(CNN) -- So, what would you do if you were elected president?
CNN.com tossed the question to readers, who sent in all kinds of ideas about how they would shape the country. Here is a selection, some of which have been edited for length and clarity:
Frank Smith from Clifton, New Jersey
It's a hard call, but if it is important as I believe it is I am sorry to say I would send more troops (to Iraq). Give our troops what they need to actually do the job. We are there -- to pull out now without accomplishing anything would be a horrible thing and belittle the sacrifice so many have made.
Jennifer Morales from Fort Richardson, Arkansas
I would take the troops out of Iraq in a timely manner... I would shorten the tours of duty so that moral would rise, and so that the military families weren't struggling so much.
Ijaz Qamar from Reston, Virginia
I would reach out to the insurgents in Iraq and talk to them to pull that country out of the quagmire that it is slipping deeper and deeper into.
James Thompson from Las Vegas, Nevada
I would empower a commission to thoroughly investigate the events leading up to the Iraq war. If there is sufficient evidence of manufactured intelligence I would call for criminal proceedings for all involved. I would call for a national draft, no deferments. I would send troops in sufficient numbers back into Afghanistan to finish what was started as well as increase troop numbers in Iraq. We promised those people some form of self determination. I would raise the salaries of military units in harms way. I would revamp the Veterans Administration to meet the needs of those who serve. I would eliminate all contract security engaged in military support activities.
Energy and environment
Johnny Birchfield from Henderson, Texas
I would make alternative fuel sources a priority and figure out a way to get the big three auto makers back on line and producing more fuel efficient cars. I would reestablish U.S. control of our vital infrastructure components.
Eytan G. from Tel Aviv, Israel
I would create a national plan for moving the American economy on to alternative energy. It would reduce pollution, and decrease American dependency on petroleum from other countries, some not particularly friendly.
Jeff Keane from Atco, New Jersey
Require alternative fuel sources. Acknowledge Global Warming, and enact laws that protect our environment.
Thomas Baxter from Las Vegas, Nevada
Sign the Kyoto Global Warming Agreement. Dramatically increase research and development in the area of alternative fuels and alternative fuel automobiles.
Kevin Ellis from Lenexa, Kansas
The first thing I would do is make them show me the thermometer that's been around for thousands of years to justify this global warming thing before I would pass on the cost of fixing this problem to the tax payers. What a perfect excuse for corporations to raise prices!
Scott Brown from Albion, Michigan
I would encourage embryonic stem cell research and promote government funding of it. I would also pursue a ban on public advertising for prescription drugs. It unnecessarily raises the cost of drugs that are already too expensive.
Jeff Thompson from Bismarck, North Dakota
I would propose a national health plan... So many Americans are deathly afraid of paying more in taxes, but if we were willing to pay a bit more on top of the goods that we consume we could afford to provide health care for all our citizens.
Brian Cheese from Minneapolis, Minnesota
I would make some sweeping healthcare changes. Healthcare ought to be available to every individual, and offered by the government through our taxes.
Scott Muldoon from Little Rock, Arkansas
Pass the Mandatory Education Act: All people must meet higher minimum educational requirements regardless of how many years of school it takes to do so. This would require every U.S. citizen to be literate. Attached to this would be the overhaul of the school systems to teach four-year college level education in high school so that everyone is qualified for higher income jobs.
Marc Smierciak from Chicago, Illinois
I would place top priority on education, particularly toward an equitable distribution of top quality education. I would also place an emphasis on human rights, both here and abroad, by increasing transparency in governance and exercising justice in strict accordance to International Law.
Aton Gutierrez from Stanford, California
I believe our nation has left education far too long in states hands with state budgets and we need to come together and bring our educational system up to where our financial one is, else we wont be keeping our status much longer.
Taxes and the economy
Evelyn Garcia from Hutto, Texas
I would do whatever it took to narrow the gap between salaries and the cost of living. The President and Congress should be servants of the people, elected by the people, not "only the rich can run for election and run our country."
Britt Fellner from Columbus, Ohio
I would support the proposition of "fair trade" for American trading partners. Due to our tremendous trade imbalance, I would allow tariffs on products that are costing American manufacturers jobs. In addition, I would negotiate for anti-sweat shop labor, anti child labor, and lobby for anti-piracy products.
Billy Smerka from Morgantown, West Virginia
I would give a real voice to the working class and the poor. I would make it a point to get jobs for real Americans and send home the illegal aliens stealing jobs and doing them for a wage unfit for even the simplest human being. I would raise the Minimum wage to at least $8. It is ridiculous to think that it would hurt the economy considering if people have more money they will spend more money.
V. Kelly from Lanham, Maryland
I would not outsource so many of our jobs to other countries. This cuts our people out of work. We can't read most products in the stores nowadays. Why are catering to everyone else? We should not be conforming to them, they should conform to us. This is our home. We are not in a foreign land.
Vonnise Cobb from Jacksonville, Florida
Concentrate entirely on illegal aliens that are in our country. I would seal the Mexican border, place heavy fines on companies that employ illegals, stop the practice of anchor babies, and stop handing out food stamps, free medical care, and social security to illegals. I would fine landlords that rent or sell to illegals.
Scott Brown from Albion, Michigan
I would build a fence along all of our land borders in the continental U.S. and enforce current laws stopping employers from hiring undocumented workers.
Kathy Babyak from Burgettstown, Pennsylvania
I think building a fence to keep the Mexicans out is the biggest joke I have ever heard. Don't you think people can climb over it, tunnel under it? It is a ridiculous waste of taxpayers' money -- but what else is new?
Paul Green from Euless, Texas
Secure the BORDERS!
Avrohom Beenstock from Brooklyn, New York
I would ensure firstly that our "only" friend in the Middle East, Israel, is secure, and able to protect herself. Iran under my administration will not obtain weapons of mass destruction. If need be, I would use military force. On Iraq, we will be there until we finish the job, and Iraqis have a land they can rule on their own, in a democratic way.
Michael Craig from Wagram, North Carolina
I would reduce America's role in foreign affairs. We spend too much time, money, and effort meddling in other countries business, not to mention the lives lost. We are not the world's policeman.
Dan E. from Rochester, Minnesota
I would try to get a law passed that stated only one item could be on a bill at a time. I don't see how it could slow progress any more than the current method. This way all Americans could see exactly what their representatives are for or against, and normal everyday people without law degrees could understand what is happening to the nation.
Elizabeth Blatchford from Somerset, New Jersey
I would abolish pensions for all elected officials. These were never meant to be lifetime supporting positions & with the speaking fees former officials get, there is no need. I would push for term limits for all elected officials. This was not to be a career, but service to country. I would have a mandatory attendance requirement for Congress and the House of Representatives. Two weeks vacation like the rest of us and major savings in travel costs.
Pamela Johnson from Cheyenne, Wyoming
I would worry about the American citizens and their way of life, instead of trying to push my views on the rest of the world. While there are many problems in the world, how could I spend money on other countries when so many Americans are living in poverty or just on the edge.
Marsha Christopher from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
The first item on my agenda would be dissolving the Electoral College and establishing one-person-one-vote elections. Concurrent with this would be campaign finance reform. No private or corporate campaign money would be allowed. No private individuals, businesses, corporations or non-profits would be permitted to advertise. They could sign an endorsement only.