On January 21, 2013, the second inauguration of President Obama will take place. However, many are still disconnected, aggravated and even apathetic with the state of our nation. His speech to Americans needs to be a deliverance that illustrates how we can move forward from recent difficulties into a state of prosperity -- all while keeping the majority of the U.S. satisfied.
With that in mind, here are four moves Obama needs to make after the inauguration.
Make moves on climate change
Many of us are aware of the destruction Superstorm Sandy left on the East Coast. To date, the storm racked up over $62 billion in damages, with that number likely to rise in the future. Even before the storm, many Americans said they were ready to deal with climate change. Now more than ever, the climate change debate has been reignited, particularly by those in power. Though Obama has addressed the issue, real solutions to the problem need to come to fruition.
The gun control debate
The recent shooting in Connecticut was a tragedy for all Americans. President Obama was noticeably shaken in his address to the nation, even demanding concrete gun control proposals by January. However, we all need to understand the underlying reason why it has taken so long to achieve proper gun control in the first place.
Oftentimes, politicians are not pragmatic about the issue. For instance, many on the left would like to get rid of guns altogether, which scares those on the right. A better alternative would be the address gun accessibility laws and the problems that reside around them. Gun show loopholes need to be addressed. Vendors need to understand who they are background checking. More barriers to entry should be put into place so we don't see these tragedies again.
Invest in future industries
When we invest in our future, we pave the way for long-term solutions. Investing in future industries, such as energy, establishes America as an independent nation that doesn't need the assistance of other countries for resources.
For example, the world has past the point of peak oil. This mean solutions such as drilling in Alaska or offshore don't solve the real problem. What does solve it is investing in industries, such as wind energy, which can not only resolve our energy independence, but also offer the American people jobs, a long-term solution to a real problem and of course, sustainability from a world leader.
Bipartisanship matters more than ever
The recent fiscal cliff debacle showed us one thing: We're still a long way from real bipartisanship. While both sides of the table have shown strides, opposition still occurs. Obama's new term signals a chance to achieve true bipartisanship. Taking ideas from both sides of the table, which is the base of true democracy, is a great starting point.
However, actively working without resentment or bickering is the real challenge. Our country is more divided than ever. If leaders can't get along, what example does that set for their constituents? On a more global scale, what does it say about us as a country? We need to have the type of leadership that takes the best ideas from all parties and uses them to make our country better. That starts from the top down.
President Obama may have many things on his plate, but making moves on climate change, gun control, investing in future industries, and bipartisanship should be some of his main priorities. Doing so will assist America in making real progress on the path to prosperity.
What do you think? What are some other moves President Obama needs to make?
Rand Strauss is the President and CEO of PeopleCount.org, a nonpartisan organization that enables the public to communicate constructively by taking stands on political issues influencing the country today. Connect with Rand and PeopleCount.org on Twitter and Facebook.