Bold and audacious
President Biden’s address on Wednesday night was bold and audacious, which I believe also describes the history of America. The U.S. became the envy of the rest of the world by taking risks and having the courage and fortitude to see them through. My favorite quote is from Albert Einstein: “We cannot solve our problems with same level of thinking that created them.”
Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and countless other bold and audacious people have totally revised the way we live and helped create the powerful economy of today. Biden was right when he said that the next 10 years will bring more technological changes than we have seen the past 100. The question is who will be the leader, innovator and implementer of these changes, the U.S. or China? China is determined it will lead.
It won’t happen by denying climate change, bringing back coal, not working with our allies, denying the changing demographics of the country, sowing division rather than unity and rewarding the super-rich while the poor get poorer and the middle class treads water.
On Wednesday night, the Republican Party I left looked dour and stuck in the past with no solutions to address the problems we face today. Former President Trump left office with a 32% approval rating. Why can’t Republicans move on and realize their formula isn’t working?
I compliment Biden for recognizing we must invest in our future if we expect to reap the dividends.
Falling in line
I am vaccinated for COVID, yet, to make others feel safe, I wear my mask in public, even though, most times, it may not be necessary or required. But I truly don’t understand the lock-step behavior of people these days who are actually anxious to fall in line with the dictate of the day.
At one point in this country there was a belief that a person could best stand on his or her own; that it was actually better if you could get along on your own without dictates from others. I am older and was lucky enough to have lived in some of those times.
I know that if some of the people that are espousing all of the lock-step behavior had different life experiences in their younger days, things may be different for them now.
A better way
In the April 28 letter “The biggest problem,” the writer, arguing against Phil Zuckerman’s April 10 column, “No reason to fear a secular nation,” claims that if God “doesn’t exist, then our ideals really don’t matter. In fact, nothing matters. Nothing at all.”
I once thought that. Then I overcame my irrational belief in God and realized that everything matters more, especially morality.
If there’s no god to fall back on, then we must take responsibility for ourselves. How we choose to live and how we treat others (and how they treat us) is of the utmost importance. This isn’t just a dress rehearsal for heaven, it’s the real thing. Forgiveness for trespass cannot be taken for granted. Sometimes, it must be earned.
The letter writer tried to undermine Zuckerman’s main point — that “secular” nations like the Scandinavian countries tend to have less crime, less violence, better education, more equitable economics and a kinder social safety net than religious nations like ours. But he couldn’t deny the reality of that point.
“God-given rights” are limiting — and, as practiced by conservatives, more limited — rather than freeing. God-believers often use their god as an excuse for their cruelty and hatred, like some in North Carolina are doing right now as they attack LGBTQ youth.
Secular nations are more humane. They are, by the objective standards listed above, better.
The ease with which some god-believers are willing to hurt others and deny their equality and rights should tell us something.
Mel H. Henderson
President Biden’s State of the Union address was so optimistic! He didn’t refer to “American carnage” once. He sees a bright future for our nation. That encourages me.
I realize that some critics think he’s leading us the wrong way. I hope they’ll pray for God to protect and guide him. That’s certainly what Biden prays for.
God can use imperfect, even flawed people to perform his will, just like he did with King Cyrus. Biden could be our generation’s King Cyrus.