Leonard Zwelling

         I know depression. First hand. You know the real thing—requiring
drug therapy and all the rest. I managed to avoid ECT, but believe me, I know
depression. Today, I am not depressed. I’m sad.

         I am not full of emptiness as much as full of sorrow. What
has happened to the country I love over the past twenty years? Not much good.

         Perhaps it all began when the 2000 presidential election was
so close it virtually divided the country down the middle. Just like now, both
candidates in 2000 left a lot to be desired but both Bush 43 and Al Gore were
sharper than Trump and Biden. Then, shortly after that came 9/11 and
irrefutable evidence that not only was America vulnerable to off shore attacks,
but also it could then, in response, do the craziest of things and invade both
Afghanistan and Iraq where we are still bogged down to this day and no safer
than we were in 2001. It was as if we leaned nothing from Vietnam. But we are
surely weaker for we have given over blood and treasure in losing causes in
parts of the world where we really have very little interest. I mean really.
What do we expect to get out of Afghanistan and Iraq?

         In 2008, we had “hope and change.” Eight years later, we had
neither. Mr. Obama did nothing to advance the cause of Black Americans despite
being the first Black president. How can that possibly be? But, alas, it is so.
He also weakened our standing in the world with an approach to foreign policy
that reeked of globalism despite it not being good for America. And he even got
a Nobel Prize for it, perhaps the first ever given for having accomplished
absolutely nothing.

         Then came 2016. The Democrats were determined that Hillary
Clinton was going to follow the first Black president by being the first woman.
The American people thought otherwise. I am not sure if another woman could
have beaten Trump, but Hillary couldn’t, especially running one of the worst
campaigns in presidential political history while being undermined by the
Director of the FBI and probably Vladimir Putin. She was also undermined by the
desire of many for a non-politician as a leader.

came 2020.

what will probably go down as the worst six months in the history of the
country since the Civil War, America has been roiled first by the coronavirus,
then by the indecision about what to do about the coronavirus, then by the
secondary effects of the coronavirus on the economy, and then by the death of George
Floyd unleashing a wave of public protests that has both spread the virus
(thanks, all) and still not articulated what the protesters want. We are not
going to defund the police. That’s stupid. Furthermore, in the aftermath of the
anti-police protests, crime is on the rise. Once again, thanks guys. I don’t
want to defund the police. Retrain them? Fine, but I want to increase funding
to the police. In case you haven’t noticed, the police may be all that is
between you and the bad guys.

am sad because American leadership has made a mess of almost every challenge
facing it in the last twenty years simply because that leadership has been so
lack luster. And given the choice in November of 2020, it’s going to be lack
luster next year, too.

have graduated from being angry because I find anger such a useless emotion
most of the time. No, I’m not angry and I am not depressed. I am sad that
America is no longer leading the world in much beside deaths from covid-19.
Heck, we aren’t even making the best movies any more because that industry is
shut down, too.

here’s my suggestion.

let’s hope Joe Biden picks a real winner for a running mate.

let’s hope he wins and then for some reason needs to step aside.

let’s hope our first woman president can bring us together and lead us out of
this. I am certain America wants to get back to leading the world in something
beside the cost of healthcare and the fact that our life expectancy is not
rising like that in the rest of the civilized world.

can do better. We must.

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