For some of us, the year brought to a screeching halt the dream of continuing President Obama’s transformation of America into a liberal utopia. The grand plan of federal bureaucrats at the EPA, HHS, DOJ and the rest of the alphabet soup administrative industrial complex reforming America in their image was not to be.
For others, it brought a last chance to save what our Founding Fathers started over 240 years ago. A chance to restore balance between the executive and legislative branches; A chance to retain at least a resemblance of Constitutional intent on the Supreme Court; and most importantly a chance to begin dismantling the maze of federal regulations and mandates strangling our initiative and suffocating our liberties.
I have not a doubt one; history will record this year as the most visceral and most divisive Presidential election of the modern political era. The was so much mud thrown, dirty tricks played,
and outright lies told in this election that it’s hard to imagine there’s anything left for 2020. (Hey, I guy can hope can’t he?)
But perhaps the best way to look back on 2016 is to ask “what did we learn”?
Well, we learned that the left’s favorite mantra that we must get “big money” out of politics to save our democracy was just that, a mantra. Hillary Clinton spent over $1.2 billion, yes billion with a B, in her attempt to capture the White House and in the end, every dime was wasted. A terrible candidate and an arrogant campaign combined to ensure a political implosion not seen in decades.
We learned that Hollywood actors and social celebrities are no more able to be trusted to keep their word than the politician’s that infest our capitol. Everyone from A lister Barbara Streisand, to D lister Lena Dunham, to “I’m better than thou” Jon Stewart, to perpetual race baiter Al Sharpton to even Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (it’s time for us to move to New Zealand) hopped on the bandwagon of fake morality and publicly pledged to leave the country should Donald Trump win the election. Yet within hours the backtracking began and as of this writing it appears that we’re still stuck with each and every one of em.
We’re learning in just the past week that for all the fear and hyperbole over “hair trigger Trump” and his think skin triggering a World War III, when it comes to thin skin, there is none thinner than that of the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The shameful refusal to veto the U.N. Security Council vote on resolution 2234 regarding Israeli settlements on ancient Jewish lands was perhaps the most petulant Presidential act in American history. Over 400,000 already dead and millions of refugees lay at the feet of this administration’s failure in the Middle East but the only time it decides to take a stand is to stab the only democratic nation in the entire region in the back?
And sadly, we learned that 2017 will be a year less enlightened. This past week economist, author, columnist, and Hoover Institution senior fellow Dr. Thomas Sowell penned his last column for syndication noting that: “Age 86 is well past the usual retirement age” and “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.” (Too bad the main stream media hasn’t caught on to that “facts before writing” thing, the country could really use it about now.)
Dr. Sowell closed his column with: “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.”
I can’t think of a better way to end 2016 than to begin a better 2017. Happy New Year America.
Editor’s Note: A version of this column first appeared in the January 1, 2017 print edition of the Joplin Globe.