Monday, December 23, 2013


Like many of you, I enjoy Mr. Dickens’s classic tale of Christmas.  The thought of the ghosts of Christmas past and Christmas future appearing as the bell begins to toll fires my imagination.  Like Old Ebenezer himself, I’m increasingly haunted by apparitions.  We’ve become very smug and complacent in America today, confident in what we perceive as our relatively secure position in the world order, and satisfied that, despite the ugly divide that has been deliberately created among us, we can go on this way indefinitely, content that the growing enmity between us is of no real consequence, beyond stirring our blood and making for some rousing political campaigns.  While that may be possible, there’s another haunting possibility.  There are other ambitious countries in the world today, most notably China, countries who find themselves on the rise and perfectly content to sit quietly by and observe our increasingly evident inability to govern ourselves, until the time arrives when they are able to intervene on our behalf and assume that task themselves. This prospect should make some people very happy.  We’ll no longer need to fight about Social Security, or any of our bothersome social programs.  We’ll have none. Affordable health care won’t be concern.  We’ll have no health care.  Unemployment will be unheard of.  We’ll all be provided fulltime factory jobs that will keep us gainfully employed 24/7.  All our pesky civil liberties will no longer divide us.  Liberty will be only a memory. Even gun ownership will no longer be an issue.  We’ll have no guns. Does it sound more and more to you like a veritable utopia?  I suspect not.  So are these shadows of things that will be, or merely apparitions of things that could be? Of course, that depends on whether we continue behaving like spoiled, irresponsible children, or grow up and realize that there are consequences for bad behavior, and its time to join together and solve our differences rather than exacerbating and exploiting them for political purposes. I’d like to believe we could all get along, if we truly understood the alternative.  I’d like to believe that there’s reason for hope and we still have plenty of time, but the clock is ticking and the bell prepared to toll. SC

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