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National Issues

There’s a tie for president. Now what?

It’s Nov. 9, 2016, votes have been counted and … there’s a tie between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump! The vote goes to the House which, unsurprisingly, remains divided, but a creative plan emerges: Both men take office but take turns leading, Roman consul style — one month at a time for one year — before another vote is taken.

What happens next? Well, that requires a little imagination, but here goes:

Settling In

Nothing much gets done. Soon after Trump starts building a wall across the Mexican border — Mexico, of course, refuses to pay — Sanders tears it down, reusing the materials to construct housing for Middle Eastern refugees. But before the houses are finished, Trump deports the refugees.

On a separate front, Trump allows unfettered fracking across America, but Bernie shuts down operations by making these areas national parks.

Congress is in an uproar over the number of executive actions taken so far. Pressure from each candidate’s party to remain uncompromising prompts Fox News, MSNBC and E! News to focus its coverage on this — and nothing else.

Attempting Compromise

For all their differences, the men do have similarities. Both oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), and support a hands-off approach to dealing with the Middle East. So TPP is shredded, avoiding further decline of American manufacturing, But destroying relations with the 12 countries in the partnership leads to a decline in exports and, consequently, the GDP.

Meanwhile, Russia and Saudi Arabia are left to lead attacks against ISIS, and the Middle East remains in turmoil. The results do not sit well with many Americans, who are upset their favorite shows are being interrupted by political news bulletins.

The Finale

Each president blames the other for what is wrong with the country, galvanizing the two extreme fractions of America into a civil war. The result — two new countries are formed. Canada provides support for the Democrats and helps to establish a new government in the north — Bernieworld — where a thriving middle class enjoys free healthcare and dirt-cheap college tuition. Alas, the 1 percent choose not to go, leading to enormous tax hikes.

Trumpland is marked by a gigantic wall along the Mexican border where a vast number of corporations, devoid of immigrants and government regulations, succeed without pesky liberal scientists informing them their drought is related to global warming made worse by factory emissions.

Granted, the above scenario is extreme, but it does reflect the growing political and ideological division between our political parties. Just as the Roman consulate system was broken and ultimately collapsed, our nation’s two-party system allows our government to swing wildly from one side of the spectrum to the other with every election. There is no middle ground in these swings, leaving our political system in its current partisan state.

Ultimately, I’d like the front-runners to be people who can cope with, persuade and compromise with their opposition. The candidate who can do this well is who I want for president and, oh, it would be nice if he or she believes in climate change.

Alyson Hoffman, from Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, is a graduate student studying biochemistry at Duke.


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