American Gerontocracy

Generational Warfare In Our Time

Happy Belated 4th

Yes, it’s rough out there. Fuel prices and a sluggish economy are hurting us all. But by any reasonable historical standard, Americans are doing okay right now. This 4th, we should keep in mind that the thing that makes America great — Americans themselves, their spirit, their hopes, dreams, optimism, inventiveness — is still intact. Together, I’m pretty sure there aren’t many problems we can’t solve.

In the meantime, we should continue to look to the future, stay positive, and try not to lose perspective about how fortunate we are.

On this troubled Fourth we still should remember this is not 1776 when New York was in British hands and Americans in retreat across the state. It is not 1814 when the British burned Washington and the entire system of national credit collapsed — or July 4, 1864 when Americans awoke to news that 8,000 Americans had just been killed at Gettysburg.

We are not in 1932 when unemployment was still over 20 percent of the work force, and industrial production was less than half of what it had been just three years earlier, or July, 1942, when tens of thousands of American were dying in convoys and B-17s, and on islands of the Pacific in an existential war against Germany, Japan, and Italy.

Thank God it is not mid-summer 1950, when Seoul was overrun and arriving American troops were overwhelmed by Communist forces as they rushed in to save a crumbling South Korea. We are not in 1968 when the country was torn apart by the Tet Offensive, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, and the riots at the Democratic convention in Chicago. And we are not even in the waning days of 1979, a year in which the American embassy was seized in Tehran and hostages taken, the Soviets were invading Afghanistan, thousands were still being murdered in Cambodia, Communism was on the march in Central America, and our president was blaming our near 6-percent unemployment, 8-percent inflation, 15-percent interest rates, and weakening international profile on our own collective “malaise.”

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July 12, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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