In late February, Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist, wrote a column showing Democrats a non-traditional path to defeating Donald Trump and Republicans in the upcoming election.

They say that there are no new ideas, only sequels and twists. There is also belief that history is cyclical. In the case of Friedman’s “excellent idea,” we can go back about 150 years to Abraham Lincoln. With our country in grave danger because of slavery and civil war, our country needed unification and Lincoln figured out that by putting his political rivals in important positions, he would be able to turn the tide of discontent into a positive force for change.

Friedman advocates for unification around candidates Michael Bloomberg or Bernie Sanders, calling them the “most viable long-term challengers” to Trump, advocating for them to find positions of power for their political rivals. He suggests Amy Klobuchar for vice president because of her past experience and overall decency, finding key positions for Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Corey Booker and Mayor Pete in the new administration.

After Friedman’s column ran, both Klobuchar and Pete decided to endorse Biden, dropping out of the race just before Super Tuesday, putting Biden into the mix as a viable front-runner and narrowing the field to four. When you read this, Super Tuesday will have dictated the next part of the path, but what is certain, according to Friedman, is that without a united party, the Democratic convention could get messy, creating mayhem that works to the advantage of President Trump.

By bringing together vanquished contenders, the Democratic nominee does something so anti-Trump that the stark difference will capture the hearts of moderates and liberals, and perhaps some conservatives who see Trump as a time bomb, someone more concerned about promoting loyalists than putting the smartest people in the right spots to move our country forward.

In Friedman’s plan, in addition to putting Vice President Amy in, he suggests the “tough integrity” of Kamala Harris will “clean up the mess” Trump has created in the Justice Department. Friedman suggests Biden as secretary of State with Bloomberg or Sanders as secretary of the Treasury. He puts Elizabeth Warren as secretary of Health and Human Services with Mayor Pete as secretary for Homeland Security. He brings along progressives by asking Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to be U.N. ambassador, imagining her representing the youth.

He brings back several previously vanquished opponents out of moth balls. Andrew Yang, and his populism movement, is his secretary of Energy, looking at Yang for innovative ways to grow alternative energy. He’s pegged Corey Booker for his passion and to continue a diversity path, as secretary of Housing and Urban Development, putting Tom Steyer in charge of creating a new infrastructure department, using the acute business skills that made him a billionaire.

The icing on Friedman’s cake is other choices based on a cross-coalition brought in because they are smart and tough, including Mitt Romney as secretary of Commerce, bringing some Republican voters along who are sick of Trump’s antics and are ready for a positive approach and attitude change in D.C.

This coalition of men and women beats the alternative of a bickering bunch of candidates and a split convention. This kind of bold plan creates the kind of excitement needed for an inclusive movement built to move our country forward. It can only happen if we ask all Americans to be part of the solution.

This is the kind of energy needed to give hope that divided government can be about checks and balances, rather than wars of ideology. It’s the difference between building walls and building bridges, betting on the philosophy that bridges to the future will excite moderates and youth disappointed in a president who doesn’t believe in science, dooming those who believe climate change is real and as big a threat as war.

Working together seems far-fetched, but the belief is many Americans want to move the pendulum back in the direction of love and kindness, wanting name-calling and bohemian behavior to stop.

This is about rejecting the idea our current president is the smartest man in every room, at all times, with all subjects ― seeing a narcissism that doesn’t put country first. Who believes Trump is smarter than his generals? Not enough Americans to get him reelected.

Instead of vanquishing anyone who ever opposed you in the vindictive manner Trump did after being emboldened after the failed impeachment in the Senate, how about judging leadership by what they know instead of choosing people who like you and will serve with blind loyalty that helps you, but not necessarily the country?

Looking for change and for the pendulum to swing left, hopefully settling into the middle, must be about love trumping hate and the hope for better air and equality for all citizens. These must be the game-changers propelling us forward.

Super Tuesday, did you bring us one step closer to that?

***

“He who establishes his argument by noise and command, shows that his reason is weak.” ― Michel De Montaigne, essayist (1533-1592)