Those closest to me know that I am not as smart as my bride, but I am smart. I am not as kind as my late brother John, but I am kind. I am not as focused as my brother Bill, but I am focused. What I do seem to have the most of: perspective.
At this moment in history, we need perspective more than anything else. Here goes.
The freer each one of us is to unlock the highest fraction of our own potential, the better off we all will be. If you believe that, you likely were dismayed by the presidential campaign. My object is not to apologize or rationalize the appeals to our basest and most tribal instincts.
Some proposed the theory that the country needed strong medicine to fix its illness, even though the medicine has unpleasant side effects. Maybe that is correct. Maybe not.
What we do know is that America is built on a system of checks and balances. There is a system, there are institutions, there is always the will of the people. Any clear-eyed review of history shows the imperfection of humans and human institutions—we do not think we will achieve heaven on earth any time soon. But we have tended to correct our worst excesses and get back on a better path, sooner or later.
From an economic perspective, we are looking at a mixed bag. Millions of us have seen in our own work and businesses the deleterious effects of regulation that costs more than it is worth. We may reach a better balance, and hopefully that pendulum won’t swing too far the other way.
As for the protectionist trade policies promoted on the campaign trail, one can only hope that was a cynical ploy. We would do ourselves no favor by paying $400 for $200 televisions, or by engaging in trade wars that would shell out our exports and hurt workers and farmers.
In health care, there is a chance that the hash we have now, which replaced the prior hash, may be replaced with something better. (There is also a chance that life and death changes will harm fellow citizens.)
We would best be served by trying to figure out what the middle 60% or 70% of us can agree on. Partisanship has been a poor substitute for citizenship. There is much to do on many fronts—we have many challenges.
We will survive. Mistakes will be made. We will overreact. And we will come back, and come back, and come back. It is what we do. Keep the faith. Do what you can. Elevate the discourse.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.