Happy New Year to all. But as we wave goodbye to 2012 I want to pay tribute to how good it was, despite the events that occurred that seemed to make so many despair that things have never been worse.
But as I've written here and elsewhere, there is always good with the bad and sometimes much more good than bad, as in the fact that the world has never been as destructive, violent and murderous as it was in World War Two. So despite the horrors of 2012, it was an enormous improvement over the mid-20th Century years. And 2012 had many many many many more people, so it's even more miraculous that it was so peaceful in comparison to what has come before.
And part of the reason for that was a president who, despite his faults, helped bring one small war in Iraq to a close as he promised. And another good thing about 2012 was that he got reelected. Despite the narrow-minded reactionary anti-science deniers of factual evidence, as in rightwing Republicans and others. The politicians who represent that sad perspective were defeated for the most part, except in Congressional districts that have been designed to contain a solid majority of those people. No matter what your criticisms of Obama, his policies were better than the other guy's and he has done a lot of good, including help an economy that was close to the worst the worst the world has ever seen collectively, i.e. The Great Depression, but he helped avoid that and it has steadily improved. No matter how bad it is or feels to any individual, including this one, the economy is better than it was four years ago, and that's a good thing.
If you want a more progressive Democratic Party, then get involved in that party and work to change it as so many did in the 1960s. If you prefer a progressive third party, then start one and do the necessary work to make it viable. In the 1960s when I was active in the Civil Rights struggle and the anti-Viet Nam war movement I helped create a third party and ran for office and spent most days and nights not just earning a couple of degrees and supporting a growing family but in churches and synagogues and Quaker meetings and even Chamber of Commerce meetings and farmers organization meetings and more speaking out for what I and my fellow leftist activists believed in and debating those who were on the other side, and all that when I wasn't taking part in demonstrations all over the country calling for progressive changes etc. etc. etc.
Those activities paid off in laws that ended bans against interracial marriage, gave equal rights in all government activities and public places and businesses to all "races" (an unscientific term, as used in the U.S., I was actively against but unfortunately is still with us) and led directly to the election, TWICE, of a mixed race president who made even more progressive changes. The world, our world, is still way imperfect, as it will always be. And there were terrible things that happened in 2012, for sure, some of them to people I know and love, but compared to many other years throughout history, and how bad things could be and have been for many more people, especially given the huge population growth and lack of serious engagement in some places with the challenge of global warming and resultant climate change, even still 2012 was a very good year in more ways than it was a very bad one, and for that I am grateful.
Now let's get to work on 2013.