Looking Back, and Wondering About the Future

Courtesy of Todd MacDonald (Unsplash CC0)


As a man in his fourth quadrant of life expectancy, I offer my evaluation of how our country arrived in the mess it is today. It all began when I was much younger. I began to lose those I loved to illness, disease, and other tragedies. I was shocked into the realization that every day could be the last day for me and every other human on the earth. I’ve learned that change is inevitable, and there are very few things I could control. Therefore, with each new year I found a new purpose for my life, and when the most drastic change came in 2008, the end of my working life as I had known it, I became more focused on who I must be and where I must go, as long as I lived. I would do what I wanted to do, no longer would anyone else control any part of my life. I knew I could not control what happened around me, but I can control how it affects my life.

Unfortunately, because I live in America, I need a certain amount of money to live. I probably don’t have enough to maintain the life I want to live, but everything else is very good, and, as I always have, I will make it work.

“Life is What Happens While You’re Making Plans”

The most important thing I learned in my 76 years is, “what you planned, what you thought you would become 10, 20, or 30 years ago, probably didn’t or won’t happen.” One seemingly insignificant change along the way, and everything which follows will be different than you anticipated.

This is Also True with Countries

246 years ago, a group of courageous, ambitious, and good men declared their independence from the England of King George III. His dictatorial rule was unacceptable, and when he declared that one religion, the Anglican Church, would be the one true religion of the British Empire, they left their homeland for the New World.

On April 19, 1775 the armies of King George III attacked the settlers of the New World and the Revolutionary War began, It lasted until September 3, 1783. This was the single war in all of history because it was fought between the well-trained, well-equipped army of the British Empire and farmers, businessmen, hunters, trappers, and others who believed that their freedom was more important than their own lives.

On May 25, 1787, 55 delegates from the new states met in Philadelphia to conduct the Constitutional Convention. It lasted until September 17, 1787, although the Constitution was not ratified until the last state, New Hampshire, completed the process on June 22, 1788. The Law of the Land would not become active until March 9, 1789. The final document was signed by only 39 of the original 55 delegates.

How We Got Here

Why am I offering you a history lesson? Because the changes between 1789 and 2022 are many, and each of these changes involved what might have seemed like unimpressive events or actions, but the future of the once United States of America was altered on each occasion. Changes big and small placed our nation’s people in the position we are today.

Even Seemingly Insignificant Changes Shape our World

We all know about the big events and the major change resulting from those most tragic times. The Civil War, Pearl Harbor, 9/11 were just a few, but each of these altered the path of our nation. However, there are many what might be called “lesser events” which have affected all of us equally, but will be nothing more than an anecdote in the pages of history.

The People Who Made a Difference

Let’s focus on several individuals and their effect on our nation, or what their affect might have been.

How different would the recovery after the Civil War have been if Abraham Lincoln had not been assassinated. His successor, Andrew Johnson, was not a strong leader, and was unprepared to battle the organized and determined Southern members of congress. The direction our nation took was a compromise which failed, and the division between the North and South remains today.

The End of WWII

I have no doubt that if the “People’s President,” Franklin Delano Roosevelt had not passed in 1945, the end of WWII would have been very different. If he had survived his fourth term, the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9th, 1945 would not have happened. For me, this will remain one of the greatest atrocities in world history. FDR was a uniter, and he would have chosen another solution. At that point in time, the war was all but won.

Ending a 20-year Long War

When our country lost John Fitzgerald Kennedy on November 22, 1963, we lost the last courageous and truly great president in modern history. Under his guidance, I do not believe that the illegal war in South Vietnam would have continued until 1975. Like all modern wars, this 20-year debacle was a waste of time, human life, and money.

The Disastrous 2016 Election

Finally, if the American people had been informed that Russia was attempting to control our 2016 election, our nation’s biggest mistake, Donald John Trump, would never have happened. President Obama did not have the courage to offer the facts to the American people, and we are in this mess because Trump was allowed to f**k up our country for four years.

Just a Few of Many

These are four situations of thousands which altered the direction of the United States of America. There are many smaller ones which most of us will never know. We are not inside the Capitol Building and know little of what actually happens in this arena.

Kinda makes you think, doesn’t it? As a septuagenarian, I have many changes to think about, and how each altered my life’s path.


By James Turnage, Author of “The Holiday Killer”


CNN: What if FDR had lived through his final term?

The Scientist: Small Changes, Big Consequences

Swaay: Why Small Changes Can Make A Big Impact In The World


Top and featured image courtesy of Todd MacDonald‘s Unsplash page – Creative Commons License

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