2015 A Mirror Of 2014?
2014 Ends, 2015 Begins, What stays the same?
Leftovers from 2014.....
As we contemplate 2015, it is time to take a fresh look at 2014 and gauge the world's progress in dealing with its challenges. There is no scorecard for doing so, but here are some of the problems of 2014 which may be lingering unsolved to cast their shadows over 2015:
Putin's adventurism, Syrian Tyranny vs. Democracy, Religious Killings in Africa and the Middle East, North Korean saber rattling, ISIS and the ongoing "War On Terrorism," China vs. Japan/Vietnam/Philippines, the Balance of Power in the Pacific, Worldwide Military Spending, Cyber-spying and Hacking, The U. S. National Debt, Weaknesses in The World Economy, America's Partisan Leadership Struggles, Western Unity, The Palestinian Question, Drug Lords/Gangs and Crime,The Arab Spring & Egyptian Turmoil, The Tensions of India/Pakistan/Kashmir, The Effectiveness of the United Nations in handling international disputes such as Russia's seizure of Crimea and its fostering of separatism in The Ukraine, Ebola, AIDS, and Religious Freedom.
These "leftovers" from 2014 are listed in no particular order, and it might be difficult for some to conclude that they were better, or worse, or stable at the end of 2014. There is no focus in that list on problems falling primarily within the sphere of international relations, but it is clear that some problems of the United States (such as the indefinite incarceration of prisoners at Guantanamo, and U. S. commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and NATO) are also major concerns to still be wrestled with in 2015.
If U. S. problems at home, other than those just cited, were to be listed as problems needing solutions in 2015, the list could easily be extended to include:
Illegal Immigration, Security of the Nation's Borders, Income Inequalities, the Ailing Social Security System, Needed Tax Reforms, Backlogged Courts and Judicial Inequities, Crammed Jails and Prisons, the High Cost of Higher Education, Unequal Political Influence and Power between richer and poorer Americans, Personal and Public Debt, Military and Veterans Budgets,Decaying Infrastructure, Competitive Research and Development of 21st Century products to create a better Import/Export balance of trade.
Perhaps the greatest obstacle to dealing effectively with all the problems facing the United States of America in 2015 and beyond can be summed up in one word: Disunity. There seems to be far too much feeling that, if one group benefits, then somehow other groups are deprived. There also seems to be no national willingness to sacrifice to achieve common goals, no matter how worthy those goals might be.
Many problems the U. S. faced in 2014, are problems still facing the U. S. in 2015, and every year has always had its own new and unique problems to add to the problems that carry over into 2015.
As much as the American people might wish it could, the U. S. cannot solve every problem everywhere, and to everyone's chagrin it has special challenges to deal with if it is even to solve the acknowledged problems within its own borders.
America's national leadership at all levels must rise to these challenges in a united effort, if 2015 is to be a year of significant progress and achievement..
2014 has faded into the history books.
What has to happen? Is it just leadership?
2015 has a new Congress of potential leaders, so what is lacking?
What is lacking is an involved citizenry! By latest reports, less than 37% of eligible voters actually voted in 2014. That group of voters is said to have been the lowest percentage voter participation since World War II ended.....that's almost 70 years ago.
The good news is: if you voted, your vote counted more than it did in previous elections in your lifetime.
The bad news is: too few people decided which new leaders were chosen to join those who remained from 2014.
What would have happened, if all the eligible voters had actually voted?
We will never know, because they didn't.
As for those who did vote, they can be presumed to be the "active" citizens, citizens more likely to keep in touch with their senators, and their representative. They are more likely to complain about what they feel are those leader's mistakes, more likely to praise what they feel are good decisions, more likely to hold their elected officials responsible to live up to their election promises. They are the essential core of what can make government leaders respond, and act apropriatelyt
Do the big donors to those campaigns have too much influence?
In all probability the answer is that they do, and that those same senators, and that representative, will be looking to those same donors to stay in office next year in 2016. But right now it is 2015. There is a brief window this year when the active citizens can remind their senators and representatives that big money, or not, their votes are what put them in office, and without their votes, big money only pays for the noise (sometimes annoying) of campaigns. Important? Yes, but not as important as the actual votes, and if they want yours next time they need to listen and act on their election promises....and in the best interests of the country as a whole.
The other citizens! They are the apathetic citizens who are willing that your votes decide what gets done, or doesn't. They may shout and scream, but you voted and decided what actually happened.
Now, don't go to sleep. It's your turn to steer where the Ship of State goes, how fast it goes, and whether or not it even sails. You can make the difference. Just act and keep acting to make things happen for the better.
2015 Need not be just another Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall.
© 2014 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.
What can unity accomplish?
- Strengthening Each Other, A Thought On Today's Christianity
Christ's bride, the Church, is fragmented and in disarray as, while spreading the Gospel remains important, some churches are competing for other Christian churches' members. This is a time for unity.
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