2021 and beyond

Each year for more than a decade I’ve written a New Year’s letter, sharing some of the highlights of the previous year and projecting the future for my family and myself. We don’t, however, need to be reminded of the “highlights” of 2020, nor do we need platitudinous projections about 2021. Instead a wider view might serve as we sit on the verge of another year.

Having just finished reading “You Can’t Go Home Again” by Thomas Wolfe, I am struck by Wolfe’s optimism about the human race. In breaking with the editor who helped him launch his career, Wolfe identified the editor’s fatalism as the factor that necessitated their severance. Is that what it comes down to––are there two kinds of people: those who are optimistic and those who are pessimistic?

Wolfe’s novel covers the late 1920s and 1930s. He spent some time in Germany––a country whose culture he loved from afar only to discover in person the dark underbelly of hatred and evil that infected so many. That did not, however, discourage him in viewing America as a place of hope and inspiration.

Let’s examine the past century. Each of you can decide where you stand: optimist or pessimist.

The First World War is not a happy place to begin our journey. Millions of lives were lost unnecessarily as a result of rulers’ (misplaced) priorities and generals’ limited visions. The war was followed, we have recently been reminded, by a plague that added a toll of millions to the war’s devastation.

Then came a brief respite in the 1920s. Things were looking up. People put the war and pandemic behind them rejoicing in peace, with song and dance. Germany was unable to participate in the economic revival, however, as its economy had been saddled with enormous debt, although few saw the inevitable negative consequences of the terms of the peace settlement.

The end of the 1920s brought a new tragedy––a stock market crash followed by a long depression. Dire economic conditions worldwide did not come to an end until after another world war taxed humanity’s capacity for sacrifice.

It wasn’t until the end of the Second World War that the West discovered the depths of Hitler’s war on the Jewish people, in part because warnings and reports out of Europe had been ignored.

At the end of that war we again sought a lifestyle of hope. The economy grew allowing people to buy homes and cars. Colleges expanded admissions and optimism reigned as health care discoveries promised an end of long-feared diseases. The Korean conflict was a slight blemish on this period of hopefulness.

The 1960s reminded us of how far we had to go to live up to our ideals. The decade began with Blacks in the South seeking a redress of grievances and resulted in legislative civil rights victories although at the cost of sacrificed lives––Dr. King’s and both Kennedy’s.

Did we foresee how divided our society would become coming into the 1970s? We protested America’s role in Vietnam––some people not wanting to get involved in overseas struggles; others siding with Vietnam as one of the world’s poorest nations, ignoring the Soviet Union’s plan to convert poor nations to its ideology.

That was the beginning of a division that besets our country today.

Instead of progress, half of our country views the past half-century as a set-back, as a time when demands for equality were ignored or given lip-service. They believe their opponents (“White people!”) cheat at the game of life and that the disadvantaged need more breaks than the ones they’re already given. They also view the United States’ as a negative force on the world’s economic, environmental and cultural stages.

Those who identify as optimists see two hundred twenty-five years of progress towards the ideals of the American Revolution. They deny human perfectibility is achievable and reject government-imposed controls over thought and private life. They are opposed by those who are impatient for our society to achieve ideals that echo those of the Socialists and Communists––human perfection; an end to differences between men and women, rewarding of past victims of discrimination, and a government more involved in the outcomes of each individual’s fortune, rewarding those who don’t succeed on their own with services and wealth they feel they deserve simply by existing. They believe the rich can be taxed out of existence with no consequences. They believe that resources are limitless and therefore can be given away to anyone who arrives on our shores with open arms.

The electoral platform of the Democrat Party echoes the agendas of the Soviet Union of the 20th century and today’s Communist China. Communists in those countries applaud for it helps them advance their agenda. The Left blames the West for the disparities between peoples and promises that socialist policies can fix those disparities. Americans who endorse that scenario ignore the Socialist/Communist track record––the necessity of government top-down control, punishing individuals who fail to go along with the program by confiscating their property and imprisoning those who speak out too vociferously.

Conservatives rely on the inherent goodness of most people who they believe if left to their own devices will act fairly and honestly. They know laws and rules are necessary but seek to minimize restrictions in the belief that the outcomes are better when not imposed.

The liberal media tells the stories of people who have been harmed by capitalism and racial discrimination while the conservative media tells the stories of those who overcame disadvantages to make something of their lives and enrich the country. Both narratives have merit. Telling only one side does a disservice to the nation.

Americans will have to decide during the next several years which political philosophy they want to adopt. Some will blame the inevitable failure of the Biden/Harris Democrats’ agenda on Republicans and will seek stricter measures to prevent them from interfering, including packing the Supreme Court and revising the Constitution. Others will recognize that Democrat Party’s version of Socialism/Communism––enforced government equality––is worse than a dead end. It’s the precursor of running the economy into the ground and turning opponents into political prisoners. I hope I’ll be around to see which side will win out.

What we have to fear . . .

What will America look like if Joe Biden wins the election November 3rd and the Democrats take control of the U.S. Senate?  Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and Kamala Harris have promised measures so drastic that they should strike fear in the hearts of Americans who care about democracy and the protections afforded individuals in the U.S. Constitution.

A Democrat Senate could grant statehood to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, which would add four Senators, all of whom presumably would be Democrats. This step would not only result in several immediate catastrophes but would throw any balance between the two parties into the gutter. One party states are one step away from into one-party dictatorships.

It would mean the end to the Electoral College, a system that protects the residents of the less populous states from majority large state domination in all future elections. It would also likely result in the Democrats packing the Supreme Court with a sufficient number of new justices to guarantee none of their policies would be overturned by the Court.

Further, the totalitarian impulses of the Democrat Party would be institutionalized reducing freedoms of the First Amendment to the Constitution, such that government would have the power to restrain unpopular speech and religious practices if they conflict with government authority. These may seem far-fetched, but let me assure you they are not. All have come before the Supreme Court and were one vote away from being entrenched by the Court. Examples of governors implementing such restrictions during the pandemic should demonstrate how close we are as a nation to losing the freedoms that have stood us in good stead for 234 years.

On the other side, stands Donald Trump who is accused of being a racist, a Nazi, a liar, and a million other negatives, but accusations are all the Democrats and the media have going for them. His policies have won over millions of adherents by achieving a great economy prior to the arrival of the pandemic and providing benefits and services to Blacks, Hispanics, women, the elderly and infirm. If re-elected he will stand up to the Democrats’ wet dreams of unbridled power. That’s the choice Americans face. That’s the decision you must make on November 3rd.

Where’s the Hatchet? The Washington Post’s final attempt to derail Kavanaugh

Friday, October 5: As Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination fight nears its final hour, the Washington Post made one last attempt to derail his confirmation by digging into Kavanaugh’s past. I expected the front-page story entitled “The rise and reckoning: Inside nominee’s circles of influence,” to bring out last minute hatchets finely honed in order to decapitate the candidate. What a let down!

The Post must have assigned their top investigative reporters. I can imagine them spending overtime hours on the phone with every last person to ever cross paths with Kavanaugh from high school to the present. They state their conclusion upfront: Kavanaugh had a circle of “friends, loyal and true . . . [who] made it their business to buff and defend Kavanaugh’s reputation.”

Okay, I thought. Let’s hear examples of how his reputation needed buffing and needed to be defended. The juicy details must follow. But they don’t. There are no juicy details. Oh, one high school student who was teased says, “Brett was a jerk.” Wow! That disqualifies him right there. Is there more? Well, there’s a female Yale student who says he was a sloppy drunk. But did he try to ‘get into her pants?’ Apparently not, because the story moves on with zero reference to such behavior on Brett’s part.

There are references to things boys do as they become men: “a bar fight, groping attempts to get somewhere with women, perhaps worse.” But is anyone quoted saying that Brett did those things? Apparently not with the kind of conviction that the Post needed. The best the reporters can do is attack Brett’s “community”––people who attend prep schools and colleges like Yale. In other words, children of those who achieved some measure of success in American society, as if that should be sufficient evidence that he’s not qualified to serve on the court.

That in the final analysis is why the media and the Democrat Party hate Brett Kavanaugh. He is on the wrong side of the divide they have created and militates against their narrative that America is the land of the unjust. If America has been constructed on a foundation of racism, sexism, and the rest of the Left’s complaints, then anyone who is near the top economically and socially needs to be knocked off their pedestal.

Kavanaugh, not surprisingly, believes in the foundational values embodied in the U.S. Constitution. The Post and the Democrats do not. It’s as simple as that. The Post could find no hatchets to throw at Kavanaugh other than he came from a family that made it, and that expected a great deal of their son. He excelled––graduating first in his class in high school, as a Yale undergraduate and at Yale Law School. For shame. He has to be stopped.

On behalf of those who are not currently in the upper echelons of our society who would like to attain those heights, let’s hope Kavanaugh is confirmed because the kind of society he’d like to preserve is one where you’ll have a chance on your own merits to become the best you can be. You do not have to reside at the bottom accepting charity in return for your loyalty to the Democrat Party.

Brett Kavanaugh is not a perfect human being. There is no such thing. Did he go through normal growing up experiences? Yes. Did he ever go too far? Probably. Who can say they never did! Do you want to appear before a judge who has never made mistakes, who has no experience with pushing the limits? I’d hate to be the defendant before a judge who pretends to be perfect and denies he (or she) ever did something they wished they hadn’t done.

So the attempted hatchet job reveals more about the Post than it did about Brett Kavanaugh. It shows us their bias against people who send their kids to prep schools, who hold conservative views, and who have friends who they support and who support them.

Time to move on to the rest of the paper. Or maybe I’ll just skip the stories and go right to the crossword puzzle. That can’t be imbued with political ideology, or can it?