From The Private Pilot’s Manual—
The start of a slow downward spiral may not be sensed when flying on instruments. If the pilot does not watch altimeter, pitch indicator, compass, and make corrections, it will gradually increase into a steep spiral dive.
A dear friend, worried about the direction the country is taking, asked what I thought would happen if it continued on its downward path.
In a country distracted by political and social extremism, debased by big money, hamstrung by a stalled-out Congress, President Obama uses Presidential powers to do some things that must be done. Past Presidents have gone further, assuming extra-legal powers, making war without calling it war (Gulf of Tonkin Resolution), and abrogating constitutional protections (Guantanamo). It is justified because the nature of warfare has changed, enemies no longer identified by geography, but striking from within states with whom we are not at war. The NY Times revealed that President Obama has taken personal charge, deciding which enemies will be struck. I trust Obama with such decisions, but who could trust Mitt Romney, or Newt Gingrich, or Sarah Palin?
If the U.S.A. elects a vulture banker who mouths extremist rhetoric but has no noticeable convictions of his own, what is a decent person to do? My generation’s time is over so I can only watch and post blogs. Those in mid-career, the richest cannon of their lives, will go on teaching, building, nurturing their loved ones, spreading light and love as decent people always do even when ruled by tyrants.
Younger Americans have more difficult choices. Some may join those fighting selfishness, cynicism, and ignorance. Some may pursue personal goals, hoping science, scholarship, the arts, etc., will yield satisfying lives. Society will be less stable and more fraught, yet the U.S. A. is far from the depths of Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia, Kim Jong-un’s North Korea, or China, which permits nothing meaningful (like Falon Gong) that it can’t control.
Some may draw into themselves and their families, seal themselves off from the world like the Amish (do they vote?) or create insular communities of vegans, organic farmers, artists, craft workers, expunging politics from their lives, which would be a tragedy for our democracy.
And some may emigrate—to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Scandinavia, the Eurozone, Costa Rica, etc., leaving the USA to dwindle, no longer a moral beacon for the free world, and before long, not the only superpower. This will be tragic for us, but not necessarily for the world.
Gloomiest is nuclear catastrophe, smuggled or missled in, followed by retaliation and the decline of civilization, God’s great experiment of intelligent life on Earth over. I don’t believe that will happen although a long setback is conceivable. Even with so dire a scenario, I believe humano sapiens is a noble experiment, and am personally sure that on other planets something like us has succeeded and will succeed again.