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It appears we survived yet another week with the coronavirus continuing to take a toll in China, and other countries starting to see the effects along with increasing fear of a worldwide epidemic. We saw the winding down of the impeachment trial of the president with the anticipated vote for his acquittal by the Senate. And, we witnessed the vote count in the Iowa caucus.

As John Denver sang in the song, "I'm Sorry," -- "I'm sorry for the way things are in China." With my family connections to China, it does concern me. This is a major issue in China but they proved once again that they can respond to a crisis rapidly by building a new hospital in a reported 10 days. The virus' effect is increasingly world-wide with people quarantined for 14 days at military installations, on cruise ships and Americans being brought home from China only to be quarantined for two weeks.

John Denver's song "I'm Sorry'" also speaks to my interest in the future of politics and our nation. I'm sorry for our divided nation and concerned about where the fall election will lead us. I'm sorry our political system is so deeply divided on so many issues and we lack political leaders who can focus on more than impeachment and see that they (the elected leaders) are a big part of our nation's problems.

For now, however, I can't help wondering if the caucus counting problems we saw in Iowa shouldn't tell us something about the state of our world. There a lots of reasons to believe we need to pray for the planet and all it inhabitants, in whatever religion we choose.

It would be nice to know how many people watched the entire political process called "impeachment" from its early stages until the final day when the Senate was dismissed and sent home after the vote. The Senate and House may feel like they have accomplished something by exposing the "process" to America and the world. However, as a tax payer and voter, there was nothing noteworthy that came from all the talk, posturing and camera exposure. And, to cap it off we only need look at the State of the Union address and the sidebar activities that dominated the news. I continue to be embarrassed at how childish some of the figures in Washington can be if they feel they have our attention.

It was interesting to observe the Iowa Democratic caucus debacle. Not that anyone wanted failure in the count, but if intervention by any entity in our national election is a real concern, how can we not wonder how the coding error got into the system. The long-term effect of the problem with the method of voting and tabulating the votes, may be to change Iowa's caucus procedures. Someone has to be first in everything but there were some news comments that indicate the party is divided on the future of Iowa's position.

We got to see President Trump at his television best -- and that is not necessarily a compliment -- during the State of the Union. In spite of all the applause and standing ovations, he did not impress me as a great leader. And, some of the accomplishments he took credit for probably should have been shared with his predecessor. There is no doubt he has made some major progress in areas such as trade, but the long-term effect will be proven over years when there are fewer world issues, such as the Coronavirus, that have blurred the short-term economic picture for the world.

Whether the Democratic Party will be able to select a meaningful candidate will not be known for a while but the real dark horse could be former New York mayor, Mike Bloomberg. As we saw with Donald Trump he had name recognition through television not from political success. Bloomberg has finances to stay as long as there is hope of winning, but also he has had political experience. If being a mayor of South Bend is good political experience, mayor of New York would be golden. Plus the name Bloomberg and his business affiliations are easily recognized. The choice is the Democrats to make, but with little knowledge of any of the potential candidates on the debate stage I wonder if it wouldn't be a better fall contest between Trump and Bloomberg rather than a Senator and Trump.

At our age, the people of my generation are more concerned for our children's and grandchildren's future than our own. Maybe they will find the correct balance between concern for the planet and economic growth that we missed.


Editor's note: Leo Lynch, an award-winning columnist, is a native of Benton County and has deep roots in northwest Arkansas. The opinions expressed are those of the author. He is a retired industrial engineer and former Justice of the Peace.

Editorial on 02/12/2020

Print Headline: State of nation, and the world, is a concern

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