Friday December 31, 2021 – La Minute Monocle
2021 is unlikely to be decades of inspiration for nostalgic musings. For the second year in a row, almost all of humanity has been forced to adapt to compelling circumstances. There is, of course, a certain satisfaction in having to do this successfully – but it’s not much fun. Nonetheless, there is a reason to think fondly about 2021: Something that hasn’t happened – or perhaps more accurately, has stopped happening – rather than something that has happened.
In 2021, there will almost certainly be days – in fact, weeks, maybe months – that have passed without you having to think about the words or deeds of the most powerful individual on Earth. . The handover in January from US President Donald Trump to his successor, Joe Biden (on the picture), was a blessing we should not underestimate – not least because of what we have since learned and the efforts that have been made to thwart it. The fit President Biden may not seem destined for a particularly high pedestal in the presidential pantheon, but he is neither a fool nor a mere, and crossing those admittedly low two bars he represents a huge improvement in the quality of global leadership.
If we have learned one thing from the exercise of compare and contrast provided in 2021, perhaps it is that at the top of political power, politics and ideology are less important than competence and character – and that good results will seldom be obtained by bad people. It would be something, in 2022, to see this lesson cross the Atlantic and reach the British coasts.
Listen to Andrew Mueller’s weekly series, “What We Learned,” in The Globalist’s every Friday edition on Monocle 24.