“Man has an incurable habit of not fulfilling the prophecies of his fellow men.”
— Alistair Cook
It’s that time of year...time when only fools attempt to predict what’ll come our way in the New Year. If any of the aforementioned prognosticators dare to look back 12 months, they’d likely find more misses than hits in their forecasts for 2019.
There’s a reason, as I noted in a column a year ago, that the windshield is bigger than the rear view mirror. That accommodates both the anticipation most of us feel as we begin another circle around the sun and the desire to put the past behind us. But I couldn’t resist looking at my musings a year ago, just a glance in that rear view mirror.
“Will breaking the cycle of blame and retribution we’ve been stuck in for at least four administrations now, an effort that will necessarily substitute bipartisanship for obstinacy, be too much to dream?” I asked back then. Apparently so, as we’ve experienced in each of the past 12 months, with plenty of blame to go around for both sides of the partisan divide.
It’d be a safe bet that’ll continue this year, what with ongoing impeachment issues to be followed by what’s sure to be a ferociously contested election come November. That’ll decide whether our current president is vindicated or rejected. We’ll learn which of the too-numerous contenders for the Democratic nomination emerges, battered and bloody, from a battle that seems to ignore the real political opportunity that beckons.
That reality being that the majority of Americans, as determined in numerous polls over a significant time period, are fed up with Donald Trump. That should offer an obvious path, more productive than arguing over degrees of left-leaning bonafides and policies that separate rather than unite not only Democrats but the one-third slice of unaffiliated voters who will decide the election. It also threatens to again open up the “lesser of two evils” arguments of Trump voters.
The November outcome will also determine if Sen. Cory Gardner can successfully navigate the tricky course he’s chosen, one of being all in for the president in an increasingly blue state that soundly rejected Donald Trump in 2016 and conceivably could do so by an even wider margin in 2020. He’ll face one of two formidable candidates in John Hickenlooper or Andrew Romanoff, another reason Gardner is always listed among the most endangered GOP senators whose potential losses could cost Republicans control of the U.S. Senate.
Any doubt about Colorado’s increasingly blue political tinge was erased by the absolute and utter failure of 2019 recall attempts aimed at Gov. Jared Polis and a cadre of targeted Democrats in the state Legislature. Those ham-handed and, in the case of the governor, predictably unsuccessful efforts only served to unify Democrats and divide Republicans. In the meantime, consolidated power at the statehouse provided Polis and Democratic lawmakers the opportunity to actually deliver on the promises they campaigned on while decisively winning the governor’s office and assuming control of both the Colorado House and Senate.
Mesa County remains an outlier in Colorado’s slide from red to purple to blue. Imagine, if your post-Christmas digestion permits, a triumvirate of county commissioners made up of Scott McInnis, Ray Scott and Janet Rowland. You’d hope we could do better, that our local political gene pool might be a little deeper, but that’d be the way to bet 10 months out. It also raises the specter of my friend but political opposite Scott McInnis being the most reasonable voice at the top of the county’s organizational chart.
Contentious politics aside, there’s much to look forward to in the New Year.
Dirt is being moved in the Las Colonias business park with the arrival of Rocky Mounts just another sign our economy is diversifying, that our surrounding outdoors offers not only recreational but business opportunities. Unemployment rates are down and average wages are up, a signal we can survive just fine without putting all our eggs in one basket. Students return next week to a much-anticipated new Orchard Mesa Middle School and taxpayers, while sometimes disappointingly selective, have shown some increased willingness to invest in needed community infrastructure.
Despite political worries, my glass is at least half full as I prepare to toast the New Year. I hope that’s also true of yours.
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