I can only imagine May 11, 2018 on Commentary, Opinion By Bill Beardsley I can only imagine a 2018 world in which: The French and American presidents hug and kiss on TV like long-lost friends, only a day from the American and Japanese heads of state playing a friendly round of golf, and the American president meets with Germany’s chancellor, and chats on the phone with China’s Xi. The United States opens an embassy in Jerusalem, progressive Switzerland reaffirms its laws that mandate a gun in every home, Saudi women attend sporting events, the United States cuts CO2 emissions faster than the European Union, and ISIS beheadings of Christians rarely haunt the evening news. The world’s largest democracy, India, is en route to outpacing the world’s leading authoritarian dictatorship, China, in economic growth rates, with the continent of Africa leading the way, life expectancy surging, starvation plummeting, and in the United States unemployment among black and Hispanic youth, as well as national unemployment, falling to historic lows. The opening of the expanded Panama Canal is cutting the travel distance between Maine and Shanghai, China, by one-third for super containerships (if only on Maine’s 3,500-mile, deepwater coastline we could allow just one berth where such a ship could land). Koreans teaming up for the Winter Olympics, a Kim dictator crossing the DMZ into South Korea to negotiate an end to a 70-year-old war, with the first U.S.-North Korean in-person meeting between leaders to discuss denuclearization, occurring before Independence Day. American offshore corporate trillions of dollars of investments plus associated jobs coming home thanks to a Congress, our U.S. senator and representative and President teaming up to rid this country of its confiscatory corporate taxes, with foreign investment and a surging, broad-based economy already under way. For once the dominance of leftist elite private universities in foreign affairs in D.C. is challenged by the new presence of the internationally acclaimed public Darden School of the University of Virginia, headed by a summer resident of Surry. Substantive talk of a second U.S. president in a row being considered for a Nobel Peace Prize, in this case, for all of the above and for espousing and living a global philosophy of “respecting all nations, loving one’s own” and a neo- 21st century cause of “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” for all. And, if I could only imagine, a time has come that a truly countercultural, box office thriller, “I Can Only Imagine,” is nominated for the Academy Awards Best Picture of the Year, and the lovable Sunday noon protesters on the downtown Ellsworth Bridge toss their signs and take up the new cause. I can only imagine. Bill Beardsley is a resident of Ellsworth and past president of Husson University.