New Year’s is upon us and quickly racing toward our collective psyche imbedding images and memories in that wonderful neural net we call our brain. The media doles out the inevitable articles, comments and videos on “those we lost this year.”
Maudlin, yes, but also necessary that we remember who gave us bits of our history whether in entertainment or politics and how they did it. Some will appear to be minor figures on the stage of our 2016 memory bank and others will assume stature that can only be attributed to them by our personal believes and needs. Not all will be remembered with the same fervor. We do selectively remember and even color much of it both purposefully and unconsciously.
Locked as they are in their eternal destiny, they remain as they were in life; never aging, never-changing and always ready to leap forward as we reminisce. For some this will present a comforting respite from the present day, but for others, it may do more than that.
As the years go by and the memory banks fill up (or do they?), some find they are stuck in the past. There is little appreciation for the new or newer and inadequate inspection of what has been and may never be again.
Not meaning to be abstractly philosophical here, I am referring to another area of our memory and it pertains to what is the best way to handle difficulties, to solve problems and to use vigorous introspection. We see this now, as we’ve seen it before, in a new political structure being assembled.
One aspect of this structure is based on brute force as the answer and staring your opponent down. Remember the Cold War? In a world no longer dependent on Bowie knives and long bows, politicians found new, wonderful terror could be accessed through the potent destructive power of nuclear weaponry. No one needs a better example of the destructive force they deliver other than to look at photos of the remnants of Hiroshima. Blackened charcoal images on concrete represent all that remains of citizens burned to crisps in an instant as the blast lit the skies above them.
Politicians burying their heads in 1950s thinking about how these weapons will serve us well and forgetting that the danger now doesn’t come from bombs, but hackers, is shocking, insulting and dangerous. China knows that the next great weapons will be found in space and in rooms full of accurately programmed and humming servers. No need to build nuclear weapons because they destroy the land for hundreds of years and invade the DNA of any who dare tarry nearby.
These politicians are caught in a time warp of which they are totally unaware and the danger they can bring is more than frightening. Ignorance is not bliss but disastrous in this instance. Donald Trump is exhibiting this type of Reagan reasoning and we have to wonder if his lack of computer knowhow is the reason or a temperament built on that brute force technique is all he has to protect us.
Presidents are the fathers and mothers of their nations and each action, no matter how small, when made without sufficient forethought moves out like a ripple on a pond. It just keeps getting bigger the longer we look at it.