Welcome to 2020. From all of the staff here at the High Plains Daily News, our best wishes for a safe, happy, healthy and prosperous new year.
I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, personally, so I thought we might instead take a moment to reflect on how things went in 2019 and what we should be looking out for in the year to come. But first I just wanted to share an observation about the unreal nature of finding the year 2020 on our calendars. For our younger readers who have spent most or all of their lives in the 21st century, this probably doesn’t seem all that striking. It’s just another decade, right?
But for those of us “of a certain age” this is really kind of wild. I grew up in the 70s and 80s, and back then the idea of a date like 2020 was something straight out of science fiction. I recall imagining that everyone would be living like the Jetsons by now, driving their flying cars and being served meals by robots. Well, the robot part as sort of come true, but for the most part, the world doesn’t look or feel all that much different. Sure, the shapes of the cars have evolved, but they’re still basically just cars. People still grow up, get married (at least some of them anyway), have kids, grow old and pass away. They experience the same joys and challenges as Americans did all through my life.
The advent of the internet and social media certainly changed everything, though not always in a good way. But aside from our obsession with screens, much of the world looks remarkably similar to the one I grew up in. Phones are no longer hooked to wires coming out of the wall and they are basically mini-computers, but they are also still just phones. Other examples abound. The world obviously changes in gradual phases, not some dramatic, revolutionary moment where there are suddenly Terminators and Robo-cops battling it out in the skies.
But enough of that. A couple of thoughts about the last year and the next. For most of 2019, I watched as some folks wailed about how the end of the world was apparently upon us. Everything was terrible. But while the world is still far from perfect, I actually thought things were going pretty well. And when I stepped away from the world of social media and out into the fresh air, people were carrying on with their lives. Many of them were actually smiling.
Of course, not all was well with the world. Russia and China have clearly begun building a new axis of evil with Iran, North Korea, Venezuela and Turkey. The situation in Afghanistan remains a complete mess and Iraq isn’t much better. And violent strains of antisemitism were flaring up across the land. But there’s still cause for hope, or at least I have to believe so.
2020 promises to be even more of a madhouse when it comes to politics. It feels like this election started the day after the 2018 midterms and the rhetoric and sniping will only increase all the way through November. Sooner or later the Democrats will settle on a candidate and then we’ll see if a strong economy and campaign promises fulfilled will be enough to earn Donald Trump a second term.
In any event, enough of my rambling musings. May your year be better than the last in every way.