I’ve lived with, and coped with, the results of the political leadership of great statesmen, some who were not so great, and a few who were simply venal. Up to now I’ve been able to keep a sense of anticipation that our nation would produce the ‘larger – than – life’ state-persons we need. We need such people to lead us along a path which leads to the political place where the solutions to our many national problems lie. Our history as a nation has informed me that this anticipation is reasonable and valid. However, the national problems and events of the last several decades, and our nation’s responses to these, has started to diminish my sense of hopeful anticipation. Problems such as health insurance availability, kick the can down the road fiscal policies, the bloated defense budget, response to global warming, a national infrastructure that is falling apart, a flawed judicial system which leads to wrongful executions, a national attitude that intellectual achievement and honesty are not important qualities in our leaders, and an educational system that fails to produce citizens ready to meet the demanding requirements of our Republic. I believe this is enough to justify my diminishing hopes for the betterment of our society as the future unfolds.

Finding a solution to this problem of diminishing hope is made more urgent by the fact that my life has nearly run it’s course and the lives of my three son’s children are just beginning. I feel real concern that our nation’s present policies and actions are not up to the standards set by our nation’s previous generations. I fear if we do not alter our course soon the future will be bleak indeed.

What can I do? There is one act that I can perform which, (1), gives voice to my concerns, (2), honors those who fought for our freedom, (3), has proven to be effective. It is the act of casting an informed ballot. This is an absolute must for me. But, what else can I do? Who can I look to for hopeful examples? The answer for me is family and friends. Especially my younger family members and friends. Accordingly, I try to keep up close relations with the younger members of my circle. I am inspired by their collective blend of idealism, hope, and naivete. So, I will look to the young people in my life to elevate my sagging hopes for a better future and see what happens.

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