Most people feel compelled to make New Year's resolutions. It can cause a lot of anxiety as we think about what we want to accomplish versus what we think we will accomplish.
Year after year, most people make quiet resolutions to themselves or to friends right at the moment they gulp a glass of champagne to celebrate the midnight hour. They do that because they know revealing their resolution to drunken party goers will never be remembered the next day.
I believe that unless people clearly state their resolutions to many sober people the chances are slim that they will keep them. I speak from experience…
But I also believe there is some nobility to just giving the idea of making commitments some thought. It is important to evaluate your current circumstances, and then to contemplate what could be. We all spend too much time living in the moment, rushing around meeting deadlines, trying to make everyone, and especially ourselves, happy, and forgetting to appreciate how lucky we Americans are.
We take our family, our neighbors, our friends, our community and our country for granted. We take our planet and our faith for granted. We too often make poor choices and order our priorities poorly. We are human, and should recognize that we are flawed, but there is always room for improvement.
So when turning points like New Years Eve come along in our lifetimes, we should take the opportunity to look inside, evaluate our existence, and exercise a little humility and introspection. Our lifespan is such an insignificant moment in the history of humankind, and those years, that 50 to 100 year window in history, has been, by far, the greatest and most productive period in the history of human existence.
On New Years Day it will have been 244 years since some very brave and brilliant people declared independence from Great Britain and began an experiment in governing unlike any before or since. Eighty-five years later we suffered an internecine war to free the slaves and nearly destroyed America. One hundred years ago America passed the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. Five years later we gave Native Indians citizenship. Seventy-five years ago American soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy to liberate Europe. Fifty-five years ago America passed the Civil Rights Act. Fifty years ago America put a man on the Moon.
Beyond running water, heated and air conditioned homes, grocery stores stuffed with fresh vegetables and meat, advanced communication and transportation systems, ubiquitas educational opportunities, we also have longer and healthier lives than any of those who lived on Earth before us. Now we can simply speak to our cell phones to access the largest library of information ever devised.
Americans live in the most diversified culture on Earth. We enjoy the benefits of all of the flavors and traditions of people from every corner of the planet. This is an achievement that has never been equalled by any previous human endeavor. For thousands of years, under hundreds of empires, no humans have ever had it so good as you and me and all of our friends and families that have come before us.
Making resolutions to improve ourselves is nice, but if we just resolved to be more gracious and more grateful, we would be making promises we can actually keep.
I wrote this piece for the Times-Advocate Newspaper back in August, 2016. It was just before the election. On the eve of the House of Representatives vote to impeach Donald Trump, I thought it appropriate to revisit my sentiments...
I Am Trump
I am not a billionaire playboy or a New York hotshot real estate developer, or an owner of some of the most iconic buildings and resorts on the planet, or a TV superstar of one of the most enduring and iconic reality shows in the past decade. No, I am none of those things.
I am a little different, but in some very important ways Donald Trump and I are brothers.
I am extremely passionate about what a great country I live in, and how fortunate I am to have been born in America. How our hard earned freedom and culture is so uniquely conducive to my ability to live my dream. I have always felt that I should give back to my fellow Americans.
So I do what I can, I write. I write to inform and to entertain. I write to make people think about the kind of things we should consider when we go into a voting booth. My writings are my properties, my brand. I try to share them and to develop them. In my own literary way, I am a developer like Trump.
For several decades I have watched my country, my friends and fellow Americans, go through really tough times like we haven't seen since before WWll. And as I watch historic events unravel the tranquility of the entire world, I sense that most of our problems are self imposed. That our leadership is incompetent. That too many of our elected leaders are really in over their heads. That the enormity of the job of managing the Frankenstein Monster that is America, was simply overwhelming to most of them.
I ask myself, what can I do to help my country? I wrote a book. I did what I am capable of doing. I had this idealistic idea that I could make a positive impact, get people re-engaged and excited about their Americanism.
Turn Right At Lost: Recalculating America, (and more recently Trump's Reckoning) explores my concerns that the country has lost its bearings and needs to make some course corrections, soon. It is no textbook like Trump's The Art of the Deal, but comes from my heart, and it offers insights from someone other than professional talking heads and pointy headed intellectuals.
My book(s) will not save the world, but I didn't stand by and ignore the tragic deconstruction of my country. I stood up and asked to be counted.
Exactly what Donald Trump did.
He didn't have to run for President. He didn't have to put himself and his precious family in harm's way. He doesn't need anymore attention, money or approval, so he volunteered to do what he does well, to rebuild a property that has fallen into disrepair.
Trump comes off as pompous, as self absorbed, as impetuous, even profane. But those shortcomings don't make his fears for the health, security, and the future of our country, any less legitimate.
He stood up and asked to be counted.
Do you know how demanding it is to run for President? Trump is a multimillionaire in his seventies, who has the option to spend the rest of his life golfing the greatest courses in the world, or traveling or making reality TV shows. To suggest that his Presidential ambitions are self serving is insulting and illogical.
His name is an iconic brand, he employs thousands and manages an incredibly complex dynasty of companies and investments. To suggest that a man with a portfolio like that would subject himself to the crushing scrutiny and media pressures of running for the Presidency just because he craves attention ignores reality.
What if…. Trump and myself both genuinely cared about America? That would mean we, and millions of Trump supporters, are all trying to give something back to the country we love. That our effort to elect a leader is not a selfish conspiracy to enrich ourselves, to disenfranchise other Americans, or to create a racially homogenized Aryan nation, but to rebuild the iconic multifaceted rich culture of liberty and world leadership that has served the entire planet well for most of the 20th century.
How dare anyone challenge our motives! We are both doing what we can to help our country. It just so happens he can do a lot more than the average citizen can. Donald has already spent over $50 million of his own money. He is putting his money where his mouth is to help save a world that is sliding into disarray. Which amounts to an enormous charitable contribution!
When you see someone close to you acting erratically, in a self destructive spiral, searching for ways to help them is noble, isn't it? Isn't it the duty of family to help each other in times of need?
So I caution my fellow Americans, do not challenge the intentions of people like Mr. Trump and myself, because if you do, you are suggesting that a fellow American citizen should think twice about being proud and protective of our common American DNA. You are indirectly suggesting that concerned fellow American family members should stop caring about you.
After the recent voting results in Britain, it might be appropriate to revisit a chapter in my book Trump's Reckoning. Now the Brits have made their decision to stop the Progressive Jihad and rebuild their sovereignty...
"When the United States of America declared its independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776, the 'Biggest Brexit of All Time' occurred. When those upstart American traitors decided to go it alone, the Empire was caught napping. Their little expansive adventure, sending explorers to the new frontier, had suddenly rearranged the world order, not just for the immediate future, but for all time.
At least up until now.
Now, America is at a nexus: do we want to continue this experiment, that for over a quarter of a century has proven to be the most successful, benevolent and enduring governmental system ever devised? A uniquely American idea that free people, with the help of a core Judeo-Christian belief system, can successfully run a country? Or do we want to go back to a large, top-down, secular-paternalistic style of government, similar to the one our forefathers ran away from?"