by Daniel Gardner
Reviewing stories and headlines from this past year, the best I can say is we are clearly a divided nation with secular-progressive-politically correct-elite on the left leading Washington against religious-conservative-libertarian-grassroots on the right. Leaders in these two divisions have made news throughout the year with little impact on masses in opposing camps who are rooted to their causes regardless of facts or arguments.
Each side characterizes the other as "extremist," and I'm sure they're right. Progressives are extremists for wanting bigger, more controlling, centralized government, i.e. a socialist state leading to communism. We've seen that movie before.
Though "conservatives" are fighting among themselves to find common ground on which principles and values are worth fighting for, libertarians appear to be winning in favor of individual rights, responsibilities, and less government interference.
Generally speaking, the mainstream media continue to side with progressive extremists, maintaining their elite, politically correct status.
Divided government in Washington during a president's second term is the historical norm, though progressive elites contend this time we're seeing the worst ever, unprecedented, and other such words to make the sky fall.
In February, President Obama boasted in his State of the Union address: "Nothing I'm proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. It is not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth." Well, Mr. Obama's deficits are still historically high, and we've seen little "growth" in employment or our economy.
We celebrated the 100th anniversary of the modern U.S. income tax, and while everybody agrees we need to reform the tax code, nobody has done anything about it…but add more taxes.
Progressives fought hard in the spring to limit gun ownership while conservatives tried to get anyone to pay attention to the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the man convicted of killing babies he had delivered alive in a filthy Philadelphia abortion clinic. Maybe if he had used a gun to kill those babies….?
Watching the news, President Obama discovered his IRS had targeted TEA Party groups, the NSA had been bugging Americans and foreign leaders, the FBI had tapped phones at the Associated Press, and that Benghazi really had been a planned Islamic terrorist attack. Later, the White House dismissed all these as "phony scandals."
We saw lines drawn in the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin tragedy, as well as a "red line" drawn first in Syria by President Obama who later gave credit/blame to "the world" for drawing the red line.
The first anniversary of Benghazi received little notice in the mainstream media. After all, "what does it matter now?"
We watched the usual debates over the debt ceiling, budget, and government shutdown, all much ado about nothing as it turned out. And, as TEA Parties across the nation had predicted since 2009, Obamacare ballooned and burst into the biggest federal program boondoggle of all time. Supported 100 percent by Democrats and opposed 100 percent by Republicans, Obamacare is the story that keeps on giving as President Obama voices his concern over how inept the federal bureaucracy really is.
2014 promises to be more of the same with a national election thrown in to decide winners and losers in the epic battle between what's left and what's right.