Correspondent Mark Shepard visited Bristol this week and asked, "What agenda that would be important to a vast majority of Americans that might convince conservative and liberal leaders to meet in the middle?"
Linda Morrow, Ivy Tech nursing student, Bristol:
"Education. I feel that if everybody had education, and if everybody would get along better — first of all — that there wouldn’t be this problem with lack of jobs. .... I just feel that education is the best way to go."
Perla Garfias, Concord Junior High student, Elkhart:
"If people can communicate instead of arguing and stuff like that — letting people know what’s wrong if they’re not agreeing with something. If they’re not agreeing with something then they should be saying stuff in a polite way, not fighting and arguing like most of us do. I’m Hispanic, and I have a lot of Hispanic family here. I think if Americans and people from other places like Salvador, Honduras, and Mexico in this hemisphere would come together, the United States would be a whole lot better state. I think that for the future instead of having wars between the states it would be really nice to see people come together and help each other. The economy will grow a lot if they have the support of each other."
Charles Reich, manufacturing supervisor, Bristol:
"Right now these cuts they’re talking about in the military, I think they should get together on that." Follow-up question: Do you think with things like drones and special-ops forces and the way the military has changed we can still stay strong with the new way of doing things? "I think we’ll still be strong in that high-tech stuff, but we don’t use it enough. I’d like to see the technology to where we’re not losing people. I’d rather lose a missile. But if we’re going to take over a country we need to go in there with the boots, but if it’s a super threat from somebody we still got our nuclear weapons and such. Pray that it never happens in this world. "
Ted Webster, professional mechanic, Bristol:
"Health care and taxes. It needs to be geared more toward the common person — the people that are out there earning a wage, the blue-collar, average white-collar person, not the CEOs." Follow-up question: So you think that health care is too expensive and taxes are too high for the vast majority of Americans? "Oh, absolutely. Living wages are far more important than anything. Now days the average American is living hand-to-mouth most of the time rather than being able to put away savings for retirements and things of that nature. So I think those are the most important issues out there right now."