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Ben Carson is making headlines for his controversial

Ben Carson is making headlines for his controversial remarks about the Holocaust and gun control. Credit: Getty Images / Alex Wong

I've always been a dreamer, metaphorically and literally.

I have the most fantastical thoughts while sleeping, and pretty good recall the morning after. And lately, my imagination has been in high gear. I'm not sure whether it's eating too late in the evening or the stress of national and world events, but my mind has been working feverish overtime hours.

I've been dreaming:

That the folks who say we need sensible gun control legislation and the folks who say, no, we need more care for the mentally ill admit that we need both, and that something -- SOMETHING -- gets done to address our awful problem with gun violence. The status quo is its own form of mental illness.

That Ben Carson, who suggested that if regular German citizens owned guns they could have stopped Hitler and prevented the Holocaust, takes some history classes.

That every person at Volkswagen who knew about the company's emissions-cheating software be required to work in an office filled with VWs -- with their engines running.

That one Republican presidential candidate says I'm not a scientist, so I'm going to listen to scientists on scientific topics, like climate change. And that we freeze the body of every climate change-denying elected official and thaw each one out 200 years from now. Let them live in the world we're headed to.

That Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio and all of their peers take unequivocal positions on issues that contain no caveats (like, "from what I know now") and represent no evolution in their thinking.

That somehow our elections get back to being elections and not massive audience-tested marketing campaigns.

That in the wake of the Kevin McCarthy debacle in the House of Representatives, the august body defies history and busts tradition and does the unthinkable: moderate Democrats and moderate Republicans band together to elect a speaker, consign the extremists of each party to the extremes, and get on with the business of doing the country's business. Yeah, I know. I've been called a hopeless dreamer, too.

That every person unplug himself or herself for one week a year and listen to the wind brush the trees, feel water lapping toes, watch a hawk soar, play with a child.

That every elected official, as a condition of taking office, be given a permanent IV drip of truth serum.

That the "taking" of big-game trophies be made a level playing field -- no guides, no jeeps, no weapons. May the best creature win.

That political leaders stop saying "the American people want" and start listening.

That no senior citizens spend their twilight years alone.

That Bill de Blasio finds a pair of big-boy pants and Andrew M. Cuomo takes an anti-bullying class.

That more Dr. Seuss books are found.

That our leaders and our people realize that more often than not when we try to fix something in another country, we only make it worse.

That we stop isolating kids who are different and start trying to understand them and embrace them for the way they add to the rich complexity of life.

That no child's spirit is ever broken, no child's thirst to learn is ever doused, and no child's hope is ever extinguished. Shame on all of us if we can't dream and work toward that.

Michael Dobie is a member of Newsday's editorial board.

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