Like many of you, I am glad to see this turbulent year come to an end—until I think about the massive storm called “2016,” which is fast approaching.
When ships sailed stormy seas, or lost their way in a dense fog, captains always knew that beacons from lighthouses along the shorelines would help guide the crew to safe waters.
For many generations through political and social upheavals—famines and genocides, revolutions and civil wars, world wars and a cold war—people around the globe took comfort that there was a beacon in the storm: the United States of America–U.S. But as we turn from the turbulence of 2015 toward the gathering storm of 2016, frustrated questions keep floating through the fog from Bangor, Maine to Bangladesh: Where is the beacon? Is the Lighthouse still there?
We could spend the next year arguing ad nauseam through the storm over whose fault it is that the beacon can’t be seen by anyone anymore—there is enough blame to fill an ocean. But if we are to get to 2017 and beyond without a major shipwreck, we must fix the Lighthouse and relight the beacon. Simply put, the world needs a functional and rational U.S. to lead it through this storm. And to have a functional and rational U.S., we have to reassert self-responsibility for our own lives, health and security, and for that of our families, our neighborhoods, and our states; so that we have the resources needed to fix the Lighthouse and relight that beacon.
Then, we have to muster the courage to turn the beacon back “on”—and keep it lit through the coming storms.
The worst part about all of our self-centered actions that have enabled the squalls and turbulence to continue to batter our society over the many decades, is that we have wasted so much time and squandered so many resources and goodwill—with little social capital left with which to engage in the serious work of preserving our society of free people, and maintaining and modernizing that Lighthouse.
It’s time to put aside the childish desires, envies and pursuits—and the Chicken-little fears of a computer-modeled future—that have distracted us for too long, and to get back to the hard job of rebuilding a serious nation of free people from the individual to Washington.
There is still time, but the storm is getting closer.
Here’s to hoping that at the end of 2016 we can look back from calm seas and again see the beacon lighting the way for future generations. I believe that is the greatest Christmas gift we could wish for each other this year.