Why is it when some politicians or pundits get a brilliant idea about how to make the country better, involving (of course) making people do as the government dictates, it only applies to other people?
Sunday, on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” New York Times columnist and Times-styled conservative David Brooks bemoaned the electorate’s disunity due to the unprecedented unpopularity of Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton: “We could have a winner at 42 percent. Look at those poll numbers. . . . And so, that’s almost like a minority government. I think we’ve just got to do something about it.”
Do something? What?
Brooks explained, “Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago has an idea that every kid who graduates from high school spends the next three months in some sort of national service. So a kid from Martha’s Vineyard or Marin County is with a kid from Mobile, Alabama, and just three months, it would make a difference.”
Chicagoans will warn against emulating Mayor Emanuel.*
“I thought national service was going to be a given,” host Chuck Todd then offered. “I mean, my God, we’ve been talking about national service my whole adult life and I can’t believe we’re not there.”
News Flash: The problem with our politics is not the fault of teenagers. Nor would forcing young people to put their dreams on hold the better to toil in some social engineering scheme solve anything.
Want national service? Begin with politicians and TV talking heads.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
* A whopping 62 percent of Chicagoans disapprove of their mayor and fully 40 percent want ole Rahm Never-Let-a-Crisis-Go-to-Waste Emanuel to immediately resign. The mayor’s delay in releasing an incriminating police video, until after his re-election, has been the most incendiary issue. But also consider some ugly facts about systemic breakdown in city governance: the number of murders this year is already higher than last year, four out of ten freshman in Chicago high schools fail to graduate and 91 percent of graduates going on to college require remedial courses.