I’ve long since given up on making New Year’s resolutions, usually because life keeps getting in the way of my plans. For some, last year was a year that couldn’t end soon enough: At worst, their year was marked by personal tragedy; for others it was a year of angst and disgust. Political candidates delved into uncharted depths of political slime while the most radical elements of our society resorted to extreme violence. For the law enforcement community, it was a year marked by multiple ambush-murders of police officers and a collapse of public support for the police in many major cities reflecting deep political divisions across the country. Those divides are as deep and wide as any time since the 1960s.
Both sides of the political spectrum expressed a loss of confidence in major political institutions. From a conservative perspective, we witnessed the apparent politicization of the justice system as Hillary Clinton escaped indictment for offenses that have sent many ordinary citizens to prison. Remember Martha Stewart and her “insider trading” scandal? She was imprisoned for 18 months, not for insider trading but for making a single false statement to a federal investigator, which she retracted within a few hours. Mrs. Clinton, by contrast, destroyed documents under subpoena by federal agencies, lied to federal investigators and Congress, yet was given a pass by the FBI and the Justice Department. I’ve personally seen military officers lose their careers and sometimes be jailed for far lesser offenses involving classified information. Because Mrs. Clinton was the Democratic Party presidential nominee, justice was thwarted. We now live in a society where “equal justice under the law” is officially no longer applicable.
The left is very upset about the election results, being assured that a Trump political victory was impossible, unless of course the Trump campaign somehow stole the election. Even though Trump thought he was going to lose on election night, to his surprise his appeal to the forgotten voters of the American industrial heartland actually worked, in large part because many of these people are really desperate and only Trump bothered to consider their plight. Middle America and especially the post-industrial “Rust Belt” has been hurting for a long time and been on the receiving end of coastal elite insults as a staple of popular culture; they’ve had enough and this time responded by voting for an outlier candidate. For decades Democratic Party operatives have assumed that the loyalty of working class “blue collar” Midwestern America was theirs by birthright and needed little encouragement, so much so that the Clinton campaign didn’t even campaign in some Midwestern states. That was an expensive assumption.
The vindictiveness of the extreme left, which seems to have captured the leadership of the Democratic Party, was best demonstrated by President Obama just before Christmas when he ordered our UN ambassador to not veto a heinous resolution against Israel in the Security Council. The resolution, ostensibly about settlements, included Jerusalem, the locale of a Jewish community that’s been continuously present for a thousand years. The UN basically made it de-facto illegal for Jews to pray at the Western Wall without Palestinian Authority (PA) permission. The Western Wall is the last remnant of the ancient Jewish Temple destroyed by Roman Legions in 70 A.D. located at the Temple Mount, the site of that ancient temple and the most holy site of Judaism. By granting the PA all of the West Bank, the UN set a legal trap for Israel. The PA now openly boasts that it will be able to bring charges at the International Criminal Court against any Israeli political leader, fighter pilot, soldier, or policeman operating in the West Bank, including part of Jerusalem. This includes Israeli counter-terror operations. Thank you President Obama, as you’ve revealed just how much you really hate the Jewish people. Liberal Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz and Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer castigated Obama for this most egregious, open display of anti-Semitism, a characteristic of Obama that I have long believed him to hold as his true sentiment toward the Jewish people.
Finally, I’m worried about the state of our national defense. For the first time since before WWII, not a single aircraft carrier was at sea last weekend. The reason given was budget cuts, maintenance requirements, and exhaustion of crews. The military has been at war since 1990 without respite, even as we now face not one but four hostile powers with growing or modernized nuclear arsenals. North Korea, led by a megalomaniac, is likely to have a credible intercontinental nuclear missile by 2018, even as China threatens to seize all of the South China Sea; Russia adopted an early first use of nuclear weapons policy and Iran develops both missiles and nuclear weapons. Our missile defenses are weak, our nuclear deterrent is declining in capability and reliability while our conventional forces are worn out and declining even as conventional and terrorist threats are increasing across the globe. I’m worried about this year. So too should you.
Al Fonzi is the chairman of the Republican Party of SLO County and an Army lieutenant colonel of military intelligence who had a 35-year military career, serving in both the Vietnam and Iraq wars. Send comments through the editor at email@example.com.
-- Al Fonzi - Atascadero