“We Are the World”

Today begins Black History Month.  A particularly excellent opportunity to review life and times.

Tuesday’s paper had a short article “Netflix gets inside We Are The World.  Here’s the 1984 blockbuster song .

I watched the 97 minute documentary last night and it was very, very interesting. I very highly recommend it.  It is its own best editorial comment.  I was 44 years old when the song was released, living in Hibbing MN, a few blocks down the street from the home where Bob Dylan grew up.  (Dylan has something of a starring role in the film.)


I was planning a blog with a different title, “Age”, about U.S. Presidents.  You know the narratives.

The Nutgraf of the day everywhere, these days, is that Biden is too old, and Trump is too old.  Time for a change:  to what, and why, and all the important questions about this topic are replaced with one liners, as so much of our political conversation has become.

(Disclosure: I’m 2 1/2 years older than Joe Biden.  I know what being old is, and what it means.  Joe Biden is not too “old”.  “Life” is not guaranteed for any one of us.)

In the interest of conversation, I developed a ‘rough draft’ of history of Presidents of the U.S. who have been in office since my birth: Presidents since FDR.  The first of these Presidents I remember as a person would be Harry Truman.  If you look at the handwritten one-pager it presents minimal information about these folks, and it is deliberately presented as a rough draft.  You can look at it from your own perspective, and put some ‘meat on the bones’ around your own opinions and conclusions.  Let me know of errors, or additions you’d like to see.  Comments welcome, of course.

Personally, I can think of no more critical time in my life as a citizen than the one we are in, right now.

And this is no time to be casual about the decisions we ultimately will make as individuals about who it is who will represent us at all levels on all issues of concern to everybody.

“Government” is every one of us.  The real dilemma of democracy is that the buck stops with every single one of us.  At the absolute minimum, write down who are the elected persons who represent you local, state and national.

As the 1984 song hit says: “We are the World”.

POSTNOTE:  This is a time of endless and incessant ‘breaking news” on most everything under the sun.  This is very challenging for citizens like myself.  We like to pass the buck to somebody else who is supposed to be responsible.  It was Harry Truman, I think, who  memorialized the saying “The Buck Stops Here“, which implied it was the President who was ultimately responsible for everything. Fair enough.  Somebody has to elect that President, or for that matter a multitude of other officials in public or private life that make our society function, or not.  Really, the buck stops with all of us, including keeping a democratic Republic as we claim ourselves to be a part of.

“Teaser” to take a look at my single page Draft of U.S. Presidents; I noted that not a single one of them was born in the time period we all know as the Great Depression, and only one during WWII.  All but one had prior experience in the realities of public service.  My personal nutgraf: if you want a prediction of how a president will be, study what he or she went through in his or her formative years.   What was, will be….

COMMENTS (more at end of post): 

from Fred: Learned a lot from your president’s list. You are older than I, but we still share exactly the same range of president’s in our lifetime.

from Kathy (retired 5th grade teacher): I remember my student Danille singing it in the talent show…so touching.

from a friend: We watched the video the other night. Fantastic.

Re our president’s age. I am not concerned about our chronological age. I’m concerned about the cognitive capabilities of all key leaders. In leadership positions such as president, line of succession, congressional, and key military, we the people should know that their annual physical is good, including cognitive skills, against recognized medical standards. When you lead (elected or appointed) in these public positions, you give up this aspect of privacy so that the people are assured you are fit to serve.