Between protestors climbing her and the current administration doing everything it can to keep out the tired, poor, huddled masses, Lady Liberty has had a rough year, and she’s ready to make some changes for 2019. I asked her what her New Year’s resolutions are for our country, and she gave me a top 10 for us to follow as a nation next year.
- Get organized: Barack Obama and Donald Trump have more in common than just winning the presidency or being born in America (yes I’m still a bit peeved over that one). Both of them as candidates were able to mobilize segments of the population who felt marginalized, and both inspired and organized them into political movements. Outside of elections, we’ve seen groups coming together and building networks around their identities and beliefs, some causes more noble than others: that black lives matter, that black lives don’t matter, that women are people, that a**hole men who sit at home posting mean comments deserve to have beautiful women sleep with them; that letting kids be shot to death en masse is a bad thing. In 2019, there’s a continued opportunity to organize for the things we think are important, and against douchebags of various varieties, in order to make some tangible, sustained changes.
- Exercise more: Specifically, let’s continue to exercise the right to vote in ever increasing numbers, and let’s not make it hard or impossible for certain groups – black Americans, Native Americans, those with criminal records, maybe even teenagers – to exercise their right to choose their representatives and steer the direction of the country.
- Lose weight: But not by kicking out and banning every person who looks, sounds or believes differently than so-called “real Americans.” Deportation, travel bans and refugee detentions are the Paleo diet of immigration policy: sure, it may get some short term results, but is it really a good idea to act like cavemen?
- Learn a new skill or hobby: I vote for improving education or revitalizing urban areas. Or surfing, but probably one of those first ones.
- Save more money / spend less money: My wife told me that this year we’re buying two Jack Russell Terriers named Dow and Nasdaq, so that whenever we want them to rise, we can just dangle bacon in front of them.
- Quit smoking: We recently bought a hybrid (the automotive equivalent of vaping-you cut out most of the bad stuff while getting to look cool and slightly douchy), and the amount of money we don’t spend at the gas station is amazing. I don’t understand why everything isn’t at least partially electric: cars, trucks, stoves, novelty foam fingers, the sun (ok I’m not the scientist of the family); if we’re serious about climate change, let’s stop billowing smoke into our atmosphere (outside of industrial plant stock photos) and slap some batteries in everything.
- Spend more time with family and friends: Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, Van Jones, Kim Kardashian, leaders in both parties and a whole lot more rightly deserve credit for getting the ball rolling on criminal justice reform. Let’s push our state governments to follow their lead and let hundreds of thousands of largely poor, black and Latino, nonviolent offenders come home to their loved ones.
- Travel more: Remember when we used to have a State Department? We should probably get one of those again.
- Read more: Stop reacting and retweeting and actually read. I suggest everyone read both Michelle Obama’s Becoming and J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy. And yes, Audiobooks count.
- Live life to the fullest: Live in community, actually listen to those with different opinions, and don’t be a**holes to other people.
[Thanks to goskills.com, a website which apparently exists,for the list of popular resolutions].