Dave Richards for February 13th….…………
--I am forming a new opinion of how this country is changing. Looking back at the recent presidential preference voting, I continue to see the battle between young and old developing. And between those who act sensibly and those who do not.
I have the distinct impression after seeing the results of the New Hampshire primary that quiet, sensible people are coming back into fashion, while loud and ‘entertaining’ people may be going out of style.
Look at the strong showings of Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar. Now look at the less-than-expected results for Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Conventional wisdom would have indicated that Bernie and Liz should walk away with very strong showings in New Hampshire since they both come from the states which border The Granite State. Yet, Liz just didn’t appeal to them, and Bernie’s early appeal is flagging.
Is it possible that people who don’t yell and pound the table and call their political adversaries names are a breath of fresh air? Maybe. But, of course it is too early to tell. I can hope, can’t I?
If it turns out to be a trend, then won’t Mr. Trump be at a disadvantage in the fall? Could be. But I still haven’t changed my mind that if Trump behaves like a president, he will be re-elected. That, however, is a tall order for this president.
--You may recall my observations in past writings that the great civil unrest we see today reminds me of a similar condition in the 1960s. I’ve done some further studying of the history books. For those who subscribe to the notion that social sentiment is cyclical, as I do, I offer this observation.
About every 50 to 60 years a wave of ‘hyper-liberalism’ seems to occur. This intense craving for ‘change’ of any kind can be seen today. We also saw it in the 1960s. Searching further back, the years immediately before the turn of the 20th century were the same. That general era brought the downfall of the trusts and the establishment of the middle class. You know, many people don’t remember President Theodore Roosevelt as a ‘flaming liberal’, but he was just that in his day, and for his entire political career going all the way back to his early days as a Customs Collector in New York City.
50 to 60 years before that there was the great tumult regarding slavery and State’s Rights. The result was the U.S. Civil War, touched off by the election of another man we don’t generally think of as a liberal, Abraham Lincoln. But he was a political liberal, have no doubt about it, and his newly-minted Republican Party was the party of ‘change’ in the mid-19th Century.
60 or so years before Mr. Lincoln there was the American Revolution, and the establishing of our Republic. If you don’t think the founding fathers were liberal thinkers and people of ‘change’, you’d better take another look at them.
So, in light of this observation, and in further light observing the men and women of today at the local, state, and federal levels of government who also crave ‘change’, what comfort can conservatives and moderates take in the upcoming election? Perhaps only that as surely as these cycles have repeated in history, this cycle will also pass.
--There’s a song I play on the radio in which an old man sings to a young man, “I know what it’s like to be young……..but you don’t what it’s like to be old.” It’s the age old battle between youthful exuberance and mature experience. The last time this cycle came around I was a young man who wanted to change the world. This time I am a man of experience who cautions the young, as I was once cautioned, to subdue their passions and push on into the future with measured steps and a concern for avoiding unintended consequences.
I think I’m in for as rough a ride as I gave the elders of my day.
But if we all play our roles sincerely and with conviction, we will all have done our best work on this earth.
--That's what I think. What do you think? Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. Thanks for reading.