Saturday, February 4, 2017

How America Is Already Great and So Is The World!

Smile with these school children in Madagascar. We all have some great good news to smile about!
Donald Trump being president does not mean the world is a dark place, as the astonishing article cited at the conclusion of this post will dramatically show. The dark place lives only in the hearts and perception of his supporters. Sure, many older white men in America are disgruntled by changes that are shoving them out of their dominance. So are some younger men who wanted to inherit that dominance by race and gender and repressive laws. Their world has indeed turned bleak. Same for racists who have seen—oh, horrors!—a black man in the White House for two terms. They were joined in their voting by lockstep GOP who always vote GOP and by rather sick women who lust after bully men like Trump. (And there are such women.)

Supposedly they will now help Donald Trump "Make America Great Again."

That effort is unneeded. America is already great. In the ways that really count! That count beyond it being the wealthiest, militarily the strongest, the most diverse, with high longevity, and with a culture beloved everywhere in everything from jazz to rock to movies to faded jeans.

America is great far beyond these materialistic measurements, though they helped finance its most important greatness, as described below. The New York Times article cited at the conclusion of this posting tells of a stupendous worldwide reduction in poverty, illiteracy and suffering from disease. The greatest humanitarian achievement ever, an achievement undreamed of!  And much of it is due to America.

Yes, America was helped by other countries in this work, but statistics elsewhere show the USA out-contributed all other countries in the worldwide fight against disease, poverty, and illiteracy.

The ending of so much disease and suffering also owes a lot to the work of medical researchers and other scientists. Americans have been a large part of that cadre. One of them is a former student of mine who has created the primary building block for a whole new family of life-saving medicines that can be produced for a tiny fraction of what Big Pharma charges for similar medicines. His chief satisfaction is that "now the poor all over the world can afford the drugs that will save their lives." One young man therefore will save millions of lives. (Trump and Paul Ryan want to cut the research budget that funds his work. We won't let that happen, will we?)

America has also done a lot to provide the stability in the world necessary for good things to occur. This stability is a new phenomenon in history. Even the vaunted Pax Romana that lasted 200 years only covered a small fraction of the globe. America has provided a largely stable world since August, 1945. That's 80 years of international peace. Yes, individual countries have fought within their borders or occasionally across their borders, but for 72 years we haven't seen whole continents in flames and swathes of human progress lost to bombs.

Thus I welcome you to awareness of our brave new world, this great achievement by the good-hearted people everywhere who wrought these near-miracles. For the good news here is not just the end of so much suffering, but this undeniable evidence of how much goodness there has been in the world all these decades that looked so bleak so often. Goodness can and does win out. I can die happy now, assured of that which I have always believed: many people are very good.  And I go knowing also that my fellow humans have escaped much suffering. What a going-away present!

One final thought on this: please keep in mind those who died so that these great things could happen. I can't forget the eye care team of Americans killed on an Afghan mountainside by Muslim fundamentalists. Or the medical team slaughtered in Pakistan for giving polio vaccines. Yes, they died. But they did not die in vain. Their mission of mercy has prevailed everywhere.

Think of this Times article when Trumpism would dim your bright spirit. And fight his efforts to scuttle the funding and structures that made all this possible.

Read and rejoice!  Why 2017 May Be the Best Year Ever - The New York Times

It's a wonderful life! It's a wonderful world!

Keep it that way!

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