No American president is a king or queen. He/she must work within a three-part structure based upon “checks and balances.”

To get elected, however, he/she must promise the moon. We should consider the actual character of the candidate, his/her dedication to the nation beyond political affiliation, and what vision and effort have been put forth to accomplish worthwhile acts.

Should we be terrified by words like “billions” and even “trillions”? Concerned, yes. Searching among reliable sources, however, I come up with this: Americans bet $92 million on the last Super Bowl. One game.

And in 2006, Americans spent $83 billion on cigarettes and more than $60 billion on lottery tickets. We’re not talking about food, clothing and shelter.

There’s a lot of money out there — inflated money. We can be rid of the deficit in a decade if we take a pragmatic approach and everyone pitches in fairly.

When Social Security was conceived, life expectancy was in the 40s. Today it’s 80. Raise the eligibility age by five years over a decade and the program will start to recover. Common sense.

Ninety-seven percent of scientists state that climate change is happening quickly. So stop fighting about human involvement — it’s happening no matter what.

Assume the worst and work to alleviate the devastating effects that are predicted. The measures suggested are good for us and for the earth. We say we’re concerned about our children. Then let’s accept the fact that the future will be unlike what we live today.

Most people focus on the problems at hand while overlooking the difficult long view, but the future shows up under one’s nose sooner than expected.

Let’s face our inevitably changing future and not follow those seeking a return to an imaginary past.

Abbott Meader, Oakland

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