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  • Writer's pictureJim Donaher

Happy New Year - Fasten Your Seatbelts!

The new year is just ahead, and many are looking to 2017 with a sense of foreboding. The presidential election and many of the unnerving words and actions that have followed have been enough to scare the crap out of anyone paying attention.

Personally, I can easily make a case for impending doom. Crazy man elected by disengaged electorate, makes rash decisions until one of them brings down the house on top of everybody. Certainly plausible when accompanied by the right harbingers and then start building your shelter cuz the big one's coming.

Since that angle has more than been covered, I'd like to suggest an alternative. Given that the great majority of Americans are good people, fair-minded, kind, and fully aware of right and wrong, it seems like we have the ultimate check-and-balance on our government running amok.

Granted, the electorate has been asleep at the switch for quite a while. How did we end up with no good choice in November? Because good people weren't paying attention during the primaries. And when good people - in large numbers, at least - aren't watching, you end up with the South Park-type choice we had in November.

Still, I can't imagine sleeping through the next 4 years. Whatever you think of the direction, you have to expect that very little of what we used to assume was 'presidential' will be on display from Mr. Trump. He will make most of uncomfortable (or worse) at one time or another. Loose cannons will do that.

Okay, quick survey: 'Who here likes change?' Go ahead, raise your hands. Okay, whether you didn't read this far, or you did, I'm going to assume not many hands went up. With change happening faster and faster, we should be getting more comfortable with it, but we are less so. Why?

Because things like smart phones and on-demand movies are good changes. We like them. Big government shifts, and people and institutions who we used to depend on to be stable make us uncomfortable. Especially with the incessant din of the opposition saying the American people are getting screwed. Nobody likes that.

My advice, since I'm so freaking wise, is to relax. I didn't say don't pay attention. But realize that we as Americans have much more in common than in conflict. Ultimately, though we may not like the man, we have to hope for the new president to be successful. We need to be safe and secure. We need a solid economy. We need to have an America where people can pursue success through myriad paths without fear. How you define or pursue these things, of course, differs from leader to leader. But they all need to provide these things, or the people will rise up, in some form or other.

We've been blessed in the U.S. that our leaders throughout history have provided for our have-to-haves, making our country the envy of the rest of the world. Although the methods and the accompanying behavioral nonsense may not be to everyone's liking, I am confident that the new president will, by and large, continue this trend.

If he doesn't, I'm confident that the opposition will grow to the point where a change of direction in some form or other will happen.

That's the great thing about our country. If we make a mistake, sooner or later, we fix it.

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