Fasten your seatbelts

Fasten you seatbelts, 2020 could prove to be a bumpy time on all fronts. 

No one should expect a wave of civility to wash over the country anytime in the next 12 months. 

Not one vote has been taken in the presidential nominating races and the Democratic candidates are already at each other. The more they attack each other’s positions the more likely that will turn off many voters and come November a majority may decide to stick with what they have.

At the end of 2019 there were not one, but two, attacks on religion: the shooter at the church in White Settlement, Texas, that killed two, and the machete attack at a rabbi’s New York home in the middle of a Hanukkah celebration. 

In a country divided by ideology, culture and religious beliefs, is there any reason to believe such attacks won’t be in the news again in 2020? 

Closer to home, many people are upset over laws that took effect on January 1. The plastic shopping bag ban has many up in arms, wondering how such a law came to be. The short answer is: elections have consequences. 

Many households have benefited from the economic boom the country is experiencing; the stock and bond markets are in record territory and many experts predict a better year ahead. Unfortunately a large portion of the nation’s populace is not sharing in the good times. Too many people are homeless or have been affected by the opioid crisis. 

The world may seem to be spinning out of control but if it doesn’t affect us personally it is hard to get too worked up over how Brexit will change Europe or how the continuing conflicts in the Middle East will play out in 2020.

But there is reason, also, to be optimistic about this year. Unemployment is very low; wages, finally, are beginning to rise. In eight months we can watch young athletes achieve greatness at the Tokyo Olympics. Students will graduate and enter the work force. New families will be started. Locally, longtime family businesses continue to thrive, preparing to pass the reins to the next generation.

The new year can prove to be very bumpy but with the fortitude Americans always show, we can have the government, the laws and the culture we want. All it takes is patience and tolerance, that’s not too much to ask. Is it?