Show Me The Future
When he was running for re-election in the early 1990’s, President George Bush (the Elder) got into a little hot water when he coined the expression, “the vision thing.” The way he used it gave some people the impression that he wasn’t interested in looking too deeply into the consequences of legislation. That may or may not have been what he meant, but at any rate, his words are still around, and I’m glad he brought the idea forward. Thanks, Mr. Bush, for that contribution!
Vision is a tricky concept, just like the future it tries to predict. Nevertheless, I like to work through ideas with a vision in mind. To me, vision means “best case scenario” at some time other than now. It is the way I would like to see things going in my personal life and in my life as a citizen of a locality, state, and nation.
To wax poetic, a vision can be likened to a star you follow if you are convinced it will lead to the land of best cases. These days, I admit I’m having a hard time finding that star.
Here’s what I’m thinking: If we as a society want to go ahead and cut public sector pensions, social service care programs, libraries, recreation departments, and public health safety nets, then I suppose that will happen by the power of the vote. What is missing in the discussions about the wisdom of such cuts is the vision that they serve. Is it that some people (“Us”) deserve to live well and some people (“them”) do not? How will all this look in the future? We hear admonitions about encumbering our grandchildren with our debt. Fair enough, but I just wonder how our grandchildren will choose to spend this inherited money? Won’t they want good health care? Safe streets? Decent housing? Will they choose to fight wars? What will they owe their descendants?
Give me a break! I need a vision to work with to satisfy my need to be a good citizen.