Be It Hereby Resolved
By Patrick F. Cannon
When you reach my age, it seems pointless to make New Year’s resolutions. You have either reached perfection in all things, or have learned to live with, and even enjoy, your many failings.
This does not mean, of course, that the rest of mankind has achieved nirvana. Far from it, so I have taken upon myself to suggest resolutions for some people who surely need improvement in one or more ways.
One hardly knows where to begin with President Trump. His failings are many and substantial. He could perhaps begin by saying over and over: “I am not the only person in the world.”
Somewhat related to Trump’s need for self-improvement is a Republican Party in serous need of redemption. Never in living memory have so many elected officials traded basic morality for political expediency. They should resolve to become once again the party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan, instead of the party of Warren Harding, Herbert Hoover and Donald Trump. The excuse they give most often is that “Trump is delivering on his campaign promises,” as though this absolves him of being a thoroughly bad man. And simply deciding not to run for reelection is not enough.
Before you consign me to the left wing, I’m afraid the Democrats need to make some resolutions too. One would be to finally say “goodbye” to their elders. A party that is so bereft of talent that it drags out Joe Biden as a serious candidate for President seems just the opposite of “progressive.” The ever-talkative Joe is 76 already, but even he has a year on Bernie Sanders, who is 77. Of course, they may go for a younger man, and drag Al Gore out of the internet for one more run. He’s only 70! Anyway, here’s a resolution for the party of the other Roosevelt: find a candidate in 2020 who’s younger than 70, and who could actually pass history and civics tests. Do not be tempted by the siren call of Hillary. And, for God’s sake, don’t try to foist Elizabeth Warren on our suffering Republic.
Closer to home (Illinois) we will soon have a Democrat governor and veto proof legislature of the same party. J. B. Pritzker was elected not for his qualifications, but because he was even richer than his opponent – the hapless Bruce Rauner – and so could outspend him, which he duly did. He has two choices it seems to me: he could just go along with House Speaker Michael Madigan (76 by the way) and raise taxes to pay for the sweetheart pensions the Democrats have given to their supporters among the public employee unions; or he could do the right thing and use his money and influence to end Madigan’s tenure, and finally pass a constitutional amendment that would permit serious changes to the pension system. If the state pension increases had been always been pegged to the same cost of living increases as the Federal Social Security system, instead of the automatic three-percent as now, the state would be much better off.
And, finally, resolve not to lose hope; or to hate someone just because his or her politics don’t agree with yours. And try to remember that none of us is as smart as we think we are. Happy New Year!
Copyright 2018, Patrick F Cannon