A few thoughts about this new year that we are breaking in. (And starting it off with a Rose Bowl win and relaxation in the Bahamas is a good beginning.)
First, I am going to call it “twenty ten,” and not “two thousand ten.” I realize that this is an abrupt change from 2009, which I did not call “twenty nine” for obvious reasons. Still, I lived most of my life in the 1900s, and no one called 1980, for example, “one thousand, nine hundred eighty.” So, I’m going with “twenty ten.”
Second, I don’t consider this a new decade. In my book, decades run from —1 to –10, or –20, or –30. Technically, this must be true, because way back when there was no year zero. In my experience, too, the decades we think of often don’t really end until some event that doesn’t coincide precisely with the end of a calendar year. In America, “the ’60s” really didn’t peter out until after December 31, 1969, and “the ’70s” didn’t end until about the time President Carter left office in January 1981.
Geopolitically, I think 2010 will be a very interesting year. The efforts of the U-Trou bomber and the escalation of the war in Afghanistan will probably make terrorism a more significant focus. The recent protests and attempted clampdowns in Iran bear watching, there no doubt will be weirdness from rogue states like North Korea, and we will have to see whether the global economy pulls out of recession. Domestically, this year we will be voting for all members of the House of Representatives, one-third of the Senate, and a slew of governors. In Ohio, we will be electing a new Senator to replace retiring Senator George Voinovich and also voting for Governor, and the contests in the Buckeye State already have attracted some national attention. The election will happen against the backdrop of a weak, struggling economy that has affected different states differently, lots of partisan rancor, and a President whose approval ratings have dropped significantly as the grueling health care reform battle has proceeded.
I don’t think there is much point in making predictions about what will happen; years usually look different as they draw to a close than people expected when the year began. About the only thing that is certain is that there will be lots to talk, and blog, about — and through it all UJ, commendably, will find a silver lining and things to be positive about.