Escondido, CA
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy

What America needs . . . a whole lot more than luck

Leaning Left

I consider myself one of the luckiest people on the planet. Far more lucky than ambitious or knowledgeable. Far, far, far more lucky than smart. This is likely the result of being white, of male gender, a tad over-educated — all allowing me to skate past or around my several character flaws and numerous not-so-intelligent life choices.

And being an American – born or legalized — of course makes anyone much luckier than the vast majority of those who people the globe (an assessment very much modified these days, given our 500,000-plus-and-counting COVID-19 deaths).

But in several ways, Americans recently have had an incredible run of good luck, which we better not depend on, because so often so razor thin.

This first struck me as I watched news of the horrendous auto accident that Tiger Woods had, apparently driving too fast on a dangerous roadway, rolling over multiple times, missing several trees and ending up in a ditch . . . and yet surviving. 

Yes, multiple injuries likely to end his golfing career, but absolutely lucky to be alive.

And there was that blown engine of a Boeing airliner, the pilots able to turn back and land the plane, all safe and sound, the multiple pieces of engine falling on to homes and athletic fields, providing a whole bunch of interesting memorabilia but no injuries.

And how about Texas? Yes, it was hit with a cataclysmic winter storm, but we’re told that some quick thinking (we don’t know exactly what or by whom), averted a months-long blackout across the entire state.

Then there was January 6, a crazed mob attacking the Capitol, a good bit of destruction and a half-dozen lives lost. And one can’t help but imagine how much, much worse this could have been, given the weaponry available on both sides – the rioters with loaded guns, clubs and other types of battering rams (hey, why not an American flag too?), the police and National Guard with a whole deadly arsenal available to them. 

Overall, the avoidance of massacre – even the possibility of congress people being captured and killed — will be studied, analyzed and investigated for years but may have just been a matter of incredible chance. As the country’s constitutional liberties were put on the very brink, a variety of small decisions were made and greater loss of life just narrowly avoided.

Apparently topping all of these was the recent national election and its results. 

About this it’s easy to think that the many wins by Democrats were mostly a matter of luck, given the extremely narrow victories – a mere 10,000 or so of deciding votes in key battleground states — thus establishing the paper-thin majority in the Senate and winning the presidency. 

But that wasn’t at all a matter of luck; it was the product of very hard work by Democrats, outworking the hard work put in by Republicans. So now we are not just lucky but incredibly fortunate to have the current ability by Democrats to take significant action for this country, to break through the political “nope-won’t-happen” characterizing the recent history of the Senate and the past four years of presidential ineptitude. 

Yes, we’ve recently had some good luck – but we better not think that luck will be there to help us fend off more attacks on the Constitution, on democracy, on voter rights. Nor are these things God-given, whatever our “trust” may be. 

It has been the result of having an educated population that believes it is more important for all of us to have a say in our leadership, our programs and policies, than to cede that power to one person.

Tyrannical rule is of course embedded in our planetary history — from kings and queens to modern tyrants and autocrats — and will keep resurfacing, never to disappear entirely. 

As the past four years so obviously demonstrates, vast numbers of human beings can be hypnotized into believing that just one lone individual can best tell them how to live their lives, what to believe, and what they should consider as fact, however obviously non-factual. 

Of course, that way is so much easier, isn’t it? Isn’t it? — to let that single individual tell you what to think and what to do, because then you don’t have to think and do for yourself, not be responsible . . . just follow.

Well, we better teach our kids and grand-kids concerning the constant struggle they absolutely must take on to support, defend and hold on to democracy.

Because it’s pretty damn certain that someone will come and try to take it away from them.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

3 responses to “What America needs . . . a whole lot more than luck”

  1. Stein says:

    “Well, we better teach our kids and grand-kids concerning the constant struggle they absolutely must take on to support, defend and hold on to democracy. Because it’s pretty damn certain that someone will come and try to take it away from them”.

    True words, and with nearly 50 Executive Orders (I guess we don’t vote on things anymore) and a President in hiding (no press conference yet), gas hitting $4 per gallon, a 1.9 trillion dollar bailout to mostly failed blue states (and about 9% going to actual COVID relief), to list only a few debacles in the first 50 days new administration, we truly are in deep doo-doo. We can only hope that 2022 turns the tide on the haters of America (democrats) and restores some sense of reality to this Country. The left has stripped away so many freedoms and the EO’s have already taken away so much, without any regard or concern-just a swipe of a pen by a senile old man unfit to lead.

  2. Stein says:

    Copy and paste but well stated; thoughts?

    “Lets look at what team Biden has done for this country. Number 1, they have waged war on the oil, natural gas, and coal industries in this country. Number 2, they have created a disaster at the border where thousands are entering our country, many have never been immunized for anything and many who may have the Wuhan Virus. Number 3, they clearly are putting China ahead of the United Sates. Number 4, they passed a bloated so called Covid Relief bill of 1.9 trillion dollars of which pennies go to American citizens but San Francisco and other democrat run cities get huge bailouts. In it ILLEGAL immigrants also get free healthcare, better care than our veterans. I watched the hearings on this, this is in the bill. Number 5, they have waged war on the First, Second, and Fourth Amendments. Democrats wrote a letter to all cable and satellite companies demanding that all “conservative” news programs be dropped. Thats a First Amendment issue. They fully support big tech shutting down conservatives. They have put forth close to 20 anti Second Amendment bills. They have enacted and employed Red Flag laws that result in peoples lawfully owned property being taken from them without due process. I honestly do not understand how anyone could think having our rights and freedoms taken from us is a good thing. Yes team Biden has already inflicted great harm to this country. The scary part is they are just getting started”.

  3. Robert Daumiller says:

    Mr. Long comments on his “facts”, ignoring real facts. In four years Trump managed to bring down our DC passion of starting wars. He beefed up our military. He managed to bring back off-shore manufactuors and managed to keep American ones in America. Our economy took off with a new-found enthusiasm. Obama’s statement that our DGP would not exceed 2 percent was proven wrong. Unemployment sank to historic lows, especially among black and Hispanics. He managed to calm our southern border, working with Mexico to improve relations and to keep out a considerable amount of illegal aliens even without help from RINOs. He began the most effective peace inititives in the Middle East withh landmark agreements between once bitter enemies. Trump reduced taxes and our coffers increased to record highs. Self employment soared. Trump’s cardinal sin? People did not like his style. So what?
    Now, in 100 days, Biden, whom the main stream media and Putin gush over, has undone most of Trump’s good works and this is a good thing for America? The elimination of the Keystone Pipe Line, drilling and fracking is a good thing? George Sorso is helping America relive Hitler’s Germany in 193, using Lenin’s playbook to bring about the destruction of America. Californnia remains locked down and this is a good thing? Biden and Harris are a good thing for America?

Leave a Reply to Stein Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *