.

  12. Learn to be a strong and clear leader. Look into the mirror and realize that it was you who was elected President. Become comfortable with your strength - Americans will respect you more for it.

  13. One new one. Come out clearly against welfare for corporations. This will help to position you as different from the Republicans. Is there a need to give television stations $40 billion dollars of "free" new frequencies they can sell as they wish? Are 20 new B-2 bombers needed at a cost of $44 billion dollars. And "starwars" - who is the "enemy" this is needed for? These issues will help to define you as not only willing to go along with cuts for the poor. You could take the lead here and gain some perception of strength.

    I hope this is helpful.

    The "Unofficial" Bill Clinton | Add/View Comments