By Mark Rhoads
Try to imagine what your great-grandchildren will know about us 60 years from now in 2071. Will they remember President Barack Obama or will his name just be one of a list in a school book?
How many students today know much about President Harry Truman 60 years ago in 1950? Will they care much in 2071 about the opinions or rantings of Chris Matthews on MSNBC or Bill O’Reilly on Fox or Anderson Cooper on CNN or will those names and networks be long forgotten even by media historians. Will anyone care in 2071 who Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, or John Boehner were? Let alone a Mike Madigan or a Pat Quinn or a Dick Durbin or a Mark Kirk? No, they will all be dead and buried and forgotten by then as will almost all of us reading this blog.
Will those great-grandchildren in 2071 care about the national debt run up from the start of the country to 2011? Will it affect them and their families in their everyday lives? Will the United States of America still be recognizable in 2071 as a free and democratic country under a constitution and the rule of law? Will they know freedom in 2071?
That to me is a more important question than will they have tiny computers in their genetic codes or will they commute in flying cars? When you take the long view, our current troubles seem more trivial than our present media climate conveys. But of course the Congress and President Obama are obviously not thinking about the great-grandchildren in 2071. They are thinking about tomorrow’s press release or TV interview, about raising campaign donations, and about if they can win in 2012.
Much sooner than 2071, I think children and grandchildren will demand to know by what right did our generation steal from them and leave a mountain of public debt to pay for our selfish short-term wants. When our parents went to war it was to keep the nation free for the next generation. But what will we day was our reason for spending the fruits of labor of generations not yet born?
Originally published in Illinois Review