Focusing on the positive

Every year at this time I realize how little I have accomplished in the preceding 12 months, made the world a little better or given of my time to some worthy purpose. This year I am reflecting on some of the observations made by others in the past.

It was Jefferson who said that the raison d'etre for the new country was the guarantee of personal freedoms, making Democracy a very dangerous form of government if not restrained. People could be democratically voted out of those freedoms; thus we have the Bill of Rights putting a choke collar on Congress.

Many years ago, Winston Churchill opined that “Americans always do the right thing, after they've tried everything else.” So our systems do work, albeit inefficiently and saddled with problems, stresses, needless delays and sometimes, total dysfunction.

But eventually, we get it right. The master wordsmith also said, “it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

Sixty years ago, President Eisenhower warned against “unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”

How soon we forget. I have heard any number of senators, congressmen, and the like state that we wouldn't have to change Medicare at all if we would just cut out all the fraud and abuse. Similarly we could save billions in Pentagon expenditures. So? Do we need a law or can we just begin at some point. I would like to remember, particularly in the coming year, which seems to be fraught with a variety of perils, the observations of some of our forebears, all providing positive outlooks for the coming year if we only have the will, the determination, and the memory. Happy New Year.

Edwin Bowers