The realities of 2021 cannot be the new normal of 2022

Imagine a country in which rampant crime can overrun cities in broad daylight.

Imagine citizens harassed for trying to buy a burger without showing vaccination papers.

Imagine Afghan people falling from the sky while unsuccessfully hanging from fleeing American planes.

Imagine border patrol officers — risking their lives daily against an onslaught of illegal immigrants and drug traffickers willfully allowed to enter the country — being accused inaccurately by elected officials of whipping people while merely doing their difficult jobs.

Imagine parents labeled as domestic terrorists by the attorney general — for demanding school boards protect their children from forced ideological instruction.

Imagine the same powerful people who lectured against taking a fledgling vaccine a year ago now calling for firings of people refusing to take it a year later.

Sadly, an imagination is not required because this sort of upside down reality dominated 2021.

It was a year that saw chaos at the Capitol Jan. 6 that resulted in everyone present being branded a terrorist, even those who never made it to the building. It also resulted in an ongoing investigation by a congressional committee that is unconstitutional because it lacks a ranking member of the minority party in the House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, a year of rioting and looting in many of our major cities gets pushed into the deep background by many elected officials.

Meanwhile, the actions of a runaway driver in Waukesha, Wisconsin, causing real death, are quickly pushed out of the public discussion. One information outlet listed the car, rather than the driver, as the cause of the tragedy. The real tragedy is that the perpetrator was quickly freed days before the tragedy after running over his girlfriend, emblematic of the punchless policies regarding bail in most of our major cities.

This past year saw the richest and most powerful men in the world appoint themselves as the arbitrary arbiters over which politicians and medical leaders could speak, which companies could sell their products, and which businesses should be allowed to survive.

It was a year that saw war break out between parents and school systems, the threatening influence of the communist culture of China on the west, and increased distance between elites and everyone else in our society, with rules for one but not others.

One of the elite, Jeff Bezos, owns The Washington Post, which coined the phrase “Democracy Dies in Darkness” during the term of President Donald Trump.

But the death we are dangerously close to is not based on political party lines. The reaction to the unsettling realities described above should not vary based on our politics, be they Republican, Democrat, liberal or conservative.

Cities are beholden to levels of crime not seen in over two decades, sprouting from police defunding and lax sentencing policies that allow a perpetrator to commit a crime one day and be free to repeat it the next day. That should sound wrong to all of us.

Cities are overrun by homeless encampments that are nesting grounds for mental illness and poisonous chemicals killing thousands of our fellow citizens. We should all want public leadership that begins to attack those problems.

Tolerance, kindness and love are the sales pitches from those promoting policies that have ignited all of these atrocities. Those who challenge the policies are labeled heartless, uncaring and cold.

This is snake oil that we must stop buying.

Hypocrisy is easily hidden behind an empty claim that a person cares more than others.

The elite of Beverly Hills can talk about defunding police and defend ridiculous sentencing policies for runaway criminals while hiring private security.

They can afford private schools if they find a public school education instruction policy objectionable while subjecting the rest of us, who cannot afford options, to those virtue signaling policies.

The elites of government, academia, big tech and other information peddlers will stand together in their misguided mission unless we send them a message that we are not buying their snake oil.

Say “enough” this year. Demand fairness for all and practicality from those in power.

Resist policies based on categories falsely assigned to people based on identity rather than their actual beliefs. Resist policies pushed by powerful people who have no track record of working for the rest of the population. Resist policies developed by unelected bureaucrats that have not been fully and objectively vetted and voted on by the people we have elected.

None of us, regardless of our political preferences, will be better off if the world we lived in during 2021 becomes the new normal for our country in 2022.

David F. Troisi retired as editor of the Sun-Gazette. None of the opinions expressed necessarily represent the views of the Sun-Gazette.


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