December 7th has seen its share of occurrences over the course of time. Just in a lifetime of many still living there was the Long Island Railroad commuter train shooting by Colin Ferguson resulting in 6 dead and 17 wounded. The last Ford Model A was produced in 1931 and that company was about to introduce the Ford V-8 engine. Reagan and Gorbachev met in the U.S. in a summit in 1987 that resulted in an arms control agreement. And, likely most memorable, the attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor in 1941, just a few weeks before I was born, took us into World War II where we fought battles on multiple fronts and emerged the victors if there are victors in such conflagrations.
We have learned much in some ways and, seemingly, learned very little in other ways. Today we live in fear of what North Korea’s leader might decide to do that could easily find Hawaii, or apparently even our mainland, in the crosshairs. President Trump has announced our recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, an event that could have implications on the peace of that area, but was something that needed to be stated.
We are now in the world of electrically powered automobiles and driverless vehicles. We still have issues that confront us in the Far East, although that emanates from North Korea today. We go back and forth with Russia on various subjects but are friendly with that country in most of the respects that count. Arms control is still an issue as North Korea demonstrates. The recent shooting in Las Vegas makes the Long Island commuter train shooting pale by comparison.
This shows us the human condition up close and personal. Us humans are complicated creations. We supposedly are intelligent by most standards and yet we can be the virtual opposite in some of our actions. We are able to be selfish on one hand and display great compassion and sharing on the other. We are obstinant sometimes and easily convinced to change the next day.
We are anxious to reach agreements mostly if those agreements favor us while appearing to be bilateral. Our Congress is a display of freedom at work BUT can be extremely upsetting at times.
People are the root cause of all our problems just as they are the root cause of our triumphs as occupants of this earth. We are simultaneously selfish and benevolent. We say one thing often even though we believe another. Our Congress is a display of the best and the worst in government. There is both pettiness and magnanimity to be found. There is the raw display of power over weakness. Our form of government is at the same time the best in the world while it can appear to be among the worst given some of the pettiness that poses as politics.
Power seems to be at the root of all things both good and bad. We learn that strength can breed a pride that blinds us and it is through this that our faith in an all-powerful God helps us. Wisdom comes as the result of recognizing our strength as a country while also seeing how we can be of benefit to the rest of the world. We tend to place ourselves at the risk of being taken advantage of by others, but, so far at least, our power that underlies any appearance of weakness in our will has saved this country.
There seems a necessity every once in awhile to assert our power in order to help to maintain peace here on this earth. North Korea might be a good example today of an imminent need. The bellicose juvenile leader of that country sees only that military power is his ticket to staying in power. He governs with the iron fist we’ve seen before in history. His people suffer so that he can triumph, at least in his own mind. He can use them as he sees fit for they have no real choice.
December 7th has many connotations, not all the kind we’d prefer. But, just as we came through the last time there was a dictator who thought December 7th was the right time to show his dominance, I am confident we can and will if forced to do so, defeat that dictator. His sense of power might just be what would cause him to use a day such as this day that has been used similarly before to demonstrate his supposed power.
There will likely be no easy diffusing of that situation. He is irrational. He sees himself as some kind of a God figure. He kills easily. Those are dangerous signs and they must be taken at face value. I, very frankly, am happy with our current President versus our last President in such a situation. None ever wants to lead his or her people into a war, however, there have come times before and there will come times again when that must be done and done preemptively.
I fear we are confronting just such a situation today on this December 7th.