Echoes of the Past, Echoes of the Future: The Unchanging Dance of History and Politics in 2023 and Beyond.

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( Looking backward over 2023 and looking forward to 2024 recalls ancient wisdom. Ecclesiastes: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr employed different phraseology: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Lord Byron in “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage” put it this way: “History, with all her volumes vast, hath but one page.” The choreography and personalities change, but the human narrative remains the same.

Echoes of the Past, Echoes of the Future: The Unchanging Dance of History and Politics in 2023 and Beyond.

The anticipated similarities between this past year and the new year are striking.

To start, the national debt continues to soar past a staggering $33 trillion with $1-2 trillion annual budget deficits forecast as far as the eye can see. Moreover, the multitrillion-dollar military-industrial complex continues with its 800 military bases abroad, with special forces in virtually every country in the world, fighting as a belligerent or co-belligerent without a constitutionally required congressional declaration of war in countries like Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Gaza, Ukraine, Iraq and Syria, and against alleged terrorists everywhere in the world. These pointless wars irrelevant to the national security of the United States provoke blowback and divert valuable resources necessary for invincible self-defense.

As it has every year, the right to privacy will continue to shrivel as artificial intelligence races forward at supersonic speed. The Fourth Amendment right to be left alone from government snooping is a hoax. Big Brother has arrived targeting the “not-yet-guilty” for warrantless surveillance. Congress is balking at requiring search warrants before the intelligence community can gain access to information about American citizens collected via dragnet, warrantless, indiscriminate spying. Surveillance drones will soon be routinely employed by the police, and facial recognition, no matter how unreliable, will become a customary feature of law enforcement.

Furthermore, extreme tribalism and polarization continue to earmark politics. It is driving measured and balanced politicians to throw in the towel. As of Dec. 7, 2023, some 38 members of the House and Senate have announced their intent to retire at the conclusion of the current Congress, including former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who announced that he will be leaving by the end of the new year. Congress will soon be occupied only by sociopathic, ill-informed narcissists on the right and left — a formula for gridlock, continuing resolutions in lieu of appropriations, and an ever-expanding, economically debilitating federal bureaucracy.

The tribalism in Congress will be reflected in the growing tribalism in the community at large, which portends strife and upheaval. Race, gender or sexual orientation categories are multiplying like rabbits. Youths are taught not to think of themselves as Americans with the motto “E Pluribus Unum.” Instead, their loyalties are thrown to monochromatic subgroups occupying separate cultural universes.

Finally, the aspirants for the presidency in 2024 from both parties are uniformly dreadful. Former Republican President Donald Trump is likely to be sitting in prison on Election Day for orchestrating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol to prevent Vice President Mike Pence from counting state-certified electoral votes under the 12th Amendment and Electoral Count Act. If elected, Trump plans a dictatorship on day one of his new term.

But it doesn’t get any better. His rivals for the Republican nomination like Nikki Haley or Ron DeSantis are soporific and shallow. And President Joe Biden looks and acts like a mummy manipulated by his handlers or Praetorian Guard. He has been humiliated by the Israeli government, which has sneered at his calls to diminish violence and civilian casualties in Gaza. He has surrounded himself with incompetents, like Secretary of State Antony Blinken or Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

The United States, however, survived the presidencies of James Buchanan and Franklin Pierce, and it will survive Joe Biden and the winner of the 2024 presidential election. The American people remain as solid as gold, even if their leaders are pyrite.

America is an idea inclusive of all eager to work hard, respect others, celebrate the rule of law and treasure the march of the mind over the march of the foot soldier. Every man or woman is a king or queen, but no one wears a crown. In the eyes of the Constitution, there is only one race, one religion, one ethnicity, one gender, one sexual orientation in the United States: it is American.

Written by Armstrong Williams

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