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WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN THE NEXT PRESIDENT?

Compiled By Joyce Rothermel

Editors Note: What are you looking for in our presidential candidates/ president this election year? Several of our New People readers responded in our February issue. What follows are a few more opinions. If you would like to add your own for the April issue, please submit them to NewPeople@ThomasMertonCenter.org by the 13th of March. The responses are the opinions of individual respondents, not of the New People or the Thomas Merton Center. 

“There have been times in the history of our country when citizens who espoused different views on critical issues came together and worked to overcome adversity at times like 9/11, WWII, Hurricane Katrina and wildfires in California, etc. These were all significant disasters. Today, there are significant disasters of a different ilk pounding at our society. Each of us should have reflected on my five most important issues. Mine include climate change, inequality, violence. white supremacists, and migrants. 

With these in mind, I am looking for candidates who have successful experiences of bringing persons with different realities and perspectives together to solve society’s problems in ways that improve life for all. Today, is one of these times when those who feel strongly about issues of significance to society – local, national and international, are willing to work together to create a better world and are willing to find common ground. The candidate who has the trust of such individuals and groups and has proven experience in helping others accept worthy solutions regardless of party affiliation, constituent bias, or any other distractions from the common good is the candidate I desire, search for and support.” 

–Sr. Georgine Scarpino, RSM, past TMC board member and treasurer 

“I am looking for a candidate who cares a whole lot more about people and the planet than a system of competition and profit, who is against war and violence as a solution to conflicts, who respects and celebrates the dignity of all people and has a strong track record of struggling with and for the poor and marginalized. I am looking for a candidate who is able to say openly that the economic system currently in place in our country is not just broken–it is the wrong system. I am looking for a candidate who deeply understands that beauty and empathy will save the world, not better policies or bigger armies.” 

— Rev. Fr. Paul Dordal, Christian Alliance for Peace, organizer for Stop Banking the Bomb Campaign 

“Two issues are paramount —stopping forever war and ever-increasing military budgets and advocating that issue and stopping forever profits of Wall Street being the determinative factor in every economic choice, and addressing the glaring increasing inequality with progressive taxation, including a wealth and Wall Street transaction tax. Medicare for All is a sine qua non.” 

–Ed Cloonan, anti-war activist 

“Someone who talks sensibly about issues that matter, rather than attacking persons. A person who would be able to unite the two parties for the good of the country, not personalities. One question: would the nation elect a woman as president? I can.” 

–Fr. Vince Stegman, CSSp., TMC member and Steering Committee member of the Association of Pittsburgh Priests 

“Lately I have been recounting the issues we have worked on over the last 20 years. We’ve always known that whoever won elections we would still be addressing oppression here and elsewhere. The Jubilee 2000 followed by Jubilee USA movements clearly addressed all the things left undone: justice, peace, and the integrity of Creation. Yet, here we are, witnessing the greatest assault to ourselves, others, and Earth. We have seen politicians promise much and change little. I wish for leaders willing to call for an end to fossil fuels here and address those who are profiting from fossil fuels worldwide. Leaders willing to invest in healthcare here and address the conditions of people in other countries who have been impacted by our use of fossil fuels. We have callously turned away from the wars, poverty, homelessness and racism that exists here and in so much of the world. We need leaders who ask us to remember who we are and what we can become.” 

–Wanda Guthrie, climate justice advocate and past TMC board member 

NewPeople Newspaper VOL. 50 No. 2. March, 2020. All rights reserved.

Categories: News

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