The Silver Lining
It’s going on 2 years since our world was turned upside down with government lockdowns, mask mandates, social distancing, remote work & schools and eventually a steady diet of new tech vaxxes. While it is debatable at this point how effective these measures are in our fight against a mutating virus, they have had a massive impact on shaping attitudes and behaviors that we are just now beginning to understand.
An entire generation has been scarred by fear and terror with a real-world effect that goes well beyond an increase in demand for drive-thru, off-premise and delivery. There are different implications for humanity divided as family members, community citizens, consumers and workers. In turn, there are certainly long-term implications as it relates to the social fabric, economy, politics, media and even migration. Unprecedented fear has fueled an unpleasant hardening of everyone’s emotions and opinions such that society has become rigid to the point of breaking.
Resultantly, we hear of a Great Reset (i.e. Build Back Better) and it seems that almost everyone is in agreement that the world needs to change even though there are strong, sharply divided opinions on how. Some loud, forceful voices promote change while many others across the country quietly wish for a return to fundamental values that have been passed to them over the generations. While change must be loud enough to overcome the status quo by necessity, not all change is beneficial. In the end, what is best for individuals is different in every case and the pressing question for our nation is whether it is possible for individuals with different values to co-exist peacefully or whether the state needs to risk so much by applying force to propel uniform change for those that disagree.
In our opinion, there is strength in unity so long as everyone can work towards their own version of the American Dream (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness). We can all learn not to stereotype or denigrate those that are not like us. Also, we can all learn that zealots on either side of a debate do not represent anyone other than themselves. Even though zealots on both sides of the aisle are entitled to their opinions they are not entitled to our attention.
The great thing about our country is that it offers a lot of land and space to separate those with different opinions. With 50 states and countless municipalities, “big” national problems can be manageably handled at the local level. We don’t have to insist on living in a community that does not share our values when we can simply pick-up and move. Also, we don’t have to start a fight by insisting that a community of people living across the country adopt our rules. Rather, we can be honest and admit that those who choose to live in LA are entitled to different opinions than those that live in Alabama. As we are all better off with more options, a super-strong federal government is a risk to people on both sides of the aisle because the pendulum swings both ways over time. Americans simply must resist the temptation to implement over-reaching national laws for everyone across such a large and diverse nation. We must trust that if we show restraint when we are in power that our fellow Americans will follow suit when they are in power. We show love by gifting freedom to one another (it is the most precious gift we can give). This is how we de-escalate the importance of national elections and diffuse the lobbyists. We must learn to live-and-let-live if we are to save the republic!
We are bullish that the majority of the public (represented by centrist Americans) will eventually come to this conclusion. If we are right, then this will usher in a new framework for our country that will permeate every area of life and work. Decentralized governance is more stable and peaceful which is good for healing and human development. Also, decentralized economies are good for business as it means a more balanced distribution of profits between labor and capital. Of course, there are countless other positive implications from the force of de-centralization which we will not touch on here. In conclusion, the prospect that society will embrace tolerance and de-centralization represents a huge silver lining to the attack against our country that came in the form of a wicked little virus.