Friday, May 27, 2016

Memorial Day and A Sense of History
Memorial  Day commemorates veterans killed in defending  America.   Memorial Day  celebrations depends on  historical knowledge  – on a sense of history of America’s wars – the Revolutionary War, the Civil War,  World War I, World War II,  the Korean War, the Vietnam War,  the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars,  and Yes,  on  current conflicts against ISIS, which has yet to be called a War.
The Young and Knowledge of History
Yet,  if you listen to young people being interviewed on the streets,   they have little  knowledge of history.   They have no sense of when these wars were fought,  who the combatants were, what issues  led to the conflicts,  and what the economic consequences were.  History has lessons to teach, but they seem unaware of them.
This  is too bad.   As Abraham Lincoln intoned in its 1862 Annual Message to Congress, “Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration  will be remember in spite of ourselves. No personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us.” History has legacies.
This warning applies particularly to the young,  aged 18 to 34, who are now the largest voting demographic segment of the U.S. population. 
How Will History Judge Clinton, Sanders, and Trump 
How do millenials  think history will judge the policies of Hillary Clinton,  the  status quo of the last eight years, which  has featured withdrawal  from the Middle East wars with attendant  uptick  in chaos and terrorism, and a stagnant economy?
Will the failed histories ofsocialistic economies  be repeated in  the  promises of Bernie Sanders,  whose idealism favors government control over individual  liberties,   with “free” health care and college tuitions for all ?
Will Donald Trump  prevail, with his  capitalistic promises of  making America great again, by  negotiating  deals favorable to America, by  wiping out  the deficit,  and by declaring war on ISIS and  radical Islam?
Is Government Up to the Job
Is government  under any of these leaders up to the job of controlling  wars,  restoring social justice,  and  guaranteeing peace? 
Big government has not proven it can manage  economic failure.   It cannot keep within a budget when it comes to cutting back on  “free” entitlements.      It seldom abandons a project if it conflicts with its ideology.  It is not gambling with its own money, but  that of the taxpayer.  Its success is measured in good intentions, not results.     It succeeds by growing too big to fail and too influential to stop.   It can’t go out of business, can print money to keep going , and is propped up by taxpayer money. It  has not proven effective in avoiding wars or terrorist outbreaks.   And it failed to restore economic growth
Until Now
At least until now.    Now we have populist  uprisings against government on both the left and the right because its self-serving corruption  and its failures to deliver on its promises. 
Only history will tell  if government,  as now constituted and now controlled by the Establishment,   is up to the job of avoiding wars, keeping the peace,   restoring prosperity, and expanding affordable health care? .  
History is not optimistic.







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