The GRINCH who stole Freedom
Like many Americans, I approach the end of 2023 reflecting on events and efforts to move forwards in a challenging year. And I bet many of you are asking similar questions when you look back Jan 1 of this year. Did America hold, advance or decline in 2023? What is happening to the security, opportunity, Liberty and Freedoms we once so proudly hailed as American birthrights? Has the GRINCH of 2023 stolen our Freedom and Prosperity this season? Is there ANY good news to see from this contentious year?
Economically, the answer is clear for any American who drives a car, heats a home, feeds a family, pays a mortgage or has a child in College. It’s been a disastrous year for most everyone if we focus on just those financial and economic topics. Domestic GDP is growing but the governments own COLA numbers seem to have no relationship to our rocketing inflation. While the government says inflation is only 2.3% this year, Food prices rose 13.5% over the last two years. Mortgage rates are up 7 % for the same period. Fuel prices are almost doubled their 2019 costs. The fact is, the governments published figures do not match our sticker shock at the checkout lines. The Fed continues to pump out more money as fast as it can load paper and ink and each new bill that rolls off those printers decreases the value of the hard earned dollar that’s already sitting in your pocket. Perhaps if most of those bills made their way into US citizen’s pockets it wouldn’t be so bad, but instead we send planeloads to UKRAINE and nations who hate or disdain this, our country. Constant Inflation has caused Social Security payments to lose 36% of their buying power since 2000, impoverishing senior populations. Congress is content to waste these inflating dollars on unwinnable wars and impossible energy schemes while the executive and justice branches use lawfare to pursue this administration’s political opponents. Meanwhile, the House continues to rubber stamp checks for runaway bureaucracies that have multiplied like rats in a sewer. Well, that’s pretty much all bad news. Maybe there’s some good news elsewhere than the economy.
Justice! At least Justice in America has fared better in 2023, right? We can depend on our government to ensure that our Freedoms and Constitutional rights are protected and upheld for everyone, right? Our sitting president is highly competent, in the present moment and dedicated to ensuring ALL AMERICANS are treated equally and fairly, whether we agree with him and the regimes policies or not, right? Our Departments of Justice and our Courts still defend our civil rights, due process and constitutional protections, right? We can be assured that no one will ever be persecuted or prosecuted In America, the Land of the Free, for speaking out for what they believe, or for showing up to demand their representatives hear and redress their complaints, right? No one is being hunted down and jailed indefinitely in this country because of their beliefs and politics, right? Hmm, seems there’s no joy here either. I guess we still need to look elsewhere for the Good News of 2023.
Politics! Maybe that good stuff we’re looking for is hidden in Politics. Let’s see. Congress is currently divided down the aisle as never before, with strife even within the two factions. Chaos is the order of the day as committees form circular firing squads and takes turns wiping out each other’s opponents. The business of running America goes by the wayside as this once august body fueds with itself while critical decisions on Budget, Border, Economy and Corruption remain unsolved. The engine of Congress has seized up, deadlocking House and Senate while New Rome collapses and US cities devolve into third world destitution. The “casualty List” as Congress calls its retirement and resignation list, is the largest seen in Congress this year, with over 50 Representatives and Senators taking the exit door, almost 10% of congress! Rats off a sinking ship? The new speaker of the house walks on broken glass with his colleagues lest they decide to eject him as well for failing to meet their demands and expectations. Despite strong opposition from citizens and conservatives, the House just passed FISA and NDAA bills that have been criticized as intrusive, wasteful and unconstitutional, while kicking the can down the road on the Budget and the Economy. No Joy here either folks…if anything, it looks worse this year than last. What’s left? Is there any Hope for good news?
It seems there are few gifts coming for you or I this year in America. The responsibility shelves are bare and no one seems to be at the checkout counters but UKRAINE and IRAN. While illegal immigrants flood into the country, provided with a small stipend and a ticket, no one asks what happens when the stipend runs out, the ticket is used, and they stand in a strange land, with no work, no income, no domicile and no means. I can imagine what MIGHT happen, but there’s no need to wonder, because that moment for tens of millions of illegal immigrants now loose in America awaits all of us in 2024. There is no need for alarmists, the situation dictates that moment has long passed and we stand on a national precipice from which a fall may well be fatal. The GRINCH has come to America in 2023 and stolen Security, Liberty and Justice from us all, and unlike the Dr Seuss character, this GRINCH is unlikely to have a change of heart and return all he has taken. If you want it back America, you’re going to have to GO and Get It for yourself, because it seems no one in D.C. “Whoville” is willing to help.
We need Hope in America right now and it seems that the events and decisions of 2023 have left us in short supply. When the old calendar is taken down and 2024 begins in earnest, what will We the People do to send the GRINCH packing? How will we “bind up the nation’s wounds” and restore the Land of the Free? We can only do it if we stop avoiding the hard choices, become the Home of the Brave and begin facing our challenges with the Won’t Quit spirit which birthed this Nation!
May it be a Happier New Year!