Good News, Here & Now      

As Promised Last Week, Signs of Progress and Possibilities

Where We Are

An awful lot of what we read in the media, and what we say to each other, calls out a sense of Doom, with a capital D. The political atmosphere seems permanently charged and forever divided There is, in fact, no shortage of seriously worrisome and frightening news out there, just waiting for us.

But hold on a minute- there is a lot of positive news to celebrate and encourage as well. Let’s remind ourselves of a few of them as we start a new year.

Politics & Society

There really is a lot – pretty well everything – at stake in this year’s elections, but I see four reasons to be optimistic:

Midterms – There was a lot of talk in the last midterms of a Red Tide, of the Democrats loosing everywhere. Biden took the case straight to the people about what it would mean to support Trump era Republicans. Experts said that would be a mistake, that he should talk up the economy. He ignored them; he was right.

The Democrats held the Senate, the Republicans gained the House by the smallest margin imaginable (now down to two votes). People paid attention and understood what was really at stake. They voted accordingly.

Special Elections: In almost every special election since the midterms, moderates have trounced extremists. This is especially so in local elections, like county commissions and school boards. People all over the country, in Red and Blue districts made it clear they saw through the MAGA act and they rejected it just about everywhere.

Public Servants, Election Volunteers: The 2020 election saw unprecedented threats, pressure, and violence against people just doing their best to ensure our elections took place as they should. Not surprisingly, many quit. But many, very many, did not, and new ones are showing up. A lot of good people of many political persuasions are stepping up and saying, “This stuff will not stand on my watch.” I have always been outside the polls during elections, passing out literature and engaging voters. This year, I am inside as a poll worker. I hope and expect plenty of us will show up and not be intimidated.

 Biden Campaign Starts: The Biden team has started their campaign, and I am delighted to see that right off the bat, they are pulling no punches on Trump, the JAN 6 insurrectionists, or their apologists. Biden had a lot to celebrate (see later in this post), but he is right to also make it crystal clear what is at stake and who really serves America. If you missed his opening speech, check it out at this link. Short but powerful.

The Economy

It is hard to know where to start and how much to list. Economic records decades long are breaking in every category. Food cost improvements are still lagging, which fuels a public feeling that the economy is not but, but that too is coming along. If the Biden administration does a better job of telling that story and the economic benchmarks continue to do well, people will figure this out.

Just comparing Biden’s results with Trumps is overwhelming. But beyond that, compare Bidens records with everyone else and he still outshines them all. The infrastructure programs he has started will fuel this economy at the worker level for generations. We have not seen impact like this since FDR.

Consumer confidence is finally moving up. Energy production (both renewables and carbon based) is at record levels. Travel and consumer spending are at record levels. The economy grew by about 5% last quarter -unimaginable for an economy this size. The US economy is better than the rest of the G7 in every category – better than the G7 combined in some categories. Inflation is at almost the ideal level set by the Federal Reserve and employment is on fire. Unions are resurging, securing good contracts for workers.

Biden said all along that he believed in a bottom up economy, not trickle down. He legislated and directed accordingly and boy, did he prove his point. Many people are not aware that going back as far as Reagan, Democratic economics have done hugely better for the economy and the people than Republican administrations. Time to highlight the specifics of that, leading with Biden’s success.


The Courts MOSTLY are holding Trump accountable (waiting on the Supreme Court now on the Colorado case. I don’t trust this Court at all, but they might yet do the right thing on this one). Other courts are mostly doing what needs to be done to ensure the rule of law.

Convictions for JAN 6 rioters continue apace. That Trump calls them hostages and promises to pardon them all makes a mockery of our judicial system. The election year will bring JAN 6 back to life for people who have forgotten it or inadvertently minimized what this was. People are in prison because they deserve it. Let’s hope this year, more of the big names join them.

There are serious legal cases against Trump and his cabal at the Federal level, in NY and GA, and a number of civil suits. Trump is doing his best to use these as campaign elements and to delay all of them. In the end, I think we have a number of pending convictions and serious civil/financial losses for Trump. His minions, his extremism, his election campaign will not save him. I think the man has prison time in his future, and financial ruin. The party he has so badly contaminated would have done well to turn the page years ago. Now they reap what they sowed.

Speaking of justice, crime is down across most of the country, especially murder and violent crimes. Unfortunately, mass killings are not part of that trend, and will not be as long as guns are so easily obtained. We know the problem. We just fail to elect the people who will solve it.


We seem to be entering a golden age of medical breakthroughs. Just in recent months there have been breakthrough treatments for obesity (a crisis in America that causes so many other problems), sickle cell anemia and more. CRISPR technology is changing our world in dramatic ways. Depression is the leading mental health problem in America, and a a major factor in mass killings and suicides; a new chemical treatment was just announced this month that may be a game changer no one dared hope for. There is even a test well underway for a chemically based vasectomy that appears 100% effective and easily reversable, which could dramatically reduce unwanted pregnancy.

And hundreds of other promising breakthroughs.

Is That All? Yeah, But What About…

No, that surely is not all. There is a lot more we could call out, but enough for one round. And yes, there are terrible threats and bad things going on at the same time, all around the world. My point is, don’t give up. There is more to celebrate, more worth protecting than we sometimes allow ourselves to recognize.

It’s a new year. Let’s make it a good one, shall we?

Bill Clontz

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