11/08/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Here's My Take: Your Top Three Issues

"Here's My Take" gives you an opportunity to present your view, opinion, or choice in a way that blog comment sections and op-eds don't permit. It's a new format! And a new way for you to engage others in the HuffPost community. We'll publish peoples' submissions on HuffPost's OffTheBus as part of the "Here's My Take" feature. Check out the last edition, "My Ideal Administration," to see what it looks like.

Think of it as a citizen think-tank -- a series of discussions, each one focused on a single issue or scenario. This idea came to me after editing op-eds for OffTheBus and moderating comments for HuffPost. Got ideas for ways to make it better? I'm open to them -- email me at Don't have time, but want to participate later? Join OffTheBus.


QUESTION: EXCLUDING the economy, what are the top three issues you'd like to see the incoming administration address and what would you have the administration do about them, why? I am excluding the economy from this discussion based on the assumption that this is the top issue for all of us, but feel free to tie your top issues to the economy as appropriate.

SUBMIT YOUR ANSWER: Submit your answer using this form on Survey Monkey.

DEADLINE: Midnight Monday, October 13

DISCUSS: OffTheBus's op-ed editors will format and publish your submissions, as well as a quick post on the most popular and interesting picks sent in. Everyone who participated will be notified when the feature goes up.


Here's My Take -- Jennifer Bogut:
I know....all issues eventually return to the economy. I get it; however, there are other issues which need to be examined and discussed. Using this as a base understanding for this exercise, here are the "other" issues I place at the top of my list.

We need to get the BLEEP out of Iraq, move a portion of those troops into Afghanistan and bring the rest back home. I believe that America needs to make a good faith effort to find and capture Osama Bin Laden. Our system of justice is one of the characteristics that has made us characterized the U.S. among the nation's of the world. I truly believe that by trying Bin Laden we send the message that you can attack us but you CANNOT take away what makes the United States the world's beacon.

Of course, by stopping the torrent of dollars into Iraq, we can begin to pay back the money we borrowed -- remember that debt? I hope that we will also be able to begin the healing process -- both politically and economically.

Energy Independence:
Here is where those "strong economic fundamentals" can be featured. Senator McCain claims he meant the "American worker and American ingenuity" when he said "the fundamentals" of our economy are strong. Using the Senator's parameters, we can all be even MORE patriotic, then, by engaging these resources.

We must get the oil monkey off our backs wherever possible. Electric and hybrid cars, geo-thermal, solar and wind all present huge opportunities for the U.S. to lead both in use and in innovation and development. We are America, dag-nab-it.... let us act like it and roll on this!

Of course, by kick-starting these industries, we add jobs and begin to produce something we can export again, thereby saving our economy. As it is now, we do not make anything ... we consume. We dug ourselves out of the first depression by exporting product, not rhetoric.

Civil Rights:
Guantanamo Bay, Habeas Corpus, Wiretapping and the "Patriot" Act all have eroded the civil rights and protections that we are all entitled to in this country. As Benjamin Franklin said so aptly, "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."

We will not be able to fight this "war" on terrorism as the current administration would like but we will be able to hold our heads up again as America. The psychological impact of that is as effective -- if not more so -- than most of the procedures we now endure under this "protective blanket." When those planes hit their targets -- and a field in PA -- on September 11, 2001, the entire world was unequivocally on our side. No ifs, ands or buts....everyone was a New Yorker, a Washingtonian or a Pennsylvanian. There was an overwhelming "Oh no you didn't" from all corners of the planet.

However, I would argue that, since Bush used all of this goodwill to bully both us and the rest of the world, now we "can talk to the collective hand." The only way for us to regain world respect and -- more importantly -- domestic respect, hope and pride is for us to repeal the laws, tear up the signing statements and pull the plug on these tyrannical policies.

Of course, by merely resetting our civil priorities to those of eight years ago we begin to rebuild goodwill that allows other nations to be more willing to help us and to support our products or services.

So...what is your take? What do you want to see the next administration focus on? Submit your answer using this form on Survey Monkey.