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Georgia On My Mind – Are There Sunnier Days Ahead?

Roger Ralph – January 5, 2021


I wrote this very early in the morning on the same day that Georgians will vote for two Senators. We do not know- or at least I don’t- whether at the end of the day or perhaps even the next- who will win. Will it be one or both of the Republicans candidates Kelly Loeffler (50) or David Perdue (70) or the Democrat’s candidates Jon Ossoff (33) and Rev. Raphael Warnock (51)? If one* of the Democrats win the Democrats will control the Senate. not KY Senator Mitch McConnell (78) will. We already know the Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, (80) will control the House. (1/6/21-I was wrong, 2 needed).

I have consciously cited the incumbents and their opponents ages. Positive change is driven by the young. Regardless of your party it is obvious we need to improve our political system. It needs to be more transparent, there should be public financing of campaigns, and term limits for Senators, Representatives, and Judges. Ironically, the latter was part of the 2020 Republican platform and is one of the things Trump has said he supported I agree with. I hope that Biden explores this and works with both Dems and Republicans to have something pragmatic in place by 2030. Given America’s deep capabilities we ought to be able to figure this out. The fact that only 24% of Congress today is female should be incentive enough. In Dec. 2020 there were 105 women in the House of Representatives, 90 Democrats (86%) and 15 Republicans (14%). In the Senate 25% of the Senators were women, and of these 17 were Democrats.

Like many of you who receive this email today I was on two mailing lists. Both I think originated with my friend John McCarthy who so capably ran IHRSA, our health club industry association for 25 years and is beloved. Probably the only time John and I have had a major difference on anything was his view of Trump & the current Republican party and mine. Fifty plus people were on these mailing lists and I think most folk were Republican and ardent Trump supporters or thought the Dems too radical. In September 2020 I sent a blanket email out to these folks urging them to vote for Biden, not Trump. For a whole range of reasons I knew long before he became President that Donald J. Trump was a narcissist and his treatment of people and inherent patterns of behavior would not be good for the country. I did get an interesting reaction in a note back which suggested my views were crazy. It is shared below:

“Dear Roger,

I’m amused at, and at the same time, simultaneously saddened with your totally blind hatred of President Donald J. Trump. But to be honest with you, Roger, and you know doggone well that I will be honest with you, there is NOT ONE snowball’s chance in hell that I, or anybody I know of here in my state that will switch our votes from President Donald J. Trump to Joe Biden, and that despicable whore running mate of his, Harris because that appears to be what you’re lobbying so hard for us to do. You say DON’T VOTE FOR TRUMP! I say, Roger, “Explain how in the hell ANY thinking American can vote for Joe Biden for President of the United States of America?  ANSWER that one, Roger!

I also find it very amusing (and actually sad) to think that a guy of your high intellect would even be considering voting for someone who’s so totally and absolutely pitifully unqualified to be President of the United States as Joe Biden actually and truly is.  Especially…. Roger…. since he’s 77 years old and his back up is clearly someone who genuinely wants to destroy America.”

I was saddened that the only persons I heard from who shared my views of Trump and what he was doing to the country were Clive Caldwell, Cy Oskoui, Cam Baker, and Michael Levy. Thanks guys!

It seems appropriate to end this note with a quote from a most insightful and timely book written in 2016 by Anu Partanen, The Nordic Theory of Everything- In Search of a Better Life. It could not be more timely or relevant in U.S. history than right now. I hope you take the time to read it.

“Seen from a Nordic perspective, the U.S. is stuck in a conflict, but it’s not the conflict between liberals and conservative, or between Democrats and Republicans, and it’s not the old debate about bigger government versus smaller government. It’s the conflict between the past and the future.”

Our thought leaders, our community leaders, our business leaders, our religious leaders, and our politicians need to spend more time on substance and less time on sloganeering. Frequent repetition of phrases like “Defund the Police” or “Dems, They Are All Socialists” absent knowledge, facts, and pragmatic plans to address core problems will keep us running in circles around the core of the periphery instead of finding common ground and solutions.

It should not be ignored that the United States, Hungary, and Brazil, out of 163 countries studied, were the only ones to decline in the 2020 global Social Progress Index (SPI) between 2013 and 2020. We ranked 28th while all four Scandinavia countries in 2020 again were the top four-, Norway, Denmark Finland, and Sweden in that order.

It is important to note that none of these are socialist countries. They are business friendly social democracies. Certainly we can learn things from the Scandinavian countries that we can adopt and adapt and make work here in the United States of America. We can do this. The country deserves better. We cannot be lazy intellectually and must be open to new ideas and approaches.


Roger Ralph, Jan. 5, 2021*


*Occasionally I put articles that I write or a note like this on my web site, By the end of February I will have a piece about why Trump was so popular and what lessons responsible Dems, Republicans, and Independents need to learn from the Trump era.

There’s a lot. After all, in the 2020 Presidential election Trump received 74,223,744 votes and Biden 81,283,485.