Press-Republican

Columns

December 30, 2012

Rediscovering a nation for all

(Continued)

We passed through another decade with a new leader just as political, as inspirational and as flawed as John F. Kennedy was in his day. In fact, Bill Clinton’s idol had been JFK. Clinton tried to arouse the spirits of a nation, just as his idol had, but he did so in a very different era. By Clinton’s day in the sun, much of America was affluent, divided, and mistrustful. We were no longer united around a common external enemy, and instead we created enemies from within.

The technological and educational foundations were established, and there were peace dividends to enjoy, which provided our nation with a modicum of affluence, hallelujah. But, our thirst for a better day diminished. Instead, we began to contemplate how to divide up an economic pie rather than seek ways to expand it for us all.

The last two presidencies, through the 2000s and 2010s, have turned out to be most divided.

As we reach the end of 2012, we remain immersed in recession and economic hardship, begun under one presidency and continued in another, that have lasted an almost unprecedented five years.

Hallelujah now takes on a different meaning. It is a sorrowful sound, one not of joy but of capitulation, a begging for divine intervention and a realization that intervention has invariably failed to arrive, even when our nation stands at economic precipices time and time again.

Our hallelujah is a refrain sung in a minor chord, a recognition that all is not possible if we can’t even sit down and agree to avert a fiscal cliff. It is the frustration our children express as the first generation to believe their lives will be worse than their parents’. It is the melancholy when the responsible among us realize we have, for too long, lived beyond our means. And yet, we kick the can farther down the road so that we may preserve our prosperity, even if our children and those yet to be born will have to pick up the tab.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • ken_wibecan.jpg Another day in the life

    Each morning I rise from bed, slowly, as is my habit, and sit quietly on the bed contemplating the day that looms before me, writes columnist Ken Wibecan.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR small talk mug 081714 Corner store is no more

    Columnist Gordie Little offers a reminder of the little grocery stores of days gone by.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR skin deep mug 081714 High-end products worth the splurge

    Regardless of the price, writes columnist Felicia Krieg, she would buy the core group of her makeup products over and over again.

    August 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • paul_grasso.jpg Tax code needs overhaul

    Corporations may be criticized for exploiting loopholes, but it is the complex tax system that is at fault, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Ideas about soil health changing

    New techniques like no-til and cover crops can make soil healthier than conventional tillage, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Economy may have changed forever

    The Great Recession has reordered the workforce in a way that makes it unlikely it will ever be the same, according to columnist Colin Read.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg The dark side of fun funerals

    Something strange happened in American culture in the past decade or two: People started planning fun funerals, writes religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR fit bits mug Developing power key to success

    While strength is important, the ability to generate power is required for many basic activities in life, writes columnist Ted Santaniello.

    August 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR you had to ask mug 081014 Time to reel in youth sports parents

    Do not scream at a child that he's a loser, at least not in a language he understands, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    August 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Treating corporations like people

    Problems arise in many areas when businesses take on the attributes of individuals as mandated by the court, according to columnist Colin Read.

    August 10, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice
Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk
Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time