What would we, the American people, define as goals for our country?
I think the answer might be different than much discussed "issues."
For example, I think the overwhelming majority would want the nation to continue. That's a goal, not an issue.
I think the overwhelming majority would want the country and its people to prosper. Again, I think that's a goal, and not an issue. A goal is not wrapped up in the "how," but instead paints in broad stokes. "Issues" are more of the "how."
An "issue" would be illegal immigration. An "issue" would be taxation. An "issue" would be universal health care. These are more the "how." Is allowing illegal immigration in line with our nation continuing? With prospering? How does taxation square with our goals? Universal health care? Other issues?
It seems to me that we get far more wrapped up in divisive issues and we forget the goals. If we remain focused on the goals, some of the issues can clear up quickly. Prayer in school, for example. Flag burning. Do they matter to the goals that we as a nation set? If not, perhaps these issues are not national, but more localized and cultural.
Is it a goal for our nation that no one ever die? Be it in war, in sickness, etc.
Is it a goal for our nation that every adult work, regardless of wealth?
Is it a goal for our nation that all our citizens be educated through college?
Or are we okay with death, retirement, and some depth of blue-collar work force?
Here's a question: do we, as citizens, have an obligation to think through the goals we might desire for our country? And then consider the best ways to get there?
In some manner, I think we all do that. But... I think that it's not hard to be distracted by the pitch of some "issues" from the "goals" we have.