Entering the new year, it is traditional to set goals and pronounce resolutions to improve ourselves and our lot in life during the coming 12 months.
Although these resolutions are more often honored in their breach than their fulfillment, they are nonetheless a useful tool to focus our attention on our weak points, whether we have the fortitude to correct them or not.
Unfortunately, the people who could use the most improvement are the least likely to take the time to do a moral (or any other) inventory. That goes for the worst among us (the sexual predators, drug dealers, gang members, thugs, and looters) as well as the most elevated – our elite politicians, Wall Street wizards, talking heads and corporate raiders. The former have no capacity for self-reflection; the latter have, in their estimation, no need for it.
And so, as a nation, we plod forward with little hope for improvement, and no expectation that the coming year will be any better than the dismal one we just escaped. No wonder that current polling shows as much as 70% of Americans think we are headed in the wrong direction.
But what if our politicians actually did their jobs and resolved to solve problems instead of pushing them into the future – or ignoring them altogether? What if we faced the truth instead of telling ourselves happy stories? Might we be able to save our country instead of just saving our incumbents’ political futures?
An impossible dream, yes, but it makes for a useful exercise in putting down a list of our obvious failings, our self-deceptions, and our weaknesses, and then imagining how we might correct them.
Here is a brief roadmap for how things could get better if we just faced the truth about ourselves. Call it a list of New Year’s resolutions, or call it the last chance for an American future. You can make your own list. This one isn’t comprehensive, but it’s a starting point – seven resolutions that aim to restore safety and sanity to a country on the brink.
1) We resolve to secure our border. Just as we protect our families by locking our doors at night and taking arms against anyone who comes into our house to harm our children, so too must we stand ready to repel those who would destroy our culture, drug our children, and steal our treasure. Protecting our citizens and legal residents from invasion is an obvious starting point.
2) We resolve to restore law and order. You can either start at the top or the bottom. First, let’s recognize that our cities are not safe, that our laws favor criminals over victims, and that the justice system has been perverted by outside money. Don’t let looters loot. Don’t let killers kill. Don’t let prosecutors ignore laws they don’t like. And as for corruption at the top, let’s clean out the Department of Justice – starting with a Church-style commission to document the politicization of the FBI.
3) We resolve to stop spending money we don’t have. Easier said than done in a country addicted to easy solutions, but essential to the continued existence of our country. Our annual federal deficits are running in the $300-$400 billion range. Our federal debt is $31 trillion. Unfunded government pensions in cities, counties, and states are crippling localities from hiring police officers, maintaining parks, and providing other basic civic services. Unless you want your grandchildren cursing you with every breath, now is the time to stop the madness.
4) We resolve to restore bodily autonomy. When you allow the government to control your medical decisions by mandating largely untested experimental vaccines, then you have surrendered the power of life and death to an agency that has no particular interest in your well-being.
5) We resolve to respect the nuclear family. How is it even possible that we have to make a special effort to restore the family to the center of American life? What nation, what society, what tribe has ever persisted while teaching children to dishonor their parents?
6) We resolve to follow the Constitution. If Congress only passed laws that were authorized by the Constitution, and lived up to the expectations of our founders, then virtually every problem we face in this list would disappear. If the president stopped acting like a dictator, that would help too.
7) Finally, we resolve to honor and follow our national motto: “In God We Trust.” Lord knows, trusting in politicians who think they are gods has led us to the edge of perdition. If we hope to remain a great nation, we had better remember where our greatness comes from. If we don’t know the difference between right and wrong, between good and evil, or don’t have the wisdom to side with “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” as Thomas Jefferson put it, then our failure should come as no surprise to anyone.