OPEN LETTER TO THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

By Amanda Zheranova

Updated 07:43 AM CT, Monday March 23, 2015

Joe

Editor’s Note: Amanda is a Grade 12 high school student from Houston, Texas.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(EP) — Hello, Mr. or Madam President-Elect, my name is Amanda, a 17-year old high school kid from Houston, Texas. As a citizen interested in public policies and how they affect the lives of the common man, there are certain things that I will need you to do for us before your first 100-days in office runs through.

I do not know whether you will be a Democrat or a Republican. I do not really care. I only want the best man or woman for our country. And since the American people have chosen you, I accept that you are the best we have to lead our nation for the next four year.

If you are a Republican, please do not repeal Obamacare. Since it was passed into law and became operational, my mother, who is a single parent has been able to afford health insurance for our household. I am the oldest in a family of four including my mom. As we are all under the age 26, my brothers and I are covered under our mom’s insurance. And that is a good thing. Of course I watch television and I listen to political debates. From my analysis, there are some good prescriptions in the law and there are also some prescription in it that are not well thought-out. Rather than repeal the law, please work with Congress to review some of those aspects of the law that adversely affects small businesses and the little man and then pass a compromise appendage healthcare law to complement the already good things in Obamacare. If you repeal the law and we return to the status quo before the law was passed, we will lose our health insurance and you would lose your legitimacy as the president of all Americans.

If you are a Democrat, please do something about welfare. It is a good thing that we have programs such as food stamps to help people who are going through some hard times in their life until they find their feet. But what is not fair to taxpayers and hardworking people like my mom is when other adults make a career of living off of food stamps and refuse to better themselves. I will want you to reform the food stamp program and put a cap on the number of months a person can be on the program. It is also necessary to require people who are on the program to do some community service work at least once every week for the duration of time they are receiving the benefits. And finally on this issue, I will want you to make it difficult for someone who have already received the benefit to be able to receive it again without a proof to show that she had made an attempt to get a job, go to school, or improve her life in one way or the other. When people have a sense that government will always hand out benefits to them to subsidize the irresponsible lifestyle they choose to live, the incentive to work to supplement the life they are living zeroes out.

If you are a Republican, it is likely that you are a man. A white man. And being a man, I know you are a father. As a father, you are enthused at the idea that your son will one day grow up to walk on your footsteps and hopefully succeed where you have failed in life. Through your guidance, of course. That feeling is not native to you or white men alone. That is every father’s desire including African-American fathers. So I implore you that you work with Congress to pass a law to outlaw the killings of African-American men and teenagers all over the country by police officers. To us whites, they are just another data. But a time will come when it will blow up on the face of this country and undermine our greatness if nothing drastic is done about it. Segregation was outlawed. It was done while a white man was in the White House. Civil Rights Act was passed into law. A son of the south for that matter signed it into law. Outlawing extrajudicial killings of African-American men in this 21st century jet age is far easier to do. You have your precedents. Do it!!!

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PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU, IRAN’S NUCLEAR WEAPONS AMBITION, AND PRESIDENT OBAMA. A TALE OF MANY STORIES

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint Session of Congress on Tuesday March 3, 2015.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint Session of Congress on Tuesday March 3, 2015.

People ask me why I posted the address by Israel’s Prime Minister to the Joint Session of U.S. Congress on my blog and why I went ahead to like it on the Facebook page of my blog. And my answer is simple: journalism is not about reporting only news that I like or that I thought my readers will like. Objective journalism demands that I report every news story as it is to my readers, irrespective of whatever feelings it may elicit, and allow my readers the choice of deciding for themselves what side of the narrative they want to identify with. My job is to keep my readers informed about contemporary socio-political and economic issues facing our world. And to provide the platform for them to debate these issues for the good of the society. Ezeocha Post, by the way, is all about promoting informed debate.

Now if you ask me what I think about Benjamin Netanyahu’s address, I will tell you this: it is a political theatrics that amounted to little other than one politician trying to save his own political career by undermining that of another.

Netanyahu broke protocol by accepting to address the Congress without running it by the White House first. And by so doing, he stretched an already tense relationship between himself and the present White House.

Now if his address to Congress has a chance of influencing U.S. foreign policy position on Iran at it were, his dissing of the White House could have worth a peru. But Netanyahu, a Harvard educated politician who is schooled in U.S. politics, knows better than most people that it is the Oval Office that conducts U.S. foreign policy and not the House Speaker’s office. He knows that. He knows that ONLY President Barack Obama can give him the hawkish foreign policy approach towards Iran that he craves for. Yet he presumably came to address the Congress for something that Congress cannot give him. Why?

That brings us to his real reason for coming to America – Israel’s local politics.

Israel’s next general election is on March 17, 2015. And typical of politicians all over the world who during general elections at home, travel abroad to countries of importance to their domestic audience in order to shore up their credentials, Prime Minister Netanyahu came to the United States to shore up his credentials in order to increase his chances of winning re-election. And there is nothing wrong with that practice. It is unfortunate that he has ideological differences with President Obama. It is equally unfortunate that he had to badmouth President Obama in front of the U.S. Congress and the world so as to score political points in Israel.

That notwithstanding, it is important that we focus our attention to the crux of Bibi’s visit and answer the question below unequivocally:

Does Iranian’s nuclear weapons program pose immediate threat to the state of Israel and is President Obama naïve to believe that he can get any concessions from the Iranians on their nuclear weapons program?

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