This year of great wonders and equal horrors has come to an end. Goodbye 2022. Hello 2023.
While looking back over the past year, it amazes me that there is an actual conventional war being waged in Ukraine. A not-so-veiled threat to use nuclear weapons is hovering over the world as a consequence.
We continue to ﬁnd new ways to explore and reach beyond the stars, as well as into the depths of the oceans. Even new species are being discovered here on earth.
Yet, children are still starving in the world, and in this country, while we continue to pay farmers to not harvest food.
Vaccines have been developed to help allay suffering and dying from covid and its variants, and more and more folk are getting their inoculations.
But untold numbers are succumbing to covid in China.
Thanks to technology, the very diverse World Cup was enjoyed by billions around the world.
Still, massive waves of people persist in leaving their home countries, waiting on the border of Mexico, to cross into the USA, for freedoms denied in their native lands.
The list of both wonders and horrors is long: The crypto currency pyramid is collapsing, a former American president is under increasing scrutiny for
alleged criminal acts, and weather “bombs” are exploding around the nation.
But there is hope in the election system: Midterm elections were bloodless, advances toward “curing” certain cancers continue, and Black folk matter more, etc.
As I continue to reflect on the past year, it gives me pause to realize how so many human beings continue to be led by our lowest natures, to follow our base instincts, tossing aside our higher faculties. We simply don’t think!
And when we do think, it seems we use group think to guide us.
When are we humans going to rise above and demonstrate that we have evolved beyond the herd?
Take political decisions, a behavior we participate in on a daily basis.
Our electoral system is designed so that we get to vote for folk to “represent” us, to allow them to enact laws that govern us, and then we leave them unchecked, sometimes for six years at a time. What a nightmare!
That behavior is enacted at local, state and national levels, where we turn our personal interests over to people too often left unchecked.
Even when we have systems in place to check and balance, they often break down. For example, the IRS is mandated to audit every US president’s taxes, but alarmingly missed the mark on Donald Trump’s taxes, setting up a domino of alarms for negligence.
A lot of explaining is due.
Yet hope remains alive even though it took 15 ballots to elect a new House of Representatives speaker. Now that it is done, we have another opportunity for a less divided legislature, but will it be?
Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s acceptance speech promised investigations, litigation, rollbacks, and threats of punishment, right out of the gate. Newly elected Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries reiterated his party’s line, and so we begin again to repeat the same political stalemate which has kept government playing between the same 40-yard lines, to borrow a metaphor.
Entrenchment, like long-ago trench warfare, scorches the earth and wins no ground.
I yearn for equilibrium, a timeout from the wild swings between the horriﬁc and wonderful in our daily lives. I can only wait until wiser representatives from both sides of the political fronts ﬁnd that other closed-door room where they can meet in civility to bring us all back from the brink.
Remember to always VOTE, Vote, vote! Toniwg1@gmail.com