JUST PLAIN TALK: Mayhem, markets and the rule of law

Buz Livingston
Buz Livingston

In "Get Back Up," Grayson Capps notes, with a heavy dose of dark, gallows humor, "yesterday was a very good day, indeed." Yesterday, some protesters were allowed to storm and vandalize the People's House; others did it the old-fashioned way and broke in. It was a good day indeed, tongue inserted firmly in cheek. Stocks rallied the day our elected officials in Washington D.C. had to hide from mobs; let that sink in.

Our government could once do the unimaginable. When I was a kid, third grade, I think, we dutifully went to our school lunchroom one Sunday, and everyone got in line for a polio vaccine. No one complained. It worked; tell me the last time you worried about polio. I was just a kid and didn't comprehend how devasting polio was, but early baby-boomers knew. It was the same way with smallpox. Mama scolded me after I wrestled with the nurse administering the vaccine. Still, we eradicated smallpox, and America led the way.

Now, COVID-19 vaccines are like hitting the lottery. I believe the situation will quickly improve because I'm an optimist. The vaccine development was exceptional, the vaccination process not so much. Having 50 states develop individual responses led to disarray; more guidance on the national level is essential.

When I was a teenager, my best friend's dad, R.T. "Bobby" Willis, decided to run for the Georgia House of Representatives. After the polls closed, one precinct was late reporting. My friend and I were dispatched to rural Seminole County to observe. His dad was worried because once, allegedly, the Seminole County Courthouse burned ostensibly to destroy ballots. Oh yeah, my team won in a landslide, six votes. R.T.'s opponent, R.A. "Cheney" Griffin, asked if he wanted a recount, replied, "Ah

mighta foun' out I lost by mo' votes." No one likes to lose, but sometimes you do. As adjudicated by dozens of courts, the recent presidential election was fair, full stop. Trying to overturn a legitimate election is an affront to the rule of law. Put goofy, discredited conspiracy theories in the same camp. Prosperity comes from the rule of law, another full stop.

The spectacle of a mob storming our nation's Capitol still unnerves me and likely will for the rest of my days. As a kid, I remember political discussions. Most white Southerners became Goldwater or Reagan Republicans; mama was Jackie Robinson/Dwight Eisenhower Republican. She died when I was a teenager, but I found myself wondering what she would say watching the spectacle. When I came home from school after the Kennedy assassination, I found her red-eyed and distraught in front of the television. "He was our president." Back then, she was upset and sad. Today though, she would be upset but angry. When mama was riled up, you better listen. Thanks mama, you tried.

You can't always get what you want, but Buz Livingston, CFP, can help you figure out what you need. For specific advice, visit livingstonfinancial.net or drop by 2050 West County Highway 30A, M1 Suite 230.