I was NOT ripping off Expat Yank


Well, at least I don’t THINK I was…

Anyway, he noticed my post yesterday about the “press conference” with Honest Abe in 1864 and pointed out that he had mentioned similarities between this election and that one earlier in the month.

Is this now our generation’s Union summer of 1864, when things seemed stalemated and the war endless, when actually within months it was to become crystal clear that neither was to be the case?

Today’s enemy needs Americans to vote out Bush and replace him with the “war hero” McClellan — sorry, “war hero” Kerry. That is their only slim chance for some sort of victory. The question is: Will Americans give them that chance come November?

While not trying to draw direct parallels between 1864 and 2004, it’s important that we try to remember that what seems painfully obvious today wasn’t so yesterday. Or on September 10th, 2001. Or on December 6th, 1941. It also wasn’t clear in 1965 what our involvement in Vietnam would end up looking like, and it wasn’t clear in 1938 what events in Europe would lead to.

Today it looks like it should have been clear what was happening at those times, and of course there were those at the time who accurately predicted events. But it wasn’t unambiguously obvious like it appears in hindsight. And hindsight, despite what they say, isn’t 20/20 anyway.

This isn’t primarily a forest/trees problem, though there’s a lot of that going on as well. The problem is that even if we try to look beyond the trees, we might find out we’re not even in a forest. We don’t know where we are or what we should be looking for. We’re searching for the forests of the past, trying to make sense of where we are and where we’re going. A lot can be learned from the past, to be sure, but WHICH lessons of the past apply to today’s scenarios? We don’t know.

We pays our money, and we makes our choice.