Education, first and foremost. The United States should be the world leader in education. A smart nation is a strong nation.
Non-intervention in the internal affairs of other nations. We are not the police force of the world; we do not have the moral or ethical high ground to act unilaterally in changing regimes of nations who do not threaten us. Our system of government is a good system, but not a perfect system. It is not a system that can be successfully exported by threat of violence.
A strong, capable military. While we seek peace, we must be prepared to defend ourselves against any aggression. Put bluntly, we must have the capability to rapidly respond and destroy aggressors. Pre-emptive measures such as toppling a regime that "might" someday threaten us are out, but we will finish whatever anyone else cares to start. Ask Japan about that.
Improvement of the quality of life for our citizens, all citizens. We are still in the grips of a homeless epidemic. We still have millions of citizens who cannot afford needed medical care. We have children languishing in a foster care system so broken that the very term "foster home" has become synonymous with misery and failure. Education is one long-term solution, but in the short term, we need to embrace a plan for national health insurance. We need to restore the public works system to provide employment for those who want it and cannot get it; we need to restore the availability of psychiatric care for those who are indigent, homeless, by dint of psychological issues. We MUST get the children in foster care OUT of that system; nothing short of a total overhaul will resolve this issue. If we must for a time return to group home arrangements, so be it, but the current system is not merely broken, it is breaking wards of the state and forcing them to struggle to survive, which is the last thing we should be asking of children who are virtually alone in the world.
Civil unions for all. Two Democratic front-runners have stated to the LGBT population that they support civil unions rather than gay marriage out of personal beliefs. Personal beliefs have no place in performing the job of an elected representative or senator. Rational, reasonable answers to the social and legal needs of their constituents are the heart of the job, and it is time to remember that. We have seen the fundamental failure of "separate but equal" in the past, and yet they trot this very idea back out as though this time, it will make sense. As marriage is a religious status and as government is barred from making laws establishing support for one religion over any other, "marriage" should be abolished and replaced at all levels with partnership or union recognition for all.
A clean-up of Federal tax law. Replacement of the current system with a standard tax rate, supporting a graduated flat tax bracket system for citizens. Corporate taxation loopholes closed, replaced with a similar graduated flat tax system.
Commitment to a green future, starting now. Tax breaks for purchase and use of alternative energy solutions using renewable resources. Increased tax burden for purchase and use of consumable resource energy solutions. Renew the power of the EPA to defend and execute laws protecting the environment; harsh measures for companies violating environmental protection measures. The United States should strive to have the lowest greenhouse emissions of any industrialized nation. Of particular importance, the United States should pursue total independence from foreign oil and freedom from outside energy needs of any kind. This is as much a political concern as an environmental one.
Ending the power of paid lobbyists. The people already have representatives in government; it's called Congress. Lobbyists who attempt to or succeed at buying votes favoring their positions would be imprisoned, as would their backers. If a group of people want to organize and have their common needs represented by an organization and speakers, their power should be determined by the sensibility of their ideas, not the depth of their wallets.
Government support for scientific research in all fields. Civilization as a whole should benefit from advances in medicine, alternative energy sources, improved computer technology; the benefits of this should not be reaped by those who have the most resources.
The education of doctors to serve the people rather than doctors who only serve themselves. See the Cuban model.
Clear and total support for the separation of church and state. Government is for ALL the people. Government has no place in the temple, the synagogue, the church, or the circle. So long as your religious activities cause no harm to others, then they should be treated just like the sexual practices of consenting adults: left strictly alone from government intervention.
Abolishment of the "war on" culture in government. The War on Drugs, the War on Terrorism, these are not struggles that can be won at the point of a gun. It is well past time to stop acting like we can. The drug problem in the United States is not a criminal issue but a medical issue. Terrorism is the reward we reap for years of supporting fanatics against our then-enemies; what future problems are we sowing with our current approach?
Restoration of the respect for America once held world-wide. Recent administrations have left us either a laughing stock or worse, targets of utter hatred and disgust in the international theater. The United States need not be loved, but it is past time that we earn the respect that previous administrations have squandered.