If I were president, there are many ways in which I would promote peace and unity. I believe prejudices and inequality stem from ignorance. Therefore, I would have government officials live with poor or immigrant families for a period of time to be educated on how the other side lives. This would bring a greater understanding of their full constituency. As a result, I believe this would increase minority rights and expand laws to protect the average citizen. I would expand this concept even further by extending this project out to the masses, in hopes that the average citizen would gain an appreciation of the struggles, commonalities, and differences of a life outside of their own social and economic class.
Another project I would tackle is to decrease the spending and focus on the United States military. I would shift the money towards maintaining peace and decreasing violence and gang activity in this country. This would create a sense of calm that would facilitate the resolution of hometown issues. Perhaps, in this way, peace can build from the grassroots up.
I would create focus groups devised of the average person from different parts of the country. These focus groups would act as an advisory group to lawmakers. Therefore, this would limit public outcry, as the accountability would be spread across the nation and its different walks of life.
Education and awareness of different cultures and values must start at a young age. Harkness discussion and A World of Difference (AWOD) training should be mandatory at the elementary and secondary levels. Harkness discussion is a teaching method involving students which is used to discuss ideas in an encouraging and open-minded environment with nominal teacher involvement. AWOD is a club that promotes anti-bias and diversity programs that allow students to better understand the issues of prejudice and bigotry.
As president, I would make annual community service mandatory for every citizen above the age of 18 with the hope that giving back promotes acceptance. I would also have mandatory attendance of community meetings. I would give employers tax credit and incentives to encourage such attendance. These meetings would be educational but discussion oriented. Topics would be designed, once again, to expand tolerance through education. An example of a topic could be the transgender issue to make people realize that it’s not a joke and that transgenders feel like they were truly born into the wrong body.
If I were president, I would encourage people to listen to more music to obtain a calming and peaceful atmosphere. Not only does music have a relaxing effect, but music can also have a mood-altering effect. In addition, artists often try and communicate a message through their music. They can have poignant speeches during their concerts that can have a true impact on how people may feel about a certain issue. If people began to realize what their idols/musicians were actually singing about then they may become more open-minded.
In sum, if I were president, I would have a full agenda in an attempt to promote peace and unity. I would involve those who surround me, and most of all, I would live by example by trusting my fellow man, showing compassion and understanding, and promoting positions of compromise.