If I were to sit down and list everything I hope for in the coming year I would be sitting a long time and it would take a lot of paper. (And who would want to read it?) Of course, there are things I hope for that everyone hopes for and we can safely skip those. But here are some I hope will happen:
1. Politicians in America will put the people of America ahead of their own agendas. As debates continue I am shifting more to the middle of the road. I realize this is a region populated by dead armadillos and other road kill and I pray fervently we middle-of-the-roaders will avoid meeting the same fate. I also pray Republicans, Democrats, Green Party, Socialists, Libertarians and all others will read and understand the Constitution and try to find common ground, considering first the common good.
2. Mainstream Media will look for a broader cross section of people to gather and report news. There was a time when a thinking literate person could become a reporter and grow as a journalist through experience. (I was mentored by one of those.) Getting the facts should be a higher priority than changing the world.
3. American citizens will register to vote and show up on Election Day at every level of the election process–be it school district, municipality, or general state and federal elections. They don’t even have to agree with me when they cast their ballots.
4. We will all learn to respect each other more than we do now. I would like to see this evidenced on highways, in retail stores, on supermarket parking lots and in schools and parks.
5. All the people in the world will love their spouses and their children more than they hate their rivals or enemies.
6. Telemarketers will either find other work or lose my telephone number–whichever is easier or happens sooner.
7. The malnourished and parasite-riddled people of North Korea will find a better life. Frankly, I haven’t a clue how to do this without a war, and I really don’t want that, but perhaps there is an ounce of sense in Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, and he will realize he is obligated to protect his people as well as his regime. I hope America’s leaders successfully reach out to these people and this government, without compromising our own interests or those of North Korea’s neighbors.
They could happen someday, some way, with our help and support. But I have hoped for things like this for a long time and they didn’t happen. Maybe 2018 will be the year things will be different.
WARREN DOMKE is a columnist for the Pleasanton Express.