I was recently asked a question by a friend whose grandchildren’s ages are similar to mine. He asked me to name two things they might encounter in the world after he and I were long gone. What two things would make it hard for them to live the lives we hope for them.
To which I replied ‘climate change’ and ‘income inequality”.
As someone normally unafraid of change, I realized that sooner or later we were going to have to elect people to leadership roles in the government that were OK with scientific research and with democratic principals upon which to make far reaching decisions.
My inspiration for expressing these thoughts in this blog post is an article that appeared in the Weekly Standard last November 14th. My memory of this publication is that it comes from the United Kingdom and has a long history. But I could be mistaken.
It was titled The Vaporware Presidency. It was not hard to realize it was probably about our current President here in the US. It’s a 3 minute read and can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/y9kemavh
The term ‘vaporware’ has a specific origin which is described in the article. To my mind, however, it brought up images of smoke and dust which make life hard to interpret.
I’m of two minds about our current resident of the White House. On one hand, I have no doubt he’s intelligent and rarely opens his mouth without a clear idea of the message he’s sending. On the other hand, I think his fundamental values about how life should be lived by each of us in society are heavily skewed toward what I think of as dishonorable behavior.
Among other things, the telling of deliberate falsehoods to create chaos and confusion among those he is supposed to represent is shameful. But that also presumes he has the capacity to experience shame, which I’ve come to doubt.
The recent reaction to Iran and the shoot down of an armed drone carried this deliberate pattern to an extreme that had, and perhaps still has, the potential to create World War III. Will our grandchildren have a world to live in with any degree of hope?
In the space of less than an day, he authorized an armed response to the shoot down of our drone to a reversal of that command that makes little sense. Was the command to attack vaporware? Was it done deliberately or was it incompetence? I’m not sure.
I’ve written in the past about how this presidency offers the country an opportunity to explore our values as a society and how those values should be expressed in our rules and regulations. That’s what we use to apply boundaries to personal and corporate behavior. In the near term, what we’ve arrived at over the past several decades is being rapidly eroded.
Is that a good thing? Does it conform to the will of the people? We pretend to be a democracy where those of us who live here as certified citizens can express our wishes about the breadth and extent of those aforementioned rules and regulations. Some of us want to limit that expression, something I reject as wrong.
Virtually all of us want to live with structure in our lives and the means by which we create that structure is by our collective will. Chaos and uncertainty do not lend themselves to productive behavior with an expectation there will be cake to eat tomorrow.
Vaporware indeed. Time to focus on a remedy.
Tony Kendzior \ June 27, 2019