Merriott column: But what if? |

Merriott column: But what if?

Frosty Merriott

Long ago and far away in a little place called Houston, my main squeeze and I would engage in a “but what if” word game to pass the time and maybe gain valuable insights into the other.

It’s New Year’s Eve 1976. So, I might have said, “But what if I asked you to marry me, what would you say?”

Not no, but hell no, Frosty. You are way too immature to even fathom the concept of marriage.

Let’s get to the Compaq Center and see Willie and Waylon. They might start the show with, “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys,” or they might sing that song you and your friends seem to love, “Ladies Love Outlaws.” I’m really excited about tonight, please try to be on your best behavior, would you? Whatever that is?

So I am gonna engage in a little “but what if” with y’all, my readers.

First, the real bad guys with nuclear weapons. Remember this all starts with,

But what if…

… Putin was not a cold-blooded killer, president for life and the ex-head of the KGB, Russia’s secret intelligence? He’s way smarter than most of the rest of us and is set on reuniting Mother Russia, starting with Ukraine.

… Xi Jinping, the supreme leader of China, wasn’t a calculating and heartless dictator? Genghis Khan comes to mind as to his ambitions.

… Kim Jong-un didn’t want to reunite Korea and had not banned laughing and drinking for 11 days on the 10th anniversary of his dad’s death?

… Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, did not have nuclear weapons on the near horizon and didn’t control the Hormuz Strait?

… Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud wasn’t the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia and suspected of giving the order to dismember Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi activist living in the United States?

All right, let’s bring it to the homeland now.

But what if…

… In 1619, the White Lion privateer ship had not brought about 20 kidnapped people from what is now Angola, Africa, to Jamestown, Virginia?

… The Indigenous peoples living in North America had not numbered some 18 million when we arrived and then were almost totally wiped out along with their buffalo? I think we call it ethnic cleansing now. Oh yeah, and we basically stole their land.

… America, along with the Greatest Generation, had not saved the world from Adolph Hitler in World War II?

… We took to heart “United We Stand, Divided We Fall,” and made it perfectly clear to our leaders we are sick of the inflammatory rhetoric and dishonesty? Those of us in the middle (the majority) want real compromises made and solutions to problems. That’s why you were elected, not to facilitate a civil war. We are better than all this.

… There was a real effort to close wealth disparity?

… We banned coal worldwide with the acquiescence of big oil and set a time certain to transition to renewable energy with natural gas?

… Dilithium crystals had been manufactured and are already converting matter and anti-matter to clean energy?

… We all felt we are a part of something greater?

Now to the local scene.

But what if…

… Lake Meade and Lake Powell were not 70% empty?

… Seventy-five percent of all the new housing we built was affordable to our workforce?

… People got out of their gas-powered cars and used public transportation or electric vehicles?

… The Roaring Fork Valley set a goal to be 50% net zero by 2030 and 90% by 2050?

… Any time there was a takings action of property rights in the Roaring Fork Valley the Ute Indians would automatically be named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit?

… Cancer was cured and so was COVID-19, along with gun violence? Did I mention we put a man on the moon?

… If every day could be like Christmas? What a wonderful world that would be.

Frosty Merriott describes himself as a starry-eyed idealist, remains on his best behavior (arguably) and thinks we have to change the paradigm. Frosty and family wish you a Happy Holiday Season. He can be reached at

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