2015 A Mirror Of 2014?

2014 Ends, 2015 Begins, What stays the same?

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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.

Summary:

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.

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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.

You can help decide by being an active citizen.
You can help decide by being an active citizen. | Source

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© 2014 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.

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13 comments

peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 23 months ago from Home Sweet Home

I hope that 2015 is a better year, nit a mirror


annart profile image

annart 23 months ago from SW England

Yes, we vote for them and we must hold them to account rather than let them do what they want in our name (which is what they seem to think they can do). It's just the same in Britain. We have some problems in common and some of our own (like the EU!).

Only we, the citizens, can make a difference. Great hub; good message.

(BTW I've done my haikus as you suggested!).

Ann


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 23 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

Ann - I saw them, liked them, and I knew you enjoyed writing them. Didn't I click on "Submit"?

As I know you agree, it isn't enough to just stand for what we believe is right, we have to walk the walk as well.

This Hub will fade from sight. New Year's Eve and another well-delivered speech or two, will reassure many that everything will be fine. We have to be a burr beneath the saddle of those in authority, or they will think their path ahead is a smooth ride, while we are expected to trudge behind in the mud they sling.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 23 months ago from The Caribbean

Heavy stuff and an important call to individual commitment. Very timely as we go forward into the New Year! Thanks for underscoring what needs our focus.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 23 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

MsDora - You are welcome and some satire is on the way. This one was serious stuff I hope many will take seriously.


annart profile image

annart 23 months ago from SW England

You're so right. I love 'a burr beneath the saddle'!


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 23 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

The list of problems is depressing, but your hub is motivating. You've given us some very important things to think about as 2015 approaches.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 23 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

annart 4 - We either have a voice, or we do not have a voice. If we still have one, let's shout a little louder while we still can.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 23 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

AliciaC - Some of the US' problems are Canada's concerns too. How are you folks doing up there with illegal immigration and securing your miles and miles of borders? What is Canada's national debt looking like? Is student debt a big problem in Canada? Canada's jobless rate these days is____%?

You could do a fine Hub on similarities and differences on the major topics of concern to Canadians and Yanks. ; - )


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 23 months ago from New Delhi, India

Great hub and quite relevant too!

Problems do not end as the calender changes but we should be optimistic and hold on to 'Hope and Belief' to find suitable and timely solutions for the varied problems of the World.

Voted up and shared on HP!


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 23 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

ChitrangadaSharan - I agree, if for no other reason than that a society which has lost hope is prey to hope promisers and can easily slip into a dictatorship as many have. Those seem to eliminate even the possibility of hope for so many of the formerly hopeless.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 23 months ago from Stillwater, OK

Solving problems like those mentioned can be difficult, but with the needed backbone, anything can be possible. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other...


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 23 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

aviannovice - What is called for is unity. We cannot take all the different paths, or as a nation we get nowhere. Common sense has to be something we have in common. Action is required. Leadership is needed. Cooperation is a key to our progress, one step at a time, but moving forward, not just prancing. The greater good, tempered by realistic wisdom, will do nicely as an immediate goal.

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