Yesterday I presented a laundry list of important problems facing America. It was a dark and depressing assessment of our country and its leadership.
My feelings about the US and the prospects for it are much more optimistic than what you might think. In an effort to be balanced, I offer the following list of encouraging accomplishments that should give us all hope for the future.
- The US was devastated on 9/11/01 when terrorists associated with Osama bin Laden hijacked four planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. For weeks all Americans, and particularly New Yorkers, grieved the loss of thousands of innocent friends and relatives. Our nation responded by attacking the terrorists where they resided. Navy Seals eventually killed bin Laden in Pakistan. The US has tirelessly attempted to root out and eliminate Al Qaeda and then ISIS, a more violent version of the former group. Our leaders and military have made great progress in this effort even though terrorists throughout the world are plaguing peaceful nations every day.
- Our financial markets have rallied during recent years on the heels of the Great Recession. The individuals that warded off the recession did a masterful job and it has paid dividends, literally, to this day. Interest rates are low enabling many Americans to afford housing and for corporation to grow and prosper. Job creation has ultimately driven down our unemployment rate to more reasonable levels, although earnings have lagged somewhat reflecting fragility of the situation. All this has increased stock prices, which is a boon to shareholders from all socioeconomic groups.
- The US is leading the technology explosion. The greatest companies in this broad industry category are domiciled in the US. They include the likes of Apple, Amazon, Google and many more companies that will continue to change and improve our lives.
- LGBTQ groups have made great advances. Our country has worked hard to protect this group from discrimination and to ensure equal opportunity. The ability of gays and lesbians to marry enables all Americans to enjoy the personal and financial benefits of family life.
- Although the war never subsides completely, our nation has totally fought off incursions against the right of women to choose. There have been many challenges, and women still are masters of their bodies. Hopefully this issue will fade away completely as public opinion along with our court systems solidifies this basic right.
- Incredibly the US elected an African American to be president two times. Setting aside his performance, which is still being debated, these events have opened the door for Americans of all colors to become leaders in government and industry. The achievements of the first woman nominated to be president was similarly a monumental moment for our country.
- Women are making great strides to assume greater roles in our country. Every year the pendulum swings further in the direction of more diversity in every aspect of our lives. Young women are making difficult choices in their lives mentored by older women who have already achieved great success while building strong families. Noteworthy is the progress of women on campuses around the country. Higher education is no longer an impediment for women to find great jobs and positions of leadership.
- Longevity in our country is a mixed blessing. It’s wonderful to know that living until you are 80 and beyond is commonplace today because of great medical advances. Yet these people need to be cared for by their families and by the country. Extended lives means more expense.
- We are free. Other than very reasonable laws that make our lives safer, Americans are able to do what ever they want, say what ever they want, travel to any place in the US with no restrictions and live anywhere they choose. America is so free that most people throughout the world would like to immigrate to our country.
- Despite the unreasonable perspectives of some Americans, social equality is a reality in America. No law-abiding religion or cultural groups are restricted in any way. We recognize that some groups still feel denigrated in certain situations. We try to rectify these situations over time by instituting new laws that protect everyone.
- A long time ago our forefathers, who were religious people, decided that the republic would operate more efficiently if there were a separation of church and state. This philosophy has served us well. State and God should not compete for the souls of Americans. There is a time and place for both. The result has been the greatest country in the world.
The problems facing the country have never been greater except during times of world wars. Americans have always had disagreements, which they have worked out over time. The horrible divide that exists in this country will eventually fade away in history. In the meantime Americans should be supportive of our government and work to change leadership at the ballot box if they are unhappy.