Whimsy and Fascism April 4, 2016April 3, 2016 Licorice. Seriously. When was the last time you even heard about licorice? It’s like — wait! “What ever happened to licorice?” Not that it was ever my favorite — but I just realized it’s gone. And has been, seemingly, for decades. So I’m guessing it will soon be back. Discuss. I just received my copies of The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need — ever — even though this is the eighth or ninth edition. They invent IRAs and I have to write a new edition. They invent Index funds and I have to write a new edition. They invent the Internet, and I have to write a new edition. A conspiracy of Innovation. I don’t like it. If you order the paperback here, as a graduation gift — or the eBook here, for yourself — I will have the wherewithal to move to higher ground if the oceans rise as projected Friday. Or maybe I’ll just adopt a puppy. If all this seems a little whimsical (licorice? puppies?), I’d say we need all the whimsy we can get these days. Read, for example, Chris Hedges here: “The Revenge of the Lower Classes and the Rise of American Fascism.” Ouch. Or anything by Norm Ornstein, co-author, in 2012, of It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism, a 2016 sequel to which Barney Frank has suggested should be titled: It’s Even Worse Than It Was When We Said It’s Even Worse Than It Looks. But I inherited the happy gene, and all we have to do to make things turn out okay — even as one party strives to make it harder for young people and people of color to vote — is vote. It would also help to treat our political adversaries with respect. “With malice toward none,” as a great president once put it. Because at the end of the day, we’re all — in both parties and independent — mostly pretty nice people, wanting the best for the country and the world. We just need to depolarize our politics (and no, it’s not symmetrical, as I’ve argued before) and to take satisfaction in finding common ground solutions to our common challenges. Easier said than done. Buy my book.