Opinion Columns & Blogs

Well, why not? Local columnist considers run for president in crowded Democrat field

If he’s elected president, Bill Ferguson will make climate change a priority.
If he’s elected president, Bill Ferguson will make climate change a priority. AP

It looks like we will have a record number of candidates competing for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. Six people have already officially thrown their hats in the ring and more than a dozen more are believed to be seriously considering it. It looks like it will be a crowded field, but I think there is always room for another highly qualified individual.

With that in mind, I’d like to take this opportunity to announce that I’m forming an exploratory committee to test the waters for my own run at the nomination. Right now the committee consists of just me, but hopefully once this announcement is published volunteers will start stepping forward and soon after that the financial contributions will start rolling in.

Here is a first cut at the top five priorities I plan to pursue as president if you decide to trust me with your vote.

1. I will demand that Congress submit budgets that address our national debt in a serious manner. Every year the interest we must pay on our accumulated debt eats up a bigger share of our budget, and every year we keep on borrowing billions more dollars and making the problem worse. It’s an unsustainable financial course, and it needs to be corrected immediately. That correction won’t be pleasant, as it will likely require both tax increases and spending reductions to pull us out of this budgetary death spiral, but it has to be done.

2. I will address the issue of climate change with the seriousness and urgency that it deserves. Expect me to use every means at my disposal as President to wean our country off of fossil fuel dependency and to return to the negotiating table to encourage other nations around the world to do the same.

3. I will do all that I can to make health insurance coverage available and affordable for every American. I certainly favor the idea of universal coverage, if there is a way to achieve it without driving up the deficit. Given that the law says that everyone who shows up at an emergency room must be treated regardless of whether or not they have insurance I’d argue that we already have universal coverage, just a very impractical and illogical form of it. If an affordable plan to achieve universal coverage isn’t possible at this time I may very well bring back useful elements of Obamacare (especially the mandate that everyone who can afford it should be required to purchase health insurance) that Republicans unwisely jettisoned without a replacement plan until universal coverage is attainable.

4. I will work to secure our borders in a way that is both practical and compassionate. My plan will not consist of a “great wall” along our entire southern border, but will include more fencing in some places along with electronic surveillance and more agents in the field. I will also seek out ways to encourage the economic success and security of our neighboring countries to the south so that we have fewer desperate people trying to enter our country illegally.

5. And last, but certainly not least, I will endeavor to behave like a responsible adult who treats everyone with respect while serving as the chief executive of our great republic. That includes members of Congress from both parties, all members of the press, every single U.S. citizen, and every other human being I come in contact with while serving as your president. I will also listen to the opinions of those who disagree with me, and if I’m convinced that their argument is sound I reserve the right to reconsider my position on any issue, including the ones listed above.

Hopefully this announcement will generate some enthusiasm and get the ball rolling. Once the groundswell of support starts to build I’ll come up with a more detailed campaign platform and start printing t-shirts and yard signs.

Bill Ferguson is a resident of Warner Robins. Readers can write him at fergcolumn@hotmail.com.