2012 went out with a bang, judging from the frenzied activity on Capitol Hill. Well, that seems consistent with the year as a whole, which has seen plenty of eruptions and other disturbances, here and abroad.
–Natural disasters, culminating with Sandy. The climate is changing, and not for the better.
–Man-made disasters, like Newtown.
–The Middle East is coming apart at the seams. with the Arab spring turning into a torrid summer.
–The Europeans are somewhar better off, but are wallowing in an economic crisis.
–The trolls in North Korea are showing they’re well on their way to having their own little ICBM.
I could go on, but one more disaster will suffice. This one just afflicts some of us, but for that feverish minority, it is pretty close to being an apocalypse. I refer, of course, to Obama’s victory, which the Republicans mostly didn’t expect and which has confronted them with the astounding news that conservative white men can no longer expect to run this country all by themselves.
Taking the whole ball of wax together, the odds are that 2013 will be more of the same, only worse, but this ain’t necessarily so.
We could stop blaming each other for the bad weather and start serious cooperation aimed at making the best of climate change. Think damage control instead of who sues whom.
We could finally get serious about gun control.
We could encourage Syria’s neighbors to step in and keep the peace, while politely asking our Israeli girl friend to knock off the nonsense about Iran and try harder to get along with its and other Arabs.
More generally, we could try a little harder to be good neighbors ourselves, with the rest of the world.
And our Republican friends could sit back and reflect and finally swallow the fact they are no longer in charge. Then they could start trying to maximize their leverage as the largest of several minorities in our complicated but still quite wonderful land.
Then we could all expect this coming New Year to be happier than the one that has just, mercifully, ended.