December 31, 2020

End-of-Year Thoughts

This is the time when pundits review the year that is about to end, offer lessons learned, and opine about what is to come. There are many lessons we can learn from the experience of 2020, so I thought it worthwhile to offer my own list of such lessons. I don’t claim that my list is comprehensive, and I admit a certain bias colors my perspective: I am a Christian informed by the Enlightenment and a believer in democracy.

Feel free to copy my list or to argue with my conclusions. Here is the list:

  1. Black lives don’t really matter.

  2. Inspiring—and perhaps even rational—political rhetoric is dead.

  3. Falsehood is more interesting than truth.

  4. The presidency is too powerful.

  5. The exploration of space is still inspirational.

  6. We have yet to discover a sustainable balance between globalism and nationalism.

  7. We need fewer stores than we used to.

  8. We still need the Postal Service.

  9. Dogs love company.

  10. Police protect and serve the police.

  11. Constitutional checks on tyranny are weaker than anyone suspected.

  12. The virtues of free speech are diminished when public dialogue proceeds in disjoint communities.

  13. Our baroque system of choosing our president and vice president is undemocratic and vulnerable to manipulation.

  14. Christians must reclaim Christianity for Jesus Christ before it’s too late.

  15. Our survival depends on science and medicine.

  16. Offices aren’t as important as we thought they were.

  17. The American system of delivering medical care sucks.

  18. The military-industrial complex is as powerful as ever.

  19. Unreformed capitalism will eventually lead to its own destruction.

  20. One can even tire of sourdough bread.

  21. Nurses and doctors are heroic; politicians are not.

  22. It’s time for the long run of the Republican Party to come to an end.

  23. John Maynard Keynes was more insightful than we give him credit for.

  24. We have no idea how to deal with the People’s Republic of China or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

  25. Individualism run amok destroys community.

  26. The respect once accorded the United States of America may never be regained.

  27. Children really do like school.

  28. It’s time to rediscover antitrust registration.

  29. Toilet paper and paper towels are essential to one’s psychological health.

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