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Going Back to Move Forward

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Ah, the "good old days," the ones that President Obama took a sarcastic swipe at during his recent commencement speech at Rutgers University when he said that America's "good old days weren't that great."


Certainly he misread his teleprompter.

Sure, we've experienced enormous advances in things like technology and medicine, but the "good old days" aren't so bad, especially compared to what's happening today.

During the speech Obama said, " almost every measure, America is better and the world is better than it was 50 years ago, or 30 years ago, or even eight years ago."

Apparently, Hillary Clinton missed the email.

Maybe she accidentally deleted it when she wiped her personal server clean. Before the Kentucky primary, Hillary ran around the state telling voters she wanted to take America back to the good old days when philandering Bill was in the White House. She promised Energizer Bunny Bill would come out of retirement to revitalize Obama's impotent economy.

The economy's not the only issue on the brink.

Values matter, right? Certainly high schools back in the "good old days" didn't allow plays to be performed depicting female-on-female and male-on-male rape like the play recently performed at Houston's Carnegie Vanguard High School.

How about healthcare? Post-Obamacare, millions of Americans remain uninsured, premiums are higher and people can't keep their doctors as promised. Americans hate it.

What about the racial tension that's escalated over the last eight years? And the increased terrorist attacks on our homeland and the birth of ISIS? How about the ever-expanding debt and the contracting job market?


Obviously, perspective affects our worldview.

Obama and a large number of his advisors spent a good portion of their lives abroad. Both Obama and his senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, say their years living in Indonesia and Iran, respectively, helped shaped their worldviews. It's hard to be truly objective about a particular time in history unless we were there to experience it. That's the downside of nostalgia. And that's also the downside of President Obama's obviously skewed worldview which inspires him to believe America's "good old days weren't that great."

An awful lot of Americans disagree with him. According to a recent Real Clear Politics poll, 66 percent of those surveyed say they believe America's going in the wrong direction. A spirit of discouragement and cynicism has overwhelmingly saturated our society like a wet blanket on a cold winter's night. That's not progress.

"But I guess," Mr. Obama said, "it's part of human nature, especially in times of change and uncertainty, to want to look backwards and long for some imaginary past when everything worked, and the economy hummed, and all politicians were wise, and every kid was well-mannered, and America pretty much did whatever it wanted around the world."

It's a shame Mr. Obama believes Americans are so shallow.


There was a time, however, and it is in no way "imaginary," when America's economy did "hum," politicians had a conscience, families worshiped and prayed together, kids had moms and dads, children understood the meaning of respect, the Constitution was revered, people knew which bathroom to use, America was a superpower, and ISIS did not exist.

By no measure is America better today than eight years ago. Someone much wiser than our president, the prophet Jeremiah, had this to say about the good old days: "This is what the Lord says: 'Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.'"

According to Jeremiah, good ways and ancient paths lead us to the "good old days." We need to go back to move forward. Now that's the kind of positive change we can and should believe in.

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