2020 resolution for Trump and Democrats

I often think of some of the last words spoken by President John F. Kennedy. “We would like to live as we once lived,” he remarked at a breakfast hours before his assassination, “but history will not permit it.”

Nor will history permit us to live today as we once did. Events intrude, as they did for JFK that day. But this hasn’t stopped politicians — on both sides — from trying to turn back the clock. For example, here we are with one-fifth of the 21st century behind us, and Democrats running for president (most of them anyway) talk of labor-intensive manufacturing and unions, while President Donald Trump praises coal and tries to bring back incandescent light bulb technology dating to 1879. Why not bring back the rotary phone and black-and-white TV while we’re at it? Is that the best they can do?

Their nostalgia is understandable. Technology is moving faster than mainstream comprehension; it threatens vast disruption to what we know. This, combined with the very human desire for simple solutions and an avoidance of sacrifice, gives political fuel to those who maintain that answers to the future can be found in the past.

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