The following comments are my opinions, and mine alone not sanctioned by LIMBA. Please feel free to comment
Members and friends
I looked back at the message for last year and I was pleasantly surprised. That was a message that called for hope and change, and the fact is, things did change. As I wrote the list of things that we should be concerned with, I said this about leadership.
“With rare exceptions, those who “lead” will do nothing unless we are vigilant and make it impossible for them to ignore us.” Well, we did make it impossible for them to ignore us, we held an election that repudiated much of the divisiveness that was, and still does poison this country’s politics.
Leaders in both major political parties are popping up and rejecting the extremes. That is happening because we told those who lead, what we the people, wanted. But it happened for another, equally important reason. Human beings seem to tire of being frightened. Eventually they come to the realization that there are dangers, and we learn to live with a certain amount of insecurity. For example, democracy and freedom are dangerous elements when running a country. We who lived through the 60’s know this from first hand experience. But don’t tell me that you would trade this system for one that offers total security. That has been the ploy of every despot that has ever governed.
We celebrate important holidays at this time of year. These holidays are important in the context of our religious beliefs. But these holidays are also important to our need to start again. Renewing of our efforts to live in peace is essential. Arrogance borne out of a sense of knowing how “right” we are is counterproductive in making actual progress on issues.
The so-called religious right has changed too. They have shrugged off that mantle that was imposed upon them. They are not willing to be exploited by any political party. This group is now embracing the environment as an issue. They are stating their concern for poverty and AIDS. Many of the Christian faith are speaking more in terms of the benevolent teachings of Christ, while abandoning intolerance, that some extremists in that fold have been spewing out. Congratulations to these courageous spokesman of their respective sects.
Yes, there is change in the air, and that change is us. A sincere and determined populace is difficult to ignore. We will have an energy policy in America that makes sense. We will have accountability imposed on those who wield power. We will keep Social Security solvent without some hair-brained scheme that in fact is designed to destroy it. We will have a health care plan in America that meets the needs of our citizens..We will figure out how to remake the United States into the well oiled competitive machine that made us what we are. “We will meet these challenges not because they are easy, but because they are hard” These were the words of President Kennedy. At this point in our history we have many challenges. So be it! This is a country that is up to the challenges.
Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year