IF - AS I HOPE - THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARIES portend the November presidential election candidates - Socialist Bernie Sanders and Capitalist Donald Trump, America may be in for a new era of cooperation.
Sound crazy? Maybe not.
Over the last 16 years or so Americans have moved more and more to the political extremes. Both parties are to blame, but the parties only reflect their constituents. That is NOT to suggest that once elected, the politicians pay any serious attention to the voters - until they need cash for their next election run.
Now, with a Saunders-Trump card - the boxing reference is deliberate - Americans will have serious champions of social and capitalist philosophy debating each other.
In the process, perhaps - perhaps - Americans can see there is a common ground, a way to help Trump "Make America Great Again" by making sure that, as Sanders wants, everyone is a "Has" - has what is needed to survive and improve their life.
The two perspectives CAN be merged to America's benefit.
In my Edward Bear (a/k/a Winnie the Pooh) mind, I think the perfect ticket would be Trump-Sanders. Trump to direct the finances and Sanders to direct social services.
Bigger military? OK. And bring back the draft. Let young, directionless and under-educated youth be drafted. During their time in service - be it military or national service (JFK's VISTA, for example - it's still around as AmeriCorps VISTA) - the volunteers and draftees would get a chance to
- Let go of Momma's apron strings
- Get free of perhaps some bad influences in the "old neighborhood"
- Learn to appreciate diversity - in basic training, everyone is a skin head (i.e., all hair is shorn from the male recruits' heads - been there/done that)
- Gain 3R (Reading, (w)Riting, and (a)Rithmatic for the under 50 set) skills
- Learn basic survival skills - how to make a bed, dress for the occasion, develop "culinary" arts ("KP" by any other name).
- Learn marketable job skills, admittedly some better than others
- Learn responsibility and develop management skills
The inductee (that covers both the draftee and the enlistee) gets a new set of clothes, medical attention, decent food, and a place to sleep out of the elements. No, Virginia, it won’t be the Ritz and the "chow" might not be on the level of St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, but it will be healthy and plentiful.
Building up the military does not mean young people will be going to war; indeed, if America's military might is restored, there may be less reason to fear attacks. In any event, the U.S. is finally learning that holding on to captured territory is less and less of value - training locals to govern themselves always is the better option. No, the locals do not need to have an American-style democracy to have American support. The U.S. should have learned that lesson during Obama's "Arab Spring" fiasco.
People who prefer national service have many options, almost none of which include guns, but all include training and many require the inductee to increase their education, if only within a limited area. The military knows there are hundreds of jobs that don't require a college degree but that do require specific job skills that can be taught in highly focused classes.
America can have fiscally sound government while at the same time - simultaneously, too - provide needed social support.
I think Mr. Trump could find and allocate the resources to "Make America Great Again" while Mr. Sanders finds ways to make Americans great again - or at least to offer all Americans a path to a better life.
As long as there's no dole for people who can work but who refuse to work.
A Sanders-Trump ticket would not be good for America; it would be great for America.
A Trump-Sanders ticket would not be good for America; it would be great for America.
QUICK HISTORY LESSON
Until the War for Southern Independence, a/k/a Civil War, presidents and vice-presidents often - usually - were of different political parties.
Early in U.S. history, the candidate with the most electoral college votes was named president and the first runner-up was named vice-president.
Two URLs on this topic worthy of a visit are:
Someday U.S. voters may - may - be able to directly elect the president and vice-president, but until Congress reluctantly gives up the electoral college control . . .