I wish I could promise you a happy new year. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Republicans stopped trying to destroy the U.S. government? Wouldn’t it be a bright new year if the Israelis stopped building houses on the West Bank and the Palestinians stopped firing rockets at the Israelis? Wouldn’t it be heart warming if those unemployment checks kept going out to the needy in America? And wouldn’t it be great if the country’s payroll tax cuts were reinstated for another year?
If only we humans had found compassion under the Christmas tree.
If only the angels had returned to offer us peace on earth and good will to all.
If only Santa Claus had brought us common sense and common dignity.
But it hasn’t happened, has it?
Christmas has come and gone, and the world is full of rancor and hate.
We seem to be less human with every passing year.
In the wake of the mass murder of little children in Connecticut, more military-grade weapons than ever are flying off the shelves in America. When every logical argument calls for fewer guns on the streets, arms sales are better than they have ever been. And there is a call for more guns in the schools, even the arming of teachers.
Blood lust is rising, not waning.
The slaughter of defenseless deer and the airborne machine gunning of fleeing wolves are apparently not enough to quench the American thirst for blood.
And the phenomenon is not unique to America. Far from it.
The Syrians predict more blood will flow in the streets in the coming year; thousands of innocent bystanders will be sacrificed to political ideology and the all-consuming hunger for power.
A young woman is dead in India after being viciously gang-raped on a bus…
And on and on and on…
The few sane voices are drowned out by the worldwide clamor for power and gold. And revenge.
Children continue to die of hunger and disease in Africa and other neglected parts of the world – and, yes, even in rich countries like America – while vast resources are devoted to the development of more – and more terrifying – weapons of war. Cancer remains uncured. Diabetes is rampant. The world suffers under innumerable afflictions while the resources that could seek the cures are squandered on senseless and devastating wars.
The financial stewards entrusted with managing the world’s economy are looting it. Fewer and fewer are becoming richer and richer, and the numbers of the poor are increasing exponentially. Economic trends point lower and lower. Prosperity becomes ever more elusive.
No, there is no prospect of a happy new year.
Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.