How to Begin Repairing the Damage to Freedom in America After Bush
The next president will become chief executive of a nation that has been greatly weakened – in particular, our freedoms, our values, and our international reputation have been greatly undermined by the policies of the past eight years.
Presidents have enormous power not only to set the legislative agenda, but also to establish policy by executive order, federal regulation, or simply by refocusing the efforts and emphases of the executive agencies. The new president must use all of these tools to restore our freedoms and move the country forward.
Doing so will require determined action in the face of inevitable opposition. It will require conveying to the American people why grants of unchecked power do not actually make us safer, and why Americans must stand firm in protecting the values that at our best we have always represented and defended at home and around the world.
It will not be easy to undo eight years of sustained damage to our fundamental rights. But it can be done.
This paper lists many of the actions that the new president should take in order to decisively signal a restoration of American values and a rejection of the shameful policies of the past eight years.
The first year of any new administration is crucial and sets the stage for what will follow. The new President needs to hit the ground running and to make full use of that first crucial year.
We have grouped needed actions into those that the new president should take on day one, in the 100 days and then the first year. Those actions include executive orders as well as mandates or directives from the president to his cabinet secretaries and agency heads.