The Future—And I’m Talking, Like, 35,000 Years In The Future—Is Still Bright
Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - Filed in: General Interest
This "commentary" appears on the Onion web site. They have some fun publishing something as though—but clearly not—written by Barack Obama. I suspect they think they have captured his viewpoint.
Many Americans are upset right now. To millions, the outcome this past November seemed like a step backward for the United States, and people are understandably worried about where our nation might now be headed. But my fellow citizens, now is not the time to give in to pessimism or defeatism, because the future—and I’m talking, like, 35,000 years in the future—is still bright.
Admittedly, this is a troubling time for our country, one where it seems like decades of progress on social and environmental issues could be at risk. But when you look ahead—and again, I mean way, way ahead, to at least the 370th century or so—there’s still plenty of cause for optimism.
Things may not get better today, or the next day, or while any of us, or our children, or any of our great-great-great-grandchildren’s great-great-great-grandchildren are still alive. But someday, 1,300 or 1,400 generations from now, Americans will look back on this moment as just a temporary obstacle on our nation’s continued path to greater equality and prosperity.
Tomorrow still offers us hope—and, of course, here I’m using “tomorrow” as a figure of speech to indicate a date 30 to 40 millennia from the present.
That’s because America is stronger and more durable than any one presidential administration. As a nation, we have faced periods of crisis before and have always come out stronger on the other side. Whether this one lasts a year, 10 years, 100 years, or through several cycles of global glaciation and retreat, we can rest assured that when looked at on a cosmic scale, we will make progress.
That’s why all of us need to continue working to ensure that our descendants, whether human or whatever post-human species we evolve into over the next several geological epochs, can inherit a world—either Earth or an as-yet-undiscovered life-sustaining planet that our kind must flee to—better than the one we have today.
Yes, things may look bad right now, but when our founding fathers set down the laws that guide this nation, they created a blueprint that has survived everything from economic depressions to foreign and civil wars. And I am confident that it will survive the literally hundreds of coming economic crises, civil wars, environmental catastrophes, thermonuclear conflicts, and an intermittent series of centuries-long global dark ages as well. Until once again, likely no more than 13 million days from today, America emerges from our current troubles as an even better and more perfect realization of its formative ideals.
So, continue to keep hope alive in your hearts, and know that when you zoom really, really, really, really far back to look at the big picture, our nation is still marching forward toward a fairer, freer future for all Americans.
That is, unless the president-elect wins a second term. In which case, right now is the best it’s ever going to get.