What is an issue?

I have been watching, listening and reading the campaign rhetoric of our Presidential candidates. At this point I have decided that they all need to go back to school to learn the difference between a problem and an issue. A problem can’t be solved, fixed or eliminated . . . it is too big, widespread and complex. An issue, on the other hand, is Immediate, Specific and Realizable. For example, the state of education in our country is not an issue. Lack of access to a nutritious and tasty breakfast, not being able to see the teacher or black/white board clearly, and walking an unsafe route to school are the issues (of education).

These are issues that our leaders need to take action on (notice I said take action, not fix, solve or eliminate).

Leaders keep asking me “What is the most important issue in Northeast Ohio today?” While I am tempted to say “education”, I have had to reframe my response so everyone stops talking about “fixing education” and starts talking about how to make breakfast a fun and engaging meal/social experience in school, how to help improve students’ vision, and how to make walking to and from school happen in a safe, hopeful and imaginative environment.

My one question for the candidates: “What is the most important issue facing our country and what are you going to do that is immediate, specific and realizable to change it?”

(Qualification #1 for U.S. President: Able to understand and articulate the difference between a problem and an issue.)

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One Response to “What is an issue?”

  1. Fixing Education isn't the most important issue in Cleveland | The BFD on Brewed Fresh Daily Says:

    […] What is an issue? « Patti Choby […]

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