I published my first blog piece in December 2007 – an endorsement of Barack Obama. I wasn’t yet entirely sold on Obama – he was young and inexperienced and had suffered some early stumbles.
It is the closing argument of that piece that stands out now: “I believe Obama is in this race more for the country than himself.”
In retrospect, it was something of a throwaway line – while most all of our Presidents up to then had been men of huge egos and drive, they had also generally and genuinely shared a desire to use their time in office for the betterment of the nation (even while they disagreed fiercely about what, specifically, might make it better).
The Gross Orange Prevaricator (“GOP”) put an end to that, of course. By the time he was run out of town, the office of the presidency had been thoroughly corrupted into a wholly-owned subsidiary of Trump, Inc. – one that experienced its (attempted) crowning achievement in the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
The emergence last year of a deadly global pandemic, combined with the willful incompetence of an administration concerned only with appearances, made our collective suffering exponentially graver, at a cost of more than half a million lives.
Along the way, my blogs touched on everything from physics (a reflection of my own personal fondness for matters of space and time) to parenting; reviews of books, hotels, restaurants and movies intermixed with explorations of history, economics, and the subject of perhaps my greatest fascination: human nature.
Rest assured, I still have more to say. But I now intend to be more selective. Much like the country itself, my life is entering a new phase. I retired from my role as CEO of the family business at the end of 2020 and celebrated my 90th birthday in February.
I am filled with hope and optimism, for myself and the nation, about what lies ahead. And I intend to enjoy whatever awaits us more than I’ve been able to enjoy the last five years (and especially the last twelve months!).
I expect, as I undertake the work of defining the rest of my life, that my blogs will be fewer. But I also hope they will be richer and deeper, more reflective of the meaning of events rather than reactions to the moment of them.
Whatever the future holds, I hope you will continue to share your thoughts, ideas and encouragements – and even your criticisms!
People who have done radio interviews or recorded podcasts know that the hardest part of it is “speaking into the void” – the medium offers no opportunity for feedback.
I’ve always cherished the willingness of quite a number of my readers to share something of themselves in response to something I’ve written.
We are, in the end, social creatures. If my blog wasn’t a two-way street, I would obtain less enjoyment from it.
So, thanks to those of you who have given me the motivation to carry on.