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Welcome to 2019!

Lance Simmens: We are currently on the wrong path. We must not adhere to the doctrine of America first, but instead allow humanity, compassion and empathy to spearhead America’s leadership doctrine.
Welcome to 2019

As 2018 mercifully slips into what will someday soon be a forgotten memory, merely another passage of time in the dark ages of America in the early 21st century, time ticking on a clock of destiny when those of us in enlightened society collectively, willfully chose to ignore our impact upon future generations, let us take stock of the missed opportunities that will saddle our children with a debt borne of neglect. And for God’s sake let’s do better in 2019.

The dizzying array of missteps that characterize the era of Trump have made many comfortably numb while it has stoked anger, fear and a thirst for retribution in the hearts and minds of many otherwise inclined to seek purely progressive solutions to complex and compelling problems. The pace of confusion and the paralysis of dysfunction have combined to render America toothless and weakened in an international arena desperately seeking balance and guidance and have driven many ordinarily predisposed to speak out into the depths of despair. Let 2019 be the year of the awakening of conscience so critically missing from the public discourse.

Let us hope that this is only the calm in advance of the storm. The new year will bring with it a political resurgence in the form of a Democratic House of Representatives and a democratic renaissance that will once again impose upon our governmental system a check against the unadulterated authoritarian impulses of the Trump administration and a Trump-enabling Senate. Sanity and common sense must rise to the fore, buttressed by empirical data, evidence, facts and truth.

The criminal enterprise that is the Trump administration must be relegated to the ash heap of broken promises and political and policy misadventures that have critically hamstrung and twisted the arc of the moral universe. American exceptionalism must no longer be construed as a synonym for isolationist rigidity and intolerance for diversity. The cure for small mindedness and regressive thinking can be found in constructing bridges to span the ideological chasm that currently divides our nation, not in walls that further splinter us into opposing camps and exacerbate suspicion and hatred.

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We are currently on the wrong path. We must not adhere to the doctrine of America first, but instead allow humanity, compassion and empathy to spearhead America’s leadership doctrine.

The genius that is the American experiment was borne of a thirst for free speech, compromise, and “Common Sense” (thanks Thomas Paine) and our governing system is predicated on the bedrock foundations of debate and argumentation. Freedom and liberty form the soul of our desire to reject a throne, a monarchy, a stultified feudal society, or societal class and caste systems that place proportions of the population into a permanent underclass.

These are the inspirational tenets that should govern public service regardless of ideological or political orientation. Misconstrued interpretations of nationalism, dismissal of the notion of a global community of mankind, failure to appreciate, acknowledge and propagate policies that connect us as citizens of the planet, and ignorance of the importance of alliances to enforce and promote basic human rights, combat violence, and help those most vulnerable in our world are antithetical to any conception of humanity. Our world is a much more dangerous place because we have rejected a worldview of unity in favor of one that promotes conflict. America first was wrong in the 1930’s and it is wrong today. This is not an attack upon competition, rather it is a rejection of the exclusionary principle that allows us to turn our backs on our fellow man.

We are currently on the wrong path. We must not adhere to the doctrine of America first, but instead allow humanity, compassion and empathy to spearhead America’s leadership doctrine. We must think globally and act locally, thereby providing the ideological and pragmatic beacons of leadership that garner respect and admiration and yes, to some extent, envy throughout the globe.

True might is measured as much in terms of commitment to peace as it is in arsenals of destruction. There is virtually no conceivable way any of this can be effectuated by an administration lost in the wilderness of false bravado, wildly flailing at imaginary demons, and resembling Don Quixote “tilting at windmills.” An administration incapable of using any reasonable calculus to define allies from adversaries and directed by a mobster-in-chief who openly heaps praise on ruthless autocrats while harboring disdain for democratic principles cannot and will not successfully render positive results for either the country or the world.

So as 2019 beckons let us all dedicate ourselves to active participation in the dismantling of our corrupt and crooked leadership and bring truth, justice, facts, evidence and a sense of purpose to our leaders and institutions. Let us dedicate ourselves to buttressing a system of checks and balances that promotes democratic ideals and principles that lay at the core of our being. That is what making America great is all about. Welcome 2019!

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Lance Simmens

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