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By Dan Carlson
Columnist Prairie Ponderings 

A Year of Choices


December 30, 2020 | View PDF

We’re about to put 2020 in the rearview mirror. Most seem eager to do so as it’s been a year of significant challenges.

A year ago we had record-low unemployment, a flourishing economy, relative peace abroad and a bright future. Then came Covid-19, George Floyd, BLM, Antifa, and the most bitter presidential election of my lifetime. Anyone who tells you 2021 will be any better should be regarded with suspicion.

I think 2021 will be the year of important choices, both for the nation and for us as individuals. January 5 will bring a runoff election in Georgia that will determine whether America will hold back the socialist tide for a few more years or accelerate into what could be our second civil war. But rather than dwell on the negative, let’s look at what we can do as individuals while we are still able to make individual choices.

Too many Americans look at the news, throw up their hands in exasperation and declare, “Well there’s nothing I can do about it.” This isn’t correct. We can do something about the direction society is heading, and action begins with examination of our beliefs.

The first thing we have to do is understand why we believe what we believe. We have to be able to do more than cite talking points fed to us by echo chambers. We must know and understand how our beliefs apply to life in a way that makes them worth having. Are you a Christian? Why? What does that even mean? How is being a Christian relevant to life in 2021? If the only answers you can come up with are that you were raised Christian, go to church, or said a prayer once asking Jesus into your heart, I respectfully suggest you revisit the questions and come up with more substantive reasons for calling yourself a Christian. And you can swap out “Christian” with Jew, atheist, Muslim or any other belief – the bottom line is know what you believe and be able to make a defense of it.

The same goes for politics or any other social issue. It was interesting to see how outside agitators in places such as Portland, Oregon’s so-called autonomous zone discouraged this. I saw several attempted interviews of agitators shut down by overseers. A reporter would engage a protester in conversation on camera, the protester would spout supplied talking points, the reporter would ask for clarification or a more in-depth answer, and then from nowhere would swoop a “community organizer” to shut the interview down. The few times protest groups were infiltrated and interactions recorded, the alarming stupidity and ignorance of those involved was revealed. It’s not a good look.

Plan on 2021 being even more challenging than 2020. Understand there will be fewer opportunities to just sit on the sidelines. You will have to make choices, so get started now by making a New Year’s resolution to shore up your belief system. The days of being a non-participating spectator are over. Sooner or later you’ll be forced to choose sides.


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