And So It Was
The year 2020 will forever be a year of uncertainty, anxiety, fear and often rage. Unlike anything that this nation as well as the world has ever had to experience and navigate, the world seemingly stopped turning. Frustrations and rage eventually boiled over in the wake of racial unrests stemming from the deaths of Brianna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Aubery. To make matters worse we saw an ugly campaign in what history will probably record as the darkest US Presidential race ever. As the year began to close, many still looked to the upcoming year with healthy optimism. The year 2020 will perhaps have its own section in the history book. As if 2020 was simply a bad dream, many thought that the world would return back to normal seemingly at the flip of a switch at the stroke of midnight, New Year's 2021.
Then, on January 6th, the world watched in steep shock, an angry mob charge and breach the US Capitol. Is this what we have become? One week into the new year and many American's hopes for a brighter and better year were dashed by those seeking to take siege of one of the most iconic images of American democracy As we are a democracy, thus a nation of laws. Are we truly a nation in decline with American exceptionalism in the rear view mirror ? Seemingly, there are those that have forgotten or never paid attention in 6th grade history class that this nation is a composite of thousands of different threads that woven together, makes a quilt unlike any other nation.
No one race, one religion, one gender, economic class, educational level has the sole voice. This nation is a collective, united. This nation was born out of challenging the status quo of having the feeling of not having a voice in the face of a repressive aristocracy. Therefore, the dire need to influence the social, political, and economical tone of the nation has been there from day one. This was guaranteed and encouraged by our Constitutional Bill of Rights However, when one social, political, educational, economical, or religious category attempts to solely control the narrative, this breeds contempt. This contempt has now morphed into anger, hatred, violence, fear, uncertainty, and destruction. Never before in modern history has America been so divided.
What has to happen is that there has to be a reinvestment in human capital and stressing the value of codependency. Because we share the same space along a host of levels, there has to be an ideology that we truly share common threads on a much bigger fabric. What America needs is a cause and a host of heroes that transcends race, gender, religion, and political affiliation. Often times, heroes need a good nemesis. At this point, the villain is not Nazism, Communism, Islamic Fundamentalism, Terrorism, racism or any other -ism. The real ism is the failure to acknowledge and appreciate, as well as celebrate the individual and collective strengths of a nation, supposedly one nation under God, indivisible. However, everyone deems their definition or concept of God, as God, while refusing to understand the definition of God within other religions.
It is through our vast world of diversity that we unite and usher in a new era of American Exceptionalism. As history has shown us, it is through our collective innovation, that we can build longer lasting, safety conscious, more fuel efficiency automobiles, aircraft, spacecraft, and watercraft. We have to manufacture more than we import. Despite this nation's many flaws and often dark history, this country was still built by determination and hard work. Americans want today what Americans have always wanted: living wage earning jobs, affordable homes and medical care, and a decent quality of life. Now that so much of the cornerstones of America have become threatened, people reach to what they feel is security - blame.
America as a global harbinger of progressiveness will be predicated on a revised and revisited sense of exceptionalism in which America presents it best across all lines. From internationally competitive education, superior technological development, and a robust economy will allow America to regain traction. There is nothing wrong with nationalism, so long as its generates the best, not at the expense of any moral indignation towards anyone or anything. Nationalism based upon class, race, or religion is self defeating because it demonizes other persons in different categories and eventually excludes.
Those of us in the aviation/aerospace communities are compelled to be a driving force of excellency in producing the next generation (NEXGEN) of trailblazers that will continue a tradition of excellency and the leading edge of growth and development. This will come about when the populace has been empowered by a solid foundation of education that provokes achievement. Secondly, there must be a conscious effort to empower a workforce by creating one. By creating a workforce, you ensure a robust economy that minimizes crime and many other vices of national destruction.
In November of 2020, American voters spoke at the polls. For some, the results were deemed unfavorable to them. However, on January 20, 2021 history was made with the first woman to be elected as Vice President. Twenty years ago, this was unthinkable. As a matter of fact, ten years ago this was unimaginable. What this says is that America is changing, because some want it to. Change will have to manifest itself in a commitment of excellence in the form of STEM programs, aviation/aerospace, the humanities, and most importantly morality and character. America must begin to invest in its greatest asset, human capital. This requires that one first acknowledge their humanity. January 20, 2021 will serve as a day in which America chose to be America. Democracy and civility at a fine hour. And so it was.