Farewell ~ Thomas Sowell to Retire

AmmoLand Editor Comments: Thomas Sowell has been a cornerstone of conservative thought decades before AmmoLand News came into being. His insight and logic have enlightened me time and again, as well as reshaped the way I thought about social and political issues. I know many regular AmmoLand News readers will miss Mr. Sowell's weekly article, but we can all agree that we are glad to see him make time to enjoy life's pleasures. Thomas, thank you for all your past efforts and enjoy your retirement. ~ Fredy Riehl.

Thomas Sowell Random Thoughts
Farewell ~ Thomas Sowell to Retire
Thomas Sowell
Thomas Sowell

USA –  -(Ammoland.com)- Even the best things come to an end. After enjoying a quarter of a century of writing this column for Creators Syndicate, I have decided to stop.

Age 86 is well past the usual retirement age, so the question is not why I am quitting, but why I kept at it so long.

It was very fulfilling to be able to share my thoughts on the events unfolding around us, and to receive feedback from readers across the country — even if it was impossible to answer them all.

Being old-fashioned, I liked to know what the facts were before writing. That required not only a lot of research, it also required keeping up with what was being said in the media.

During a stay in Yosemite National Park last May, taking photos with a couple of my buddies, there were four consecutive days without seeing a newspaper or a television news program — and it felt wonderful.

With the political news being so awful this year, it felt especially wonderful.

This made me decide to spend less time following politics and more time on my photography, adding more pictures to my website (www.tsowell.com).

Thomas Sowell Photography
Thomas Sowell Photography

Looking back over the years, as old-timers are apt to do, I see huge changes, both for the better and for the worse.

In material things, there has been almost unbelievable progress. Most Americans did not have refrigerators back in 1930, when I was born. Television was little more than an experiment, and such things as air-conditioning or air travel were only for the very rich.

My own family did not have electricity or hot running water, in my early childhood, which was not unusual for blacks in the South in those days.

It is hard to convey to today's generation the fear that the paralyzing disease of polio inspired, until vaccines put an abrupt end to its long reign of terror in the 1950s.

Most people living in officially defined poverty in the 21st century have things like cable television, microwave ovens and air-conditioning. Most Americans did not have such things, as late as the 1980s. People whom the intelligentsia continue to call the “have-nots” today have things that the “haves” did not have, just a generation ago.

In some other ways, however, there have been some serious retrogressions over the years. Politics, and especially citizens' trust in their government, has gone way downhill.

Back in 1962, President John F. Kennedy, a man narrowly elected just two years earlier, came on television to tell the nation that he was taking us to the brink of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, because the Soviets had secretly built bases for nuclear missiles in Cuba, just 90 miles from America.

Most of us did not question what he did. He was President of the United States, and he knew things that the rest of us couldn't know — and that was good enough for us. Fortunately, the Soviets backed down. But could any President today do anything like that and have the American people behind him?

Years of lying Presidents — Democrat Lyndon Johnson and Republican Richard Nixon, especially — destroyed not only their own credibility, but the credibility which the office itself once conferred. The loss of that credibility was a loss to the country, not just to the people holding that office in later years.

With all the advances of blacks over the years, nothing so brought home to me the social degeneration in black ghettoes like a visit to a Harlem high school some years ago.

When I looked out the window at the park across the street, I mentioned that, as a child, I used to walk my dog in that park. Looks of horror came over the students' faces, at the thought of a kid going into the hell hole which that park had become in their time.

When I have mentioned sleeping out on a fire escape in Harlem during hot summer nights, before most people could afford air-conditioning, young people have looked at me like I was a man from Mars. But blacks and whites alike had been sleeping out on fire escapes in New York since the 19th century. They did not have to contend with gunshots flying around during the night.

We cannot return to the past, even if we wanted to, but let us hope that we can learn something from the past to make for a better present and future.

Goodbye and good luck to all.

About Thomas Sowell
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, as well as a prolific author including Black Rednecks And White Liberals. His website is www.tsowell.com. To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read his articles visit his website above.

  • 20 thoughts on “Farewell ~ Thomas Sowell to Retire

    1. In the past, doctors were gods, you could trust them. Now doctors are taking away our guns, calling ownership a mental illness and freedom a menace to public health.
      In the past, people were largely free of vaccines. Now they are expected to survive a vast slew of shots – as babies, and more later, and later. You can hardly calculate the lifetime number and the lifetimes are short and painful.

    2. Take care Dr. Sowell, you have been a great inspiration and source of information for many of us. I read a phrase the other day that “our elders are libraries of history”, and you Sir, are a wealth of experience and wisdom that will me missed.

      Thank you for all of your time and what you have given of yourself to your readers!

    3. I have had Dr Sowell’s collective books on my Christmas list for years. I think I’m going to buy them for myself as a New Years/retirement gift.

      You will be missed, but will remain influential for generations to come as i ensure my children and grandchildren read your works. Godspeed Dr. Sowell!

    4. Dr. Sowell,
      The wisdom of our elders is an invaluable resource. Sorry to hear your leaving “us”. Also regret that I had not known of your writings before signing on to Ammoland. I always gain new insights reading your offerings. I’ll have to look up your books.

      It’s easy to understand your desire to free yourself from publishing commitments. I can attest that retirement is a cool deal, having just recently done that myself. However, I suspect and hope that you will occasionally be tweaked by some event or growing trend and feel compelled, at your own pace and in your own time, to put your thoughts to keyboard and share them. I’m sure the good folks here at Ammoland would me more than delighted to spread your words. And, as another reader wrote, you would be a great person for our next President to occasionally consult with.

      Happy trails,

    5. I have followed Mr. Sowell for only a few years but have become a huge fan. His logic and understanding of the issues is extraordinary. He can debate an issue and make more sense than anyone I have read. I have promoted Mr. Sowell and his web site to many people. I am hoping that I have created more fans.

      There will be a big hole now that I hope someone like Mr. Sowell will fill. Those are big shoes to fill, but we need someone that can bring the intelligent dialogue to modern day issues and the conservative point of view.

      I wish Mr. Sowell the best and hope that we hear from him now and then.

      Take care and God bless, sir.

    6. I always took time to read this great man’s articles they were and are most excellent reading. He has written articles about everything including everyday living to politics to life in general he was and is a much better man than most in office today. I hope and pray that he will still write now and then I enjoy his writing.

    7. Dr. Sowell is an American treasure. May the Lord Bless him and keep him in his well-deserved rest. Thank you, Sir, for the defense of freedom and the intellectual ammunition. I hope to meet you when I see Him again. GOD Bless. “Sandy” Pidgeon, USN SEAL (ret)

    8. Dr. Sowell. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your articles over the years and want to thank you for sharing your views and insights. Enjoy your well deserved retirement and God bless.

    9. If I read nothing else on the Internet, I always read anything written by Dr. Sowell. One of my all-time favorites was his column on “affordable housing.” I hope he’ll continue to express his views as an occasional visitor.

    10. Thank you Thomas for everything you’ve done. Some people can’t open their eyes enough to see even a glimer of the light you brought forth for all Americans. Their lose. Enjoy your retirement to the fullest.

    11. I have enjoyed reading Thomas Sowell’s commentary for forty years. His insights based on facts and common sense have proved invaluable to me and to all thinking people. His honesty and commitment to truth are rare in the age of ME!

      Thank you, Thomas Sowell. I shall miss you greatly.

    12. This man is nothing short of brilliant-his thought provoking social commentary as well as his scholarly books are a must read for conservatives who want to win the battle for the mind. You simply must have his collection for your library. I was hoping Trump would use him as an advisor-he exudes conservative wisdom on a titanic scale.

      I fully understand his desire to retire-86 is no spring chicken…God bless this great American.

    13. I cannot think of a man that has influenced my thinking as much as Thomas Sowell…
      with the possible exceptions of Ronald Reagan and Mark Levin.

      May God bless him with good health and happiness.

      Scott E. Stanton

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