The Years Ahead
by Martin Green



The year was 2000. Professor Ernst Bottomly, the noted historian, had just returned home after a meeting with his publishers. The meeting had not gone well.He put down the briefcase containing his manuscript and sank down into a living room chair. His wife Mary came into the room.

“You look tired,” she said.  “Was it a difficult meeting?”

“You could say that.”

“They’ll publish your book, won’t they?”

“They want a lot of modifications. They say a lot of the predictions I make about the years ahead are too far out and will make their company look foolish.”

“Like what?”

“Well, I say that some political outsider like Donald Trump might become president.”

“Donald Trump president. Well, you have to admit that’s pretty outlandish.”

“I know it seems so now but I think the way things are going in Washington it’s a possibility.”

“What are some of the others?”

“Well, I say that there’ll be a lot of people who’ll think our country is terrible, that, for one thing, our society is racist through and through.”

“Oh, I don’t think so. There’s a lot more to do but haven’t we made a lot of progress?”

“They’ll say it isn’t enough, that it’s systemic. You know there’ve been some incidents; there’ll also be a movement to defund the police.”

“There’s a lot of room for improvement, but if the police are defunded won’t there be more crime?”

“That’s what I say will happen.    Oh, I also say there’ll be a movement to tear down statues all over the country.    Anyone who was a Civil War hero for the South, of course, starting with Robert E. Lee, but also anyone deemed not pure enough by our modern standards.    Even people like Washington and Jefferson.    A lot of people will also want to change the names of schools and anything else named for founding founders like Washington and Jefferson.”

“What about Abraham Lincoln?”

“He won’t be exempt either.”

“Well, that’s ridiculous. I’m sure those things won’t happen. You should make those changes they want.”

“You may be right.    I’ll think about it.    What’s for dinner?”



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