It is the summer of discontent as we approach the 4th of July holiday.
In the 234th year of American Independence, there is a feeling held among Americans that the business life of the land is unnatural, strained, weak, and ineffectual.
Government’s best effort to make up for the failings and the excesses of the nation’s Wall Street bankers, hedge fund managers and credit manipulation experts have been to no avail.
Two years after the financial crash that came late in 2008 and there is no job creation.
What’s worse is what is ahead of us.
Without job creation, without an expansion of the economy, without greater tax revenues and with seemingly little interest in cutting our addiction to foreign oil, we face the massive outflow of dollars to the oil producing nations and the likely diminution of the nation’s financial spreadsheet between profits and losses as well as the diminution of our way of life.
Our way of life has vastly changed since President Bill Clinton left office.
The Bush and Cheney years, marked mainly by 9/11, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the near collapse of the economy, will be regarded by historians many years from now as a colossal failure.
In fact, leadership seems to have disappeared almost everywhere and mostly at the highest levels.
President Obama has not proven to be a savior or a saint. His administration has been largely ineffectual except for the passage of the national healthcare bill – which most Americans were opposed to for better or worse.
He came into office forced to carry on wars that are destined to end very badly. Most Americans believe the moment we leave Iraq and Afghanistan the fragile governments in existence there will collapse. And they are right.
We are no match for homicidal religious tyrants like the Taliban. Our humanity and civility put us at a disadvantage with the deeply religious and bloodthirsty who burn down schools, allow women no rights, strap on suicide belts to children, bomb weddings, funerals and even soccer games.
And then there is the oil gushing into the gulf that for all our miracles of science and technology we are unable to cap it.
What next, one might well wonder?
All this being said, there is one thing always delightful about the 4th of July.
It is that moment in the summer when there is more summer in front of us than behind us.
The summer has that endless quality on the 4th of July in New England.
It has that quintessential American recognizability- flags and bunting rippling in the breeze; cookouts and parties everywhere; and the sound of fireworks hissing and the sight of them rocketing briefly into the air.
The American Empire is not doomed. It is nowhere near the end.
It is a time, however, when all of us have serious doubts about the present and greater doubts about the future.
The future is ours if we move beyond the paranoia spawned by 9/11.
We need to remain strong and to act boldly when we are threatened but most of all; we need to get on with our economy and with our lives and to look forward to a future, which is ours if we do the right thing.