On the EDge: We lost more than we gained in 2017

Images from Pixabay, St. George News

OPINION — There’s really no way to quantify it, but the feeling here is that we lost more in 2017 than we gained.

It was, of course, a notable year for losing people in the public eye, from political figures to social activists to astronauts, actors and rock stars.

The losses were sad as some beloved figures took the next step in their journey.

But, collectively, the losses we suffered in other areas of our lives were staggering.

From the horror of the pummeling the continent took with repeated hurricanes to the senseless loss of life – from the Las Vegas shooting to the church massacre in Texas, right up to the last day of the year when a Denver man continued the carnage – it has been a tough year.

We lost a large chunk of dignity as a nation in 2017 as we hung on the precipice of nuclear war, watched the remainder of the world shake its head in wonder during a United Nations speech that will always be remembered for its playground intellect and name-calling and, of course, Russia, Russia, Russia.

It was a year of pettiness as the new boss tried to stamp out every vestige of the old boss; we further alienated ourselves via vicious political ideology and posturing; and we suffered a suspension of truth in greater degree than we have ever seen.

It would be nice to put out a plea for unity and ask everybody to put aside their grudges, dispense with their anger and, well, tamp it all down a few notches in an effort to get along.

But that ain’t gonna happen.

The wounds are too deep, the so-called “payback” dividend too rich, the attitude too severe. At this point, it would be like putting the pin back into a grenade – a delicate procedure that could end up quite messy if done incorrectly.

Still, we are at the dawn of a new year and it is up to us to make it work the best we can.

To sit smugly, holding each other in contempt will not suffice.

It’s time to tap the intellect that, hopefully, has only gone dormant and not totally disappeared. Revive it. Use that energy to explore, to investigate. Don’t be so quick to post that specious meme on Facebook or tweet that inglorious lie juSt to provoke or antagonize. We’ve certainly had enough of that.

Drop that “libtard,” “repugnican” and “snowflake” business. Using terms like that are contemptible, sophomoric. Those playground putdowns serve no purpose other than to agitate and anger.

Unfortunately, I don’t see a whole lot of healing taking place in 2018.

In fact, as the midterm elections approach, I can see it getting uglier before it gets better, with little chance of healing for a nation suffering from a mulish mentality. There is a prejudice that could prove lethal as we totally disregard anything that comes from the opposing side. And, most importantly, it’s time to drop the “they do it too” rationale. As we were constantly reminded by our parents, two wrongs don’t make a right.

There is, of course, a high degree of hypocrisy attached to our time.

We have been quick to condemn the despicable actions of those from the opposing parties while looking for the loophole, the get out of jail free card, if you will, for those with similar political leanings.

Scandals and inappropriate behavior afflict all parties and ideologies. It’s time to ‘fess up and admit it rather than make excuses or look for ridiculous degrees of culpability.

And, while a dose of skepticism is healthy, don’t carry it to outlandish extremes. Trust, but verify. Nothing is as cut and dried as it seems and passion is great, but don’t put reason on the shelf. I have seen intellect ridiculed as deceit because it goes beyond the lazy, monosyllabic grunts being used to communicate ideas these days. Ponder, don’t just react.

Most importantly, look to the greater good, not just the needs, wants and desires of those who look like you, think like you, believe what you believe. As I have said before, we are in this together, the old and young, the rich and poor, the black and white. We’ve seen expressions of protest over injustice shrugged off because well, it just doesn’t happen to “folks like us.” Of course it doesn’t. But, try to place yourself in somebody else’s reality before writing off their concerns as inconsequential.

Learn. We have a lot of history. We’ve been down many of these roads before. If we look to the past, we can learn what worked and what didn’t. Look outside yourself. This is a huge world and, as we can see if we simply open our eyes, others have found solutions to some of our most pressing concerns. This foolish pride that prompts us to shut down the outside world seriously hinders our ability to solve our problems. Thanks to the wonder of modern communication we have access to people and ideas in far-off places. Listen to what they have to say. Some of those ideas just might work.

I mean, seriously, haven’t we taken this animosity thing too far?

Haven’t we sewn enough seeds of hate, anger and distrust?

We have failed as our brother’s and sister’s keeper and abandoned the unrelenting responsibility of being selfless and doing what is right and proper simply for the sake of doing what is right and proper.

This does not mean we eliminate the critical eye or silence the opposing view, but allowing and encouraging its voice.

We’ve been falsely told that in order for us to regain our footing, we must tear everything down and start anew.

I don’t think we’re at that place yet.

We’ve torn each other down quite enough, thank you.

It’s time to find our character again, to understand we have differences, but also figure that those differences are not such a bad thing, that they can be used to inspire thought, discussion and a mutual desire for solutions.

I’m not quite sure what 2018 will bring.

But, I do know that we are responsible, each and every one of us, for how it turns out.

No bad days!

Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist for St. George News. The opinions stated in this article are his own and may not be representative of St. George News.

Email: edkociela.mx@gmail.com

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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26 Comments

  • statusquo January 2, 2018 at 8:02 am

    You take politics far too seriously Ed. Your drivel sounds a lot like Hillary – “what went wrong?”

  • desertrat January 2, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Thank you Ed. Immersed myself in a very good read.

  • The Dude January 2, 2018 at 8:20 am

    Oh ain’t this something. You and the MSM like you spend the year bad mouthing the current administration. And now look back at the wreckage and are repulsed by it. Well its a big … sandwich you’re a part of making too. So take a bite, wash it down and lets make a better one this year.

    Ed. ellipsis

  • desertgirl January 2, 2018 at 9:52 am

    Anger, name-calling and violence are at the center of liberal progressivism; Ed, you and your fellow Dem party sheep (yes, sheep, mimicking the leaders and marching in lockstep like good fascists) have turned the volume up on assaulting decency, tolerance, education, and anti-American hatred. No one to blame but yourselves and your leader, George Soros. Shamefully, your party allegiance means more than freedom, liberty, family, and country.

    • theone January 2, 2018 at 12:12 pm

      desergirl you just repeated the marching orders from the right in lockstep conformance.
      1 2 3 all together now……Sheeeeeeeep
      I must admit the cut in education funding from the right shows with you.

      • mesaman January 2, 2018 at 8:23 pm

        I guess the shoe was a perfect fit, desertgirl. Now no-one can continue waddling and bumping her/his/iits way through the rest of it’s humdrum life.

  • Who January 2, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Ed, you’re so upbeat!!!!! (sic)

    ie: It would be nice to put out a plea for unity and ask everybody to put aside their grudges, dispense with their anger and, well, tamp it all down a few notches in an effort to get along. But that ain’t gonna happen.

    You, my friend are part of the problem.

  • John January 2, 2018 at 10:00 am

    Ed, you are right. The liberals lost a whole agenda, Hillary lost and Al Franken resigns. Obamacare is all but dead. Yes, the liberals lost everything. They lost their russian collusion fantasy, they lost political correctness and they keep on losing. They lost supreme court seat and they couldn;t stop the taxbill .. Keep on crying Eddy ! 2018 looks like it’s going to be another big losing year for the liberals.. Happy New Year .

    • dons8120 January 3, 2018 at 9:30 am

      Better check your facts, because last time I checked Obama care is alive and well. Just because the mandate was removed doesn’t mean everything else will just disappear. Also you cant say the Russian collusion thing is over until the FBI closes its case, even a 6 grader can figure that one out. It may not be prosecuted as “collusion”, but many close to Trump or Trump himself will certainly be doing some jail time soon. Liberals didn’t lose everything. They may have lost the presidential election, but winning in Alabama is a huge recovery that will certainly lead to a few more victories in 2018 midterms. Al Franken was a bad blow, but not finishing one. This country was build on the shoulders of people fighting against tyranny, and trust me the people will rise again. #resist

      • John January 3, 2018 at 4:44 pm

        Liberals lost everything and are losing more everyday… too bad they are to brain dead to realize their foolishness is just making all of you guys look sorrier and sorrier everyday. Get over it already, It;s going to be a very long 7 years for you if you don’t. Winning in Alabama was not really a victory.. just an election with 2 messed up candidates.. November is coming and Americans are fed up with the nonsense from the left.. you got beat last November., You are going to get your collective butts handed to you come this election.. While everybody else moves on, the liberal is stuck resisting.. What are you resisting other then a bath and a job? ..Get a life ! LOSER !

        • dons8120 January 4, 2018 at 9:24 am

          Winning in Alabama was not really a victory? Then why does the democratic party now have 49 seats in the Senate and not 48? No one can predict how November will turn out, but my money is on the left regaining ground in the house and maybe even tipping the Senate our way. Lastly I want you to know that I did take my bath today, it is a new year after all, thank you for being concerned. I don’t need to resist a job because I already have a high paying job in the medical field, thanks for your concern. I am still breathing so I don’t need a life. As for being a loser, I don’t understand what competition I lost, so maybe you can inform me so I can try harder next time. Thank you for replying to my comment, it’s good to have someone to remind me to take a bath and make sure I have a life. Your the best!

          • John January 4, 2018 at 11:23 am

            as long as the democrats are a party of crybaby losers they won’t win a seat.. as it stands right now they will be losing by a landslide because they look like such …No plan, no candidates and more taxes, yup that will do them good in 2018.. It’s going to be a very long 7 years for you…I’m curious, you liberal-media-parroting lowlife, what exactly does your big head compensate for? Get a Job !

          • John January 4, 2018 at 1:59 pm

            Since you say you bathe regularly and say you have a job, what liberal fabrication are you resisting then? Can’t handle winning? No wonder liberals are looked at with such disdain. They are a contradiction unto them selves.. You don’t even know what you are resisting. Hahahahahahahaha!. Obstruction is not a plan dude.. it’s stupidity ..waaaah waaaah waaah! 7 more years and then 8 more.. the so called “resistance” has no leader and just like you, don’t even know what you are resisting.. so put your mommy’s black thong back in her lingerie drawer and rejoin reality , you Birkenstock-wearing moonbat, I see you’re not letting your education get in the way of your ignorance.

      • John January 3, 2018 at 10:27 pm

        81 wins

        Jobs and the economy

        Passage of the tax reform bill providing $5.5 billion in cuts and repealing the Obamacare mandate.
        Increase of the GDP above 3 percent.
        Creation of 1.7 million new jobs, cutting unemployment to 4.1 percent.
        Saw the Dow Jones reach record highs.
        A rebound in economic confidence to a 17-year high.
        A new executive order to boost apprenticeships.
        A move to boost computer sciences in Education Department programs.
        Prioritizing women-owned businesses for some $500 million in SBA loans.
        Killing job-stifling regulations

        Signed an Executive Order demanding that two regulations be killed for every new one creates. He beat that big and cut 16 rules and regulations for every one created, saving $8.1 billion.
        Signed 15 congressional regulatory cuts.
        Withdrew from the Obama-era Paris Climate Agreement, ending the threat of environmental regulations.
        Signed an Executive Order cutting the time for infrastructure permit approvals.
        Eliminated an Obama rule on streams that Trump felt unfairly targeted the coal industry.
        Fair trade

        Made good on his campaign promise to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
        Opened up the North American Free Trade Agreement for talks to better the deal for the U.S.
        Worked to bring companies back to the U.S., and companies like Toyota, Mazda, Broadcom Limited, and Foxconn announced plans to open U.S. plants.
        Worked to promote the sale of U.S products abroad.
        Made enforcement of U.S. trade laws, especially those that involve national security, a priority.
        Ended Obama’s deal with Cuba.
        Boosting U.S. energy dominance

        The Department of Interior, which has led the way in cutting regulations, opened plans to lease 77 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas drilling.
        Trump traveled the world to promote the sale and use of U.S. energy.
        Expanded energy infrastructure projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline snubbed by Obama.
        Ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to kill Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
        EPA is reconsidering Obama rules on methane emissions.
        Protecting the U.S. homeland

        Laid out new principles for reforming immigration and announced plan to end “chain migration,” which lets one legal immigrant to bring in dozens of family members.
        Made progress to build the border wall with Mexico.
        Ended the Obama-era “catch and release” of illegal immigrants.
        Boosted the arrests of illegals inside the U.S.
        Doubled the number of counties participating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement charged with deporting illegals.
        Removed 36 percent more criminal gang members than in fiscal 2016.
        Started the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program.
        Ditto for other amnesty programs like Deferred Action for Parents of Americans.
        Cracking down on some 300 sanctuary cities that defy ICE but still get federal dollars.
        Added some 100 new immigration judges.
        Protecting communities

        Justice announced grants of $98 million to fund 802 new cops.
        Justice worked with Central American nations to arrest and charge 4,000 MS-13 members.
        Homeland rounded up nearly 800 MS-13 members, an 83 percent one-year increase.
        Signed three executive orders aimed at cracking down on international criminal organizations.
        Attorney General Jeff Sessions created new National Public Safety Partnership, a cooperative initiative with cities to reduce violent crimes.
        Accountability

        Trump has nominated 73 federal judges and won his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
        Ordered ethical standards including a lobbying ban.
        Called for a comprehensive plan to reorganize the executive branch.
        Ordered an overhaul to modernize the digital government.
        Called for a full audit of the Pentagon and its spending.
        Combatting opioids

        First, the president declared a Nationwide Public Health Emergency on opioids.
        His Council of Economic Advisors played a role in determining that overdoses are underreported by as much as 24 percent.
        The Department of Health and Human Services laid out a new five-point strategy to fight the crisis.
        Justice announced it was scheduling fentanyl substances as a drug class under the Controlled Substances Act.
        Justice started a fraud crackdown, arresting more than 400.
        The administration added $500 million to fight the crisis.
        On National Drug Take Back Day, the Drug Enforcement Agency collected 456 tons.
        Protecting life

        In his first week, Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy that blocks some $9 billion in foreign aid being used for abortions.
        Worked with Congress on a bill overturning an Obama regulation that blocked states from defunding abortion providers.
        Published guidance to block Obamacare money from supporting abortion.
        Helping veterans

        Signed the Veterans Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act to allow senior officials in the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire failing employees and establish safeguards to protect whistleblowers.
        Signed the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act.
        Signed the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, to provide support.
        Signed the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017 to authorize $2.1 billion in additional funds for the Veterans Choice Program.
        Created a VA hotline.
        Had the VA launch an online “Access and Quality Tool,” providing veterans with a way to access wait time and quality of care data.
        With VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin, announced three initiatives to expand access to healthcare for veterans using telehealth technology.
        Promoting peace through strength

        Directed the rebuilding of the military and ordered a new national strategy and nuclear posture review.
        Worked to increase defense spending.
        Empowered military leaders to “seize the initiative and win,” reducing the need for a White House sign off on every mission.
        Directed the revival of the National Space Council to develop space war strategies.
        Elevated U.S. Cyber Command into a major warfighting command.
        Withdrew from the U.N. Global Compact on Migration, which Trump saw as a threat to borders.
        Imposed a travel ban on nations that lack border and anti-terrorism security.
        Saw ISIS lose virtually all of its territory.
        Pushed for strong action against global outlaw North Korea and its development of nuclear weapons.
        Announced a new Afghanistan strategy that strengthens support for U.S. forces at war with terrorism.
        NATO increased support for the war in Afghanistan.
        Approved a new Iran strategy plan focused on neutralizing the country’s influence in the region.
        Ordered missile strikes against a Syrian airbase used in a chemical weapons attack.
        Prevented subsequent chemical attacks by announcing a plan to detect them better and warned of future strikes if they were used.
        Ordered new sanctions on the dictatorship in Venezuela.
        Restoring confidence in and respect for America

        Trump won the release of Americans held abroad, often using his personal relationships with world leaders.
        Made good on a campaign promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
        Conducted a historic 12-day trip through Asia, winning new cooperative deals. On the trip, he attended three regional summits to promote American interests.
        He traveled to the Middle East and Europe to build new relationships with leaders.
        Traveled to Poland and on to Germany for the G-20 meeting where he pushed again for funding of women entrepreneurs.

        • dons8120 January 4, 2018 at 8:50 am

          Glad to see you know how to cut and paste, but some of those statements aren’t wins, they are just random and untrue statements. Example: restoring confidence and respect for America? Do you read polls other than Fox News. We fell from #1 To #6 in the nations brand index survey. Think for yourself and stop plagiarizing from your right wing web sites.

          • John January 4, 2018 at 9:40 am

            Better than the “news” you use from libtard comic books.at least all those can be proven true..DID YOU GET A JOB YET OR ARE YOU STILL RESISTING THAT BATH ? Besides, Trying to convince a liberal anything is futile , I’m not the moron whisperer ! Get a job , get on the train and GET OVER IT or just stay in mommy’s basement with your coloring books.. You are in for a long 7 years..

  • Utahguns January 2, 2018 at 10:06 am

    You say…”Unfortunately, I don’t see a whole lot of healing taking place in 2018.”

    I agree, especially when reading the content you put out.
    You don’t use your editorials to help the situation, you just inflame the condition.

  • jh9000 January 2, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    The silver lining to the new administration is that the dumb and poor are going to get what they deserve and hopefully they’ll learn a lesson before the next election (but I doubt it). The rich will get richer and the rest will have to make due with less, but at least they can’t blame it on the Dems this time around. I’ve always been happy to pay more in taxes to support others but I’ll gladly keep the extra money from the tax cuts to myself, buy more real estate and jack up rents. Some of you folks are too stupid to see your own demise.

    • John January 2, 2018 at 12:36 pm

      You gotta be kidding ! Nobody is that stupid.. maybe you?.. Keep getting your news from Ed and MSNBC… The rest of us will be laughing our butts off while you snowflakes continue to melt .. hahahahahahaha!

  • Sapphire January 2, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    Wow, that was a downer! It’s a new year! Be happy! Look forward! Get real – good and bad are part of life, this isn’t heaven and it never will be. There will always be problems but there is tons of good happening too. Why dwell only on the negative all the time? Yuk!

  • DB January 2, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    Funny, Ed’s ‘Can’t we all just get along’ theme is followed by clickbait entitled “True or False: Trump’s IQ is higher than Obama’s”. Sorry, Ed, you’re living in the wrong state.

  • dodgers January 2, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    2017 was an amazing year of positive change and 2018 looks equally bright.
    Finally we are seeing HOPE & CHANGE.

  • Whatteverrr January 2, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    THE DEMISE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION

  • dons8120 January 4, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    Since they won’t let me reply to John’s comment, I just wanted to say someone please help this poor guy, every time Ed writes an article he goes all crazy ranting the same things over and over again. Your right John, the next 7 years will be long if you don’t come up with better come backs than your old boring “live in your mommies basement liptard” and “get a job you loser” routine. Keep up the good work Ed.

    • John January 4, 2018 at 5:00 pm

      It’s not my fault you liberals are always crying.. and always about imaginary issues.. Get A life !! As long as special eddy continues to spew such liberal trash you can count on me making a joke out of him.. As for you , well I can think for myself and right now there is no cure for your liberal stupidity, You’ll have to live with yourself , But please, do tell us what you are resisting, because the rest of us are so unenlightened. ( you can’t get the same answer out of 2 of them) HAHAHA! And since you brought it up, the truth about living in mommy’s basement hurts little snowflake? Go play with the free unicorn bernie sanders promised you..you might have a college degree but that doesn’t mean you have common sense… What are you resisting little man?

      • dons8120 January 5, 2018 at 3:49 pm

        For real, I didn’t know we could get a free unicorn! Do you think they still have some in stock? And to answer your question I am resisting the tyranny of the evil Trump regime. Now you know little johnny.

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