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If I Were President
(George - October, 1996)

The experience of being president of the United States must be awesome. And truely, I would not presume to judge anyone sitting in the Oval Office. However, if I were president, I hope that I would be more concerned with creating meaningful, long-term legislation and less influenced by the immediacy of popularity polls.

I would concentrate on our country's youth and their education. The United States has worked to secure relative peace throughout the world and the time has come to divert funds from the military budget for the education of our young people. It is stifling to reduce any program in which a child expresses an interest - not just to that student but to society as a whole.

I would begin by setting up neighborhood toddler centers in high schools. Before graduation, all high school students would be required to observe or work in the child-care department of their school. Not only would this reduce the cost of child care, it would be a way for all Americans to gain first-hand experience with young children. By studying child development and perhaps, speaking to other parents, younger students might realize what a monumental responsibility a child is, and think twice before having unprotected sex.

I would extend my initiative to incorporate high schools into college campuses. High school remedial and summer classes could be taught by college campuses. In that way, these students could pay their way through college and reduce their burden of debt as they enter professional life. Students could work to heal the environment; help the poor, the sick or the elderly; register people to vote; or renovate abandoned buildings for new housing. Adolescnets feel underused; real work would earn them the respect they deserve.

I would want people to understand the value of contributing culturally to the world around them - not just to the United States - and to feel that this is a worthwhile thing to do with their lives. As adults, we have stopped singing and dancing, drawing and playing. Machines have made it more expedient to buy things than to make them, and instead of trying some creative venture ourselves, we are passively entertained by watching hours of television. By creating and enjoying art, people would open their minds to the world around them so we could improve tommorow's worlds. That's something I could be proud of.

© 1996, George