While roaming through the slums of Mumbai, India in the late 1960s, this Peace Corps Volunteer was a keen observer of art. Yes, the 12 by 16' rooms of the four-story tenements of my first work site, Worli Chawls, had art hanging from their walls viewable through their barred windows.
There were three categories of the art in Worli Chawls, pictures of:
1) Gandhi and Nehru
2) Hindu gods
3) John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Because JFK used the camera well, offered the struggling a vision along with programs to implement peace and prosperity, and sent more "Shanti Senna" Americans annually to India than to any other country.
Hindi "Shanti Senna" translates to "Peace Army." Gandhi conceptualized it as a nonviolent volunteer-peacekeeping program dedicated to minimizing communal violence in India.
JFK conceptualized "Peace Corps" to minimize violence throughout the world. Even those struggling in the chawls of India seem to know that
Pesident-Elect Donald Trump uses the camera well and hopefully is conceptualizing programs for peace and prosperity. Could media savvy Trump build a AWSC National Service Corps that rebuilds the Peace Corps to the size JFK envisioned it, and muscle-up other do-good organizations to the size JFK knew they needed to be?
If President Trump pushes Congress to introduce and pass the American World Service Corps National Service (AWSCNS) Congressional Proposal, America and the world would have a healthier, greater future.
Implementing this AWSCNS could move America together toward greatness...
A robust AWSCNS Congressional Proposal could help knit this fraying great nation back together again by having diverse colors, regions, classes, and religions work together to address domestic and international problems.
For two years of AWSC National Service in such organizations as Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Habitat, Doctors Without Borders, Head Start, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, Americans Friends Service Committee, TechnoServe, Heifer, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, State Conservation Corps, In-Need Schools, Hospitals Therapy Wards, Homes for The Elderly, etc., four years of college/vocational tuition would be paid, or equivalent home down payment, health-care savings deposit, tax credit granted, etc.
Free education would be earned.
Immigration rights earned.
Public policy understanding enhanced.
And, as Mark Twain correctly opined, the national service and travel a million Americans a year would be engaged in at home and abroad would be "fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
Sen. Barbara Boxer, who introduced HR1807 (Joint US-USSR Peace Corps) in 1989.
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Let's build tens of thousands of bonds between serving Russians and Americans, not just between a couple hundred astronauts, cosmonauts, and executives.
Let's start building armies around peaceful service rather than around expensive drones.
Let's try People's Lobby's non-traditional funding mechanisms so that the heaven-bound goodness and wisdom of the super-rich funds 21 million Americans doing, learning, and forging friendships at home and abroad via national service over the next 27 years, without costing taxpayers a dime.
Let the Trump administration bring Congress together in recognizing that there are cost-effective means to build security peacefully and thereby address President Eisenhower's concerns.