My debate topic wish list

A veteran’s concerns from rural New Mexico spans the issues.

Here’s what I would like to see discussed in the next round of presidential debates, based in part on my perspective as a veteran living in a poor, rural New Mexico county.

The Drought

We’re burning up out here, which has consequence for farms across a great swath of the southwest as well as global food prices. I don’t expect the next president to make rain, but hey, how about pushing Congress to pass the farm bill?


Millions of acres in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico turned to a crisp this year, exhausting fire fighting budgets. How about long-term funding to fight fires along with a comprehensive forest management plan that will reduce fire risks?

Rural Broadband

The “knowledge economy” hits the 56K dial-up brick wall out here for many of my neighbors. What’s the detailed plan to fix this?

Border Security/Immigration

Ten foot walls work only until someone buys an 11-foot ladder. We need a sensible immigration policy that doesn’t rely on walls.


We need a simple health care plan for all. The United Kingdom and Canada figured it out. Why can’t we do the same thing?


How do you plan to take care of the troops we sent to war over the past decade for the next two decades? Detail your plans for vet healthcare, jobs and clearing up the disability claims backlog. Leave the platitudes at home.

And how about a simple message of hope? This was a pretty good line: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”