I had the great fortune of having a new nephew being born on Thursday. A healthy little baby boy, primed and ready to face the world of the future.
I think it is very natural during times of births and deaths to look back and forward into time. And naturally, with my nephew’s birth, I’ve taken a moment to look ahead at what he might opine about if he’s lucky enough to have a blogging gig like mine 40 years from now.
At first, the idea was a bit daunting. Not having my own DeLorean on loan from Michael J. Fox, how on Earth would I know the political issues that will be discussed in the future. But as I thought about it, in a way, I have a guide if I simply look back to what my uncle was experiencing when I was born.
Politically speaking, America was a turbulent environment when I was born. The country was divided over the leadership of its elected officials, pessimistic about its future and facing crisises both on national and international levels.
Forty years ago, it didn’t look like the country could really ever heal from the Watergate crisis and gas prices were going through the roof due to an oil embargo. America was beginning to recover after the Vietnam War and wondering if the Cold War would eventually lead to World War III. To put it bluntly, it was a time of division, pessimism and uncertainty.
My point isn’t that history repeats itself every 40 years. My point is that every generation can find moments where the future looks bleak. Disasters will occur, controversies will linger, but the fact is that all of us find a way to improve our lives and move forward.
It’s easy to pine for the simpler days, but does anyone really want to go back and live life before Google or GPS devices? Are there really that many people wishing they could do research with a set of encyclopedias printed in the 1970’s or carry around maps from a phone book? We know the answer to that question.
So forty years from now, hopefully my nephew will be celebrating a new arrival in his family. If he’s lucky enough to be able to share his opinions about the political issues of the day, he’ll likely have a lot to talk about.
He’ll probably be able to write about tumultuous political issues, distrust of government officials who inexplicably are reelected over and over again, and international events that threaten the American economy. Just like his uncle did before him and his uncle could have written 40 years before that.
I realize that this isn’t exactly provable political science with mounds of evidence, but I think it can help bolster us during difficult times. How, you may ask, can this seem to help?
Well, when our current times seem dark for whatever reason you may think, it’s helpful to realize that as a country and a people, we have survived dark times before. We’ve survived division, crisises and even disasters that seemed to bring the end to life as we know it.
There may be a day when we as a country cannot heal, cannot survive, cannot get back up. But our tradition for over 200 years has been to prove wrong the finest pessimists in the land.
We may grow older each year and seemingly wiser, knowing that it can’t all be sunshine and roses in the future. But gratefully, new people are being born everyday knowing that it can’t all be clouds and disaster either.
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About The Blogger
- Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here usually every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti is also the host and producer of the Emmy award winning Colorado Inside Out on Colorado Public Television.