Here we go again!
It sure has a familiar feel, doesn’t it? The holidays are moving right along, and the New Year is almost upon us. There will be resolutions, plans, expectations, and a little weight gain to be sure. Pretty familiar territory. There will be at least two differences in 2012, however. It is a Leap Year, but who cares. For me it will just make the tortuous New England February one day longer. The big difference is that it will be yet another Presidential Election Year. Now, before we think about this any further, hide the sharp objects and lock up the pills.
It seems that elections never end in the USA. I enjoy politics and am passionate about it to be sure…but it gets on my nerves as well. Once the campaigns end, endless interest groups are buying ads telling you what a heartless jerk some Republican is and what a freedom grabbing commie some Democrat is. Look, sometimes they are probably not too far off, but often it is just so much noise making our citizenry despondent and cynical and making already nervous leaders into veritable cowards.
So what do we do as 2012 arrives? We still have an unbelievably crappy economy with no real improvement on the horizon. Families, individuals, and small businesses are holding on for dear life. People cannot find jobs, and more people drop out of the workforce than enter it (we can talk about the scam of how they calculate unemployment another day). Health care and education costs are out of control…and on and on. Some days it seems like it might make more sense to throw our hands in the air and surrender.
But that is a coward’s path. The story of America is NOT a story of cowards. It is a story of courage, innovation, and a determination to pass on both liberty and prosperity to future generations.
The choice then is for each American to make. Will 2012 be a year of depression and despair? One of surrender and gloom? Or will it be the year that as individuals and as a society we throw off the shackles of misery and dejection and once again embrace the promise of a better future-and embrace the work it entails?
Our fate is not written. Our future is ours, and will be determined by the choices we make. The only yoke America suffers under is the one we place on ourselves. More than any people on earth, we have the chance to decide whether or not we will be free and prosperous, or continue down a path of mediocrity and hopelessness. Shall we take the path Europe has taken towards a collapsing welfare state? Or shall we fight like hell to regain our opportunity society? I don’t have to point to which path I have chosen.
There will be many discussions in 2012. But for now, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and look at your family. That is what counts the most.