New Year's Resolutions for American Politicians

Scott Slayton | Contributor | Friday, December 30, 2022
New Year's Resolutions for American Politicians

New Year's Resolutions for American Politicians

I stopped making New Year’s resolutions for myself a few years ago. I found them to be pointless goals that I was not going to chase just because the calendar flipped. Instead, I use the New Year to examine my weekly rhythms and routines to see what I need to change.

My personal disavowal of New Year’s resolutions does not extend to other people. No public figures are coming to me for advice, but if they were, these are the New Year’s resolutions I would recommend.

For President Biden: Don’t Run for Reelection

The United States turned into a gerontocracy over the last decade. Our President celebrated his 80th birthday the week before Thanksgiving. The outgoing Speaker of the House started her ninth decade a few years ago. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority leader, turns 81 in February. While presumed Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy looks like a spring chicken at 57, he is the exception rather than the rule.

This brings us to President Biden. He did an admirable job rolling out the COVID vaccine and support for Ukraine in its war with Russia. However, no voter should forget the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan and record-high inflation. Add that to the President’s consistent verbal gaffes. The best thing he could do for the country this year is to announce that he will not seek reelection in 2024.

For the GOP: Run Wise and Discerning Candidates

As I write this, a new Republican Congressman from New York is preparing to take office. George Santos had a story that seemed too good to be true. He had a great college pedigree and worked on Wall Street. It was too good to be true. He made it up. All of it.

The GOP leadership, eager to protect its slim majority in the House, has done nothing about the fraudster who slipped through their primary process and then won the general election. Thursday, Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted that he should be shown grace because he apologized.

Unfortunately, the party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Reagan has become the party of conspiracy theorists, conmen, and white grievance. If the GOP would pull away from this trifecta of awfulness and focus on promoting wise, thoughtful, and prudent leaders, they would have large majorities in the Senate and House.

For 2024 Presidential Hopefuls: Focus on Good Governance

We are watching a contrast between two men right now, and in some ways, it could define the 2024 Presidential campaign, depending on what happens with President Biden and former President Trump. Many Democrats have floated Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg as a potential Democratic nominee for 2024. However, this week Buttigieg is overseeing one of the worst transportation disasters in our nation’s history with the cancellation of thousands of Southwest Airlines flights.

While Buttigieg is on Twitter responding to a Wall Street Journal editorial by claiming that he was taking a tough stance with the airlines, everyone who is not trying to deflect attention from their poor job performance knows that he has been lax on the airlines. Matt Stoller of the American Economic Liberties Institute addressed Buttigieg’s failure to get tough with the airline industry over the summer.

By contrast, another Presidential hopeful has garnered attention for what he is doing right. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis led Florida through the COVID crisis, but not without some bumps along the way. He oversaw a growing economy in the Sunshine State and successfully navigated the response to multiple natural disasters. When he ran for reelection last year, he won by almost twenty points.

The lesson for all who aspire to the highest office in the land is clear – voters reward good government. Focus on that instead of optics.

For All Americans: Stop Supporting Morally Corrupt People Because They’re on Your Team

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend” rules most of American life. Devoid of personal and political philosophies to guide us, we are borne along by our resentments. Because of this, we grab onto any person who dislikes the same people we do.

This phenomenon has led American politicians to a supersonic race to the bottom. There seems to be almost no grievous action Americans will punish a politician for if they say things we agree with. This explains why the GOP won’t do anything about George Santos as well as why Democrats rarely say anything about Antifa.

The antidote to this sickness is the development of a moral and political philosophy. Each of us needs to know what we believe, why we believe it, and what our personal standards are. Then, when we find someone to be morally deficient or politically foolish, be honest about their shortcomings even if they are on your team. Doing this will make our politics better while helping to help us regain a moral foothold in our culture.

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Christian Headlines.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Pool

Scott Slayton writes at “One Degree to Another.”

New Year's Resolutions for American Politicians