AMERICA IS STILL THE LAND OF OPTIMISM

December 17, 2021

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The last few years have been turbulent. Even beyond the pandemic, our politics, culture, and economy are changing fast. While some people fear rapid change, I am convinced that our dynamism is amongst our greatest strengths.

The pandemic has been painful. A lot of people lost their jobs, and a lot of businesses reached their breaking points. Despite these challenges, we have also seen a tremendous surge of innovation and growth. Albert Einstein famously said that in the middle of adversity lies opportunity, and the United States proves this over and over.

American biotechnology company Moderna harnessed mRNA technology to create a whole new kind of vaccine in record time. American pharmaceutical company Pfizer provided the essential manufacturing and distribution knowhow to enable BioNtech’s competing vaccine. This breakthrough was a home run for fighting covid and is possibly the start of a biotechnology revolution.

Recent innovation and business success reaches far beyond covid vaccines. Zoom took video collaboration from a minor oddity to being in every home and office. E-commerce has exploded. The combination of these technologies now mean that American workers are increasingly free to keep their jobs while living anywhere.

Across the industries of the future, like electric transportation, space exploration, and software, American companies continue to lead the world. While many jobs have been lost, our companies are creating whole new industries and many new jobs as well.

I am as optimistic about our future as I have ever been. Where other countries think first about how to preserve what they have, America embraces change, risk, and innovation. We turn disruption into growth opportunities and we celebrate entrepreneurs. It’s working.

For generations, the United States has attracted ambitious immigrants from around the world while exporting our products and our culture across the globe. This is still true, and our future is as bright as ever.

It’s particularly silly to criticize Kipchoge for having an unfair shoe. His shoe is made by Nike and anybody can buy it. If it helps him run faster, so what? I recall a similar story a few years ago when American swimmers were dominating at the olympics, partially due to some fancy swimsuits modeled on shark skin.

It’s foolish to ban sport innovations. Constant improvement and innovation is a great strength for America and for the entire human race. It’s that very combination of hunger to win and unwillingness to settle for the status quo that drives us forward. That’s how we moved into the high tech world we live in today.

Athletics are a perfect distillation of what makes us great. We should celebrate those who strive for excellence and those who innovate, not hold them back.

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