31 December 2015

Notes from Norm: Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

In the waning days of 2015 this much is true:  It has been the best of times and worst of times for Norm Coleman.

Before you fear that I will spend this entire post talking about myself in the 3rd person I want to assure you that Norm Coleman will not spend the entire post writing about Norm Coleman.

In the category of “worst of times” I can honestly proclaim the words “Norm, you have cancer” were not even close to the four words I ever hoped to hear in my life.

A sore throat and a bump on my neck seemed to me to be a nagging cold. To my body and my doctor it was clear that it was no common cold.

At that moment my fear about the President’s ill-conceived pursuit of an agreement with Iran – the growing strength of ISIS – and whether the Vikings were going to make the play-offs seemed unimportant.

A couple of months later – surgery – radiation-chemo – and the prayers of so many friends and family members – I can now focus my time and attention on life – and the future – especially the upcoming new year.

Today, I am no less concerned about the President’s ill-fated quest to engage Iran, especially in light of the fact that we know the regime continued to lie and deceive the international community about its nuclear ambitions.

Case in point is the news that Iran recently violated UN sanctions with a missile launch in October.

When the Washington Post criticizes the Obama Administration for doing nothing to address the fact that the Iranian missile launch is intended to test its capability to attach a nuclear warhead to a missile there may be hope for 2016.

With terrorist attacks in Paris – the downing of a Russian airliner – and an ISIS inspired slaughter in California – America is at greater risk from a terrorist attack than at any time in recent memory. 

In 2015 the Obama Administration lost further ground in the global war on terror. 

It’s failed “strategy” in Syria – bungled efforts in Libya – and malfeasance in Iraq and Afghanistan – may show 2015 as one of the most consequential threats against global safety and security in a generation.

On the upside of 2015, the Minnesota Vikings secured a playoff spot and are poised to potentially win the NFL North with a victory over the Green Bay Packers next Sunday.

With the closing of 2015 we’ve learned a lot about the state of our body politic.  So-called establishment candidate for President on both sides of the aisle are having trouble gaining ground against so-called anti-establishment candidates.

Harry Reid is retiring, Nancy Pelosi isn’t and Donald Trump has developed a new strain of Teflon previously unknown by science.

The size of our national debt is nearly $19 trillion – which means the share for every American of that debt is about $58,394.95.

But, not everything has been gloomy about 2015.

In addition to the late season success of the Minnesota Vikings, there was a bipartisan agreement reached to pass a two-year budget to herald the Speaker Ryan era in Washington, D.C.

Courts have stopped the Obama Administration from violating the laws and implementing, by Executive Action, immigration policies that are both inequitable and counter-productive to reaching comprehensive bi-partisan immigration reform.

And, 2015 marks the beginning of the end of the Obama Administration whose final year in office begins in 2016.

Which means that 2016 is a New Year with potential opportunity for a stronger, safer and more secure America.

Americans have grown tired and weary of the Obama Administration.  So weary and tired that the prospect of a third term in the form of Hillary Clinton being elected President in 2016 is no longer the assured outcome Democrats had hoped for at the beginning of 2015.

That Bernie Sanders is not just hanging around but still raising millions of dollars every month underscores discontent within the Democratic Party over a Clinton candidacy next year. 

I am, by nature, an optimist.  I believe in the power of the American people to make the choices that need to be made to restore confidence in the future. 

That there remain, in the closing hours of 2015, so many strong, viable candidates for President within the Republican Party is a sign of a healthy and robust “big tent” which is a necessary ingredient for its future.

There are many GOP candidates for President whose vision for America is one where our economy is stronger, our nation more secure, our place in the world restored and the future for all Americans is renewed.

The American people understand that with the greatness that is America we should not be held hostage to the small thinking of politicians who are more concerned about their polls than they are about their policies.

My confidence in America’s capacity for renewal remains unabated.  My unshakeable belief in American Exceptionalism convinces me that 2016 may be a pivotal year for the best of America.

I am preparing to begin 2016 without cancer.  With hopes for more time at the cabin, on the lake, in my boat, and catching all those big ones that have thus far gotten away.

Most of all, I begin the year with the firm belief that America’s best days are yet to come.

And, that the Vikings will beat the Packers!

Skol Vikings and Happy New Year!