I almost forgot ©
I had a strange feeling last week after the election. It’s very hard to describe but it was like I was walking around in somewhat of a happy cloud trying to comprehend what just happened. Finally, after several days I realized what it was and exclaimed to my wife: I had forgotten what it was like to feel good about America’s future.
All of a sudden there was hope and I had forgotten what that felt like! Certainly not during the last eight years and before that we had the financial meltdown of 2008 which followed about seven years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq after the World Trade Center was struck by Al Qaeda. Before that we had the Clinton scandals including Monica Lewinsky and Bill’s subsequent impeachment. That was preceded by the first Gulf War against Saddam Hussein when he invaded Kuwait.
So I had to hearken all the way back to Ronald Reagan in order to remember the kind of political hope I was feeling last week. It’s been a long dry spell and it was absolutely an unfamiliar feeling…..so much so that I didn’t even recognize it at first!
As seniors we have the benefit of being able to bring some historical context to the situation. Do you remember as I do that the Iranians actually freed our hostages while Ronald Reagan was being sworn in to succeed Jimmy Carter? That was after 17% inflation, an OPEC embargo that caused long lines at our gas pumps, and 55 mph speed limits on our new interstate highways. I had lost hope in those days much as I had in the last eight years.
But we had hope and after a couple rough years with Reagan and his tough cigar-chomping Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Paul Volcker, who made us swallow the bitter medicine of tight money, we got inflation under control and we had more than a decade of marvelous economic growth, job creation and prosperity. And along with it came the feeling most of us had…..proud and thankful to be Americans!
Now I’m not naïve enough to believe that all of you reading this column share my feelings; nationally, half of us are in shock, awe and disappointment. I don’t think quite so much here in Georgia and probably not as much among us seniors who are from a different political era. But nonetheless, I know not all of you agree with me. But I appreciate your patience and at least reading this far without tearing the page out of the newspaper. I hope you will extend the same courtesy and a bit of patience to our new President Elect and at least give him a fighting chance to try improving our lot.
I would hope for a special patience among our minority and urban neighbors who really have reason for despair. I believe Donald Trump’s plan to break the education monopoly by allowing competition in our education system will drastically improve education, especially in the minority community. And I believe his plan to rebuild our infrastructure will bring with it a great number of good paying construction jobs. I’m excited about our future together; I can’t remember the last time I said that and meant it.
I had almost forgotten!
Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week!
Bill Milby, CSA, is a Certified Senior Advisor and a Director of Visiting Angels® of Macon, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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