If I didn't know any better, I'd swear that some of the presidential candidates out there are drinking contaminated water from the Animas River in Colorado. At least it would explain some of the off-the-wall ideas coming from these folks.
Case in point: Donald Trump wants to build a wall between the United States and Mexico to stop people from illegally entering the United States. He then expects that the Mexican government will pay for everything.
On the other end of the political spectrum, Hillary Clinton wants to continue a push to make college free for students in the United States. Apparently, she forgot to mention who's going to end up footing the bill (in case you were wondering, it's the taxpayers).
And once again, both candidates leading the list of political contenders from both political parties keep aiming at a target but seem to have no clue what that target looks like. It seems they don't understand the root of the problems affecting our country.
If they do, then it's obvious they don't have a more-realistic plan to deal with them other than spout a whole bunch of rhetoric.
Trump thinks the solution to dealing with illegal immigration is a wall. What he's failed to realize is the reason why so many people take so many chances to cross the border into the United States in the first place.
He apparently forget to mention that the border between the United States and Canada is a whole lot bigger. I wonder how he expects to address the issue of people illegally crossing that border.
Simply put, the country down south has so many problems that its people flee and come here looking for opportunity and safety. They want to escape from poverty as well as all the drug trafficking that's poisoning their country -- and ours.
If Trump really wanted to make a more powerful statement, he would come up with a plan to make our neighbors to the south a whole lot safer and to strengthen their own economy while dealing with all the drug trafficking.
I really wish I had a workable solution to offer.
On the other side of the political fence, Clinton also seems out of touch with her education proposal. It seems an awful lot like Obama's plan to deal with the nation's healthcare system -- throw a lot of money at it.
But the problem with college comes down to one reason: It's too expensive nowadays for most kids to go to college without a lot of scholarships or taking out very risky student loans they may or may not be able to pay back.
Let's face it. When it costs several hundred dollars to take just one mathematics class, we have a problem. Oh, and let's not forget to include the $100-plus that each student needs to shell out for a math textbook -- which by the way become obsolete once a student finishes that class.
If Clinton had an idea to encourage colleges, universities and trade schools to cut tuition costs for all Americans (and let's not forget the book companies), then I'd be willing to listen. However, I'm not holding my breath, either.
After listening to what all the candidates are spewing, it's clear that most of them have not clue on what really needs to be addressed: Fixing the economy and getting Americans back to work. There are millions of Americans out there that are out of work that simply want a job, and our elected officials need to work a lot harder to create those jobs here versus watching them get shipped overseas.
At the same time, Americans with steady jobs simply want to earn decent wages and afford the basic necessities that make their lives more comfortable -- a roof over their heads, a reliable car in the garage and food on the table with enough money left over so they can afford to send their kids to college.
What's really troubling is just how expensive it's gotten just to put food on the table. When a gallon of gasoline costs more than a gallon of milk, that raises a concern. But when a loaf of bread costs more than a gallon of gas or a gallon of milk, then we have a problem.
Any candidate out there listening? I doubt it.
I used to remember the days when one member of the household would go to work every day while the other one stayed at home helping to raise the children and maintaining the home. Life seemed a lot less stressful and people looked a lot happier.
America was a lot stronger when I was growing up. Back in my hometown in northeastern Ohio, a majority of people worked in factories building everything from tires to automobiles. My father made a comfortable living delivering products between supermarkets across our local area.
What went wrong? Where did America's strength end up?
Oh yeah, it ended up going to countries where it's a whole lot cheaper to build and ship goods and services. The United States ended up imposing so many rules and regulations over the past few decades that made it too expensive to do the same type of work here.
Granted, I don't want to see our country return to the days where pollution was so bad that we had rivers burst into flames. As we've seen with all the pollution blanketing China these days, I think we've seen what happens when the desire for making money gets in the way of public safety.
However, I really wish some of our politicians would get with the program and find ways to put America's strength -- and its people -- back to work once again.
-- Brian S. Orban