Once upon a time, there was a nation that dreamed big dreams:
We were given a challenge by a thin man from Harvard. It was a simple challenge with a clear goal: sending a man to the moon and bringing him back in one piece - still alive. And there was a deadline too.
It was to be a man, of course, and it didn't need to be said that the man would be white. That's the way things were then. And to make things even more restrictive, the vast majority of the people paying for the trip would be stuck here on the ground.
Despite this distinct lack of inclusiveness, people bought into the challenge. And people that didn't look at all like the actual flight crew managed to benefit from the effort. Some more directly than others. Some much later than others. But benefit they did. And benefit we still do.
Now there's another thin man from Harvard. And like the thin man in the youtube clip above, this particular thin man has the attention of the nation.
What one big idea do you think that President Barack Obama should challenge the nation with? Think big, think challenging, think concretes rather than abstracts.
Here's an example of a big challenge:
I challenge the people of the United States of America to provide the opportunity for a livable income to every citizen 18 or over and his or her dependents before the end of the decade.Then, describe how you'd accomplish it:
In the livable income example, one set of methods could include a combination of a realistic "full" employment policy, a Civilian Reserve Corps modeled loosely after the Reserves of the Armed Forces, volunteer work and creative work. The bargaining chips could include Social Security and the national Minimum Wage, because a sufficiently big program could eliminate the need for both.What would you propose as One Big Idea?
Anything goes, but please, no laundry lists.