To the editor:
This is the Christmas letter I received from my in-laws just a few days ago. It was written by my father-in-law, Bruce King MacLaury, Ph.D., a former president of the Federal Reserve in Minnesota as well as a former president at Brookings Institute for 18 years, and my mother-in-law, Virginia MacLaury.
Our world right now is in dire straits. Some people realize that, and others not so much. This card from my in-laws eloquently says what some think but few dare to say.
“We thought we had left the pandemic behind.
But this year was no better, just different:
Deaths of innocents by bombs and swords rather than by viruses.
Indeed worse: viruses, like volcanoes, are
Acts of Nature;
Bombs and swords are instruments of Human Nature.
So much for notions of “progress” in human history.
Progress is primarily in the eye of the beholder.
Take Artificial Intelligence:
Is it the end of drudgery, or the end of jobs?
Is it a spur to creativity, or a destroyer of “truth?” Is it mankind’s cleverest servant, or mankind’s replacement?
And whatever happened to American Exceptionalism?
Remember the quaint notion of a City on a Hill?
A light or beacon in a dark world?
Today, the threat of an authoritarian “Savior”
Seems as great at home as abroad.
No apologies for the depressing nature of this screed.
It reflects the temper of the times, as we try to interpret the nightly news.
For now, the family is an exception – a refuge from the brooding storm.
In the micro, we are deeply grateful for our many blessings;
In the macro, we are more than ever in the Hands of God.”
-Kim Ryan, Alexandria