Meanwhile, my latest column at The Week is a bit on the lighter side. It’s a trip down memory lane to my ten-year-old self:
“As for campaigning, people don’t want promises. They want action.” — Noah Millman, age 10
This past Sunday, on a visit for brunch, my mother brought me a time machine in the form of an old valise. Inside was a treasure trove of documents from my childhood: photos, drawings, report cards, clippings, programs from the local drama club’s productions. And, unsurprisingly for a budding writer, a wide array of written material.
I was particularly struck by one piece, written in November 1980 as part of a school assignment, describing my program should I be elected president of the United States. It began with the line quoted above.
I don’t recall the details of the assignment, but I can imagine what prompted it. The 1980 election loomed large in all of our consciousnesses, including us kids. After all, we’d sat on the gas lines with our parents. We’d watched the drama of the Iranian hostage crisis play out on the television every night. And we all still remembered the 1977 blackout. We knew the country had serious problems. As I detailed them in my essay:
The basic problems today are: inflation, crime, energy, transit in the cities, the hostages, war, etc.
The list is different from one we’d make today — though we’re still worried about falling behind economically, about the poor job we’re doing preventing the country’s infrastructure from crumbling, and we’re still panicked about a hostile regime in Iran.
But what I was struck by most was the . . . familiarity of some of the language I used when I talked about how to tackle these problems. You might almost call it my blueprint for making American great again.
Check the whole thing out there.