8 years ago President Bush was handing President-elect Obama a nation divided in what the future looked like. We were tired of war, not knowing what direction to go in. We had thousands of dead and injured soldiers. Things seemed to be improving in Iraq and our new president was promising to get us out and allow the people of Iraq to govern their own future. The cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were in all of our minds. History had not taught us Americans any lessons that would stick. Vietnam was a long time ago and in that time we were a tired nation, tired of war, tired of sending our sons into a country far away that didn’t seem to want us. President Nixon needed to end the war, needed to get us out and in a hurry. As we were leaving the Communists from the north were moving in. We forgot why we were there and we shamed the memory and forgot the American soldiers who fought and died for that country to be free. We made the same mistake in Iraq. In our hurry to rid ourselves of the problem, we forgot why we were there in the first place. Another war, another country that really didn’t want us there in the first place. If I have learned anything from history it is that not everybody wants or needs what we have, and no matter how hard we try nothing is going to change that. The middle East is never going to understand us and we will never understand who they are. The more we try and force our value system down their throats the more problems are going to surface. They don’t want our value system, our legal system and most of all they don’t want our religion or belief system. We can work with one another when it’s mutually beneficial but history tells us that’s not going to be easy and if it doesn’t benefit them in the short-term it’s not going to work.

President Obama is handing off to President-elect Trump possibly the weakest United States since Jimmy Carter handed Ronald Reagan a country in turmoil that was the butt end of jokes in the world and at that time seemed to be losing the cold war with the Soviet Union. It wasn’t that long ago. Our economy is in shambles and I don’t care what Obama says! There are far too many Americans that are a couple of lost paychecks away from disaster. We don’t produce anything anymore we distribute and assemble but actually making things from start to finish is an art that got shipped to Mexico or to China a long time ago. President-elect Trump has a tough job ahead and I pray he has the strength and knowledge to make America great again but it’s going to take all of us and our support to do it.

Jeffrey Arnold Sr.

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