Vacations for Blue and Red States
The distance between our New Jersey and Florida homes is about 1200 miles, which translates into a lot of time to think, philosophize, and occasionally come up with solutions to world or national problems. I don't mind the drive, and get plenty of time to think while Genna is sleeping or reading in her own little world. Which is fine; her words nibble on my ears enough, and I appreciate this quietude to reassess whats affecting my life.
The drive is a testament to the diversity of the urban, suburban, and rural areas of this country, North into South. Although there are no border check points traveling this distance, let's face it, the trip is really going from one country to another with the current state of affairs.
Let me be clear, I'm not picking sides here. I'd just like to see an end to the maps which paint the states either red or blue. I'd even settle for purple, which I don't own a stitch of clothing that shade, as long as it covers the whole map.
Somewhere around the Mason Dixon line, I started airing an idea to put an end to the Civil War. I found it odd when I heard a commentator referring to Afghanistan as this country's longest war, Really? One hundred and sixty plus years is enough, so here goes.
I'm proposing the advent of the Blue and Red State Vacation Act, here's how it would work.
Congress, after finally realizing how despised both factions are by the entire electorate, in a rare moment of bipartisanship, bordering on the amorous , agrees to repeal all subsidies to the oil industry. The congressmen feel deeply they need to regain the trust of the people, while also fearing all of their homesteads would be plundered and burned.
The lawmakers agree to divert these billions of funds into a special Vacation Exchange, designed to foster patriotic harmony among all citizens. A special Commission would be established, using Census Data to match up similar socio-economic families from Red and Blue states. Each of these families would agree to host each other within 2 years. The family who hosted first would be established by a coin toss, the winner deciding who hosts first. The hosting family, after a match has been made would prepare a cost estimate for approval to the Exchange, who would release the funds after the vacation.
There would have to be rules, of course. The gathering would be limited to verbal exchange, with discussions centering around what has peeved their respective families for the last 160 years. No firearms or weapons would be permitted by either party during the stay. If the discussions escalate into physical violence, severe mandatory penalties would be imposed, ranging from simple assault (1 year) to murder (life without parole).
The Vacation Exchange would remain in effect for at least a generation, giving ample time for differences to be worked out, and for Father Time to convince the remaining "diehards".