Happy New Year, I hope

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Making Sense by Michael Reagan

It’s a brand new year.

But it’s beginning to feel like I’m stuck in the movie “Groundhog Day.”

Nothing ever seems to change.

We still have two bloody wars, a border invasion, a growing $34 trillion national debt and, sadly, we’re still living in a divided country of haters.

You turn on the news and everyone’s still angry. People are still not talking to one another. Blind partisanship is everywhere. There’s so little to feel good or optimistic about in Washington or around the world.

President Biden has already started his 2024 reelection campaign of divisiveness, lies and hate.

Like a tape on a loop, he’s still talking crazy about the fake insurrection of Jan. 6, the alleged dangers of rampant white supremacy and the threat that “Dictator” Trump and his mad MAGA Republicans supposedly pose to democracy.

With Biden, the Democrats and the left-wing media splitting the people into smaller and smaller silos of hate, it’s no wonder everyone’s at each other’s throat.

I don’t know how families survived their Christmas gatherings. I didn’t see the death toll, but I could hear the bitter arguing from coast to divided coast.

Out here in Los Angeles, for the second year in a row, a great local restaurant I go to all the time had to scrap the annual Christmas dinner it used to throw for its best customers.

So many people were calling the owner and telling him they would not sit at a table with certain people they felt were politically unacceptable that he just stopped the dinner.

I get it that Fox hates Biden and MSNBC hates Trump. But it makes me sad to have watched our everyday politics devolve into something so hateful.

We’ve had many fearful social and economic problems in my 78-year lifetime.

But until recently – until the Democrats, the liberal media and rogues at the top of the FBI declared their dirty partisan war on Donald Trump and his presidency in 2015 – both parties in Washington always managed to be civil toward each other and tried to work together.

We’ve always had professional haters in both parties, but they were the crazies on the fringes.

Even if we thought Obama, the Bushes, Bill Clinton or the opposing party in power were incompetent or bad for the country, we weren’t willing to see everything go to hell if it meant the guys we hated were hurt politically.

Now we live in a political world that runs on hate. It’s become OK to be a hater.

Haters used to be frowned upon in politics. Now if you don’t hate your opponent with enough enthusiasm or venom, people think there’s something wrong with you.

Hating has become the national pastime any amateur can play. People you’ve never met before will say to you, “Oh, my God! You’re for Trump or Biden?!”

It’s my hope going into this New Year that the American people will start talking to each other again, not at each other, so we can fix what’s broken in the country before it gets worse and unfixable.

But it’s already looking like my dream will never become real.

I don’t see anyone in the Divided States of America – in or out of politics – who could stop the hate, unite the country and work in a bipartisan way to bring sanity to important issues like immigration, the federal budget and the economy.

It won’t be Trump, Biden, RFK Jr. or anyone else in 2024. Whoever it will be may not even be born yet, but I’m an optimist.

In the 1980s there was a guy who spoke to all Americans, didn’t run his campaigns on hate and had a hopeful, upbeat vision to make the country great again. It’s why he swept 44 states in 1980 and 49 in 1984.

And by the way, as I reminded everyone in a tweet during this week’s partisan flap over the president of Harvard resigning, that guy was a graduate of little Eureka College, not the Ivy League.

Copyright 2024 Michael Reagan, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Michael Reagan, the son of President Ronald Reagan, is an author, speaker and president of the Reagan Legacy Foundation. Send comments to [email protected] and follow @reaganworld on Twitter.