Joining the New Leaders

Dear Readers,

Our issue this month covers young influencers in our community. It seems this might be a great time to turn over our society to a new generation. It would be hard to claim that those of us in our 50s and 60s have been great stewards of our democracy, our earth or our culture.

I will turn 60 in a few weeks and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen things so precarious. Daily, we hear of the stress on our environment — global warming, plastic pollution of the oceans, extinction of species, etc. Anyone who thinks such warnings are just a liberal political ploy is simply a fool. Real scientists have spoken definitively on these issues. The real problem is that large corporate interests have financed years of disinformation in an attempt to make the issue divisive. They have portrayed those who want to address these issues as anti-job and anti-American.

We owe it to our children either to lead on this issue or get out of the way so younger leaders can do so.

Equally, our democracy is in peril. We are led by those who don’t respect the basics of our Constitution. We are a led by a man who “jokes” about staying in office forever. We are led by a person who equates neo-Nazis and anti-Nazi protesters as being the same. We are led by a president who treats women as objects and believes that a woman’s body should be controlled by the state.

Our Supreme Court recently declared manipulation of voting districts to negate the votes of large swathes of the populace to not be a federal issue. Children are being held without their parents in camps with inadequate care, food, sanitation and love. This isn’t an immigration issue — it’s a question of who we are. It’s a question of what America is and will be.

Our culture seems to be regressing. Incidents of hate crimes are on the rise. Being Gay, Black or Jewish makes one a target. I’m always amazed how many Jews don’t see the past being replayed. Many have been bought by an amateurish attempt at diplomacy in the Middle East. The plan of the son-in-law had all the air worthiness of a turkey dropped from a plane. When did we trade our morals for a few trinkets?

But there is hope. A new generation of leaders is appearing. They are more progressive. They are serious about the environment. They are more open to a multi-cultural society. I trust they will not go too far. Israel needs to be protected but there also needs to be a political solution. The environment needs to be addressed immediately. The rights of women and the LGBTQ community need to be protected, not just for them but for all of us. Let’s be proud of who we are again.

Instead of being scared of the change. let’s join with the new leaders. Let’s support them and help them find acceptable solutions. Let’s make sure they hear our needs as well as their own. Let’s make sure they know we care about Israel, the environment and those different than ourselves. Let’s help them turn progressive ideas into practical solutions. The team of the older generation with the younger progressives would be unstoppable.

Peace and Love,

Scott Rifkin, MD, Publisher

[Originally posted on JMORE]