There Is Hope

I was reading Peggy Noonan’s column this morning.  I don’t always agree with her, but she is a terrific writer.  Very thoughtful.  One thing she wrote today stood out to me.

When asked to describe the America they want, they wrote things like “a solid education system,” “no longer at war,” “people have joy in their work,” “leading the world in everything, including morals,” “equal opportunity and reward based on work,” “people haven’t lost their homes” and “a culture that improves us as a people.”

Many of their hopes were communal, societal, not individual. A great instructive lesson for conservatives this year is that Margaret Thatcher’s individualist vision, expressed with the words “There’s no such thing as society,” has given way, or rather shifted weight.

I still think Margaret Thatcher was correct.  It’s just that our broader society is under assault and it doesn’t work for most people.  Hence Trump and Sanders.  Frustration leads to populism.  It leads to accusations of “rigged markets”, “rigged press”, “rigged elections”.  A total lack of confidence in things that are supposed to work for us, the individual citizen.

When you see how the Clinton’s lied, and used their government offices plus power as a cash machine for the family, it becomes totally disgusting.  If I was in that group of twelve I would have behaved exactly like they did.  Many Republicans are embarrassed.  Shouldn’t Democrats be equally as embarrassed?

Contrast that emotion to what Ms. Noonan wrote.

There is one place I know that you can find “joy in work” etc.  It’s entrepreneurship.  It’s running a business, even your own private one.  America needs to rediscover that.  When we do we will rediscover our core values.

All the things she writes about in that paragraph can be achieved by turning the problem over to entrepreneurs-except for the war part.

Last night, I tried something a little different.  When we were down at the FIS Accelerator in Little Rock, Arkansas, I met Professor Joe Bell from the University of Arkansas-Little Rock.  We had a great conversation about entrepreneurship.  I agreed to speak to his class, but it would have to be virtual.  So, Joe set up a way for us to do it with Skype.

Usually, I do this in person.  I had used Skype once before at the University of Mississippi. You never know with technology.  The other thing that’s hard to transcend virtually is presence.

On my end it turned out pretty well.  It gave me a piece of joy to interact with the students. I am awaiting feedback from Joe to see how his students liked it.  The cool thing is the questions they asked.  They are almost like questions I get from students at other schools.  At the end, I told them to build something great and if it’s in B2B Fin Tech to ping me.

Life cannot be all bad.  There is hope.  The Chicago Cubs are in the World Series, and 81 outs away from winning it.