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A Moment in Time - Kumbaya

America is in a moment unlike any before.  And it is fueling a strange, albeit fleeting period of emphatically enthusiastic sentiments, simultaneously, in two major and almost always opposing segments of society.

It is hard to think back to a time when most successful white collar and a majority of employed and unemployed blue collar folk were equally excited about the direction of the country.  But, that is exactly what is happening now.

The stock market and the investor class are ecstatic over promised slashing of tax, corporate and market constraints and blue collar workers are mesmerized by promises to bring back 20th century manufacturing jobs and, generally, the good life.  

Both groups are singing Kumbaya in tune.

There is one sector, however, that is not, a combination of government and non-profit workers.  They are traditionally the manpower fueling political and social fabric infrastructure.  But these folks are both powerless and without the volume of white and blue collar Americans.

The singing cannot last. The interests of white and blue are too different.  Much more likely is that neither group will be singing much longer, both shattered by the impossibility that America’s much weakened social fabric – social, political and economic, can sustain current, clashing directions.   As one group begins to see more clearly through the heavy mist of promises, the other will wobble and both will come tumbling down.

Rather than bask in the moment, we all need to come to terms with reality, possibilities and solutions for the larger good.    


Not A Single American Hero

Throughout the long, ugly election campaign, no one stood up, save Mitt Romney who after the election seriously undercut the singular role he had fashioned.  One can make the case that no one expected Trump to win, including most Republicans.  Why take the risk, turn off your constituency, and diminish yourself before your peers if Trump was going to loose anyway?

But no one realized how much support Trump had from the white working class and from Russia.  And, now we are living the nightmare.  Every day, we are moving closer and closer to a catastrophic failure of our 200 + year experiment with democracy and world leadership.  And, no one has the courage to stand out. 

Yes, the Democrats are out there criticizing everything Trump does.  But that is not courage; that is the role of a powerless congressional minority.  It takes no courage to criticize when you are out of power and when your constituency is demanding that you do so.

Where courage is needed – where true American heroes are needed – is from Trump’s own party and from other respected voices.  And, the silence is deafening.  There is nothing, no one.  A few like Lindsey Graham and John McCain are making occasional noises, but they are posturing far more than standing up and leading. 

And the few others out there, like George W. Bush or Colin Powell or others, are eerily quiet.   Failing a single voice, we need a group, like a Council of US Presidents.  It is almost too late – almost too late to save America and its people from calamity.  I am not someone who generally says the sky is falling and I do not believe that I exaggerate.  But, as a country, we are at a precipice without a strong voice and sage leadership.  We desperately need an American Hero.


It is Going to End Badly

Alan Greenspan called it Irrational Exuberance.  Others have called it heady or intentional blindness.  But however you look at the stock market’s performance since Donald Trump was elected, it is clear that reason is not operating and that exuberance in winning.

It is going to come to an end, and pretty soon regardless of whether you are enthusiastic or not about the Trump presidency.  That is what is so distressing now – people have put aside rational thinking and have climbed aboard a train that will go over the edge, and soon.

When it all does come to an end, reason will return and folks will be kicking themselves for being suckered into a moment of exuberance.

It always happens that way.  But, never has the rise been quite so dramatic and the fall so likely to be equally steep.

Scratch any investor and they will agree that the precipice is there and that a major drop soon is very likely.

But scratch them again, and they will tell you it is just too good now and they just can’t stop.

So, it will be the few (and it always is) who will step out now and reap the benefits tomorrow, a week from tomorrow, a couple of weeks from tomorrow.

Timing is not perfect, but reason is rational.  It is going to end badly and we all know it.