ERICKSON: Ending the year

December 27, 2013 

Here in Middle Georgia we end the year with Macon and Bibb County divided and will start 2014 with the division still there, but with a unified and consolidated government. We still have one election to do over. It will be a messy, nasty affair and could shape the tenor and tone of the new, united government.

We also end the year with a personal reminder that people grow up, move away, get old and die. For seven years, my children have begged for repeated trips through Glenn Hill Court. For most of the years I have lived in Macon, the light displays on that one street have marked the Christmas season. But over the past few years, the lights have been less and less. This year, we rode through once, but all good things come to an end. It is a sad milestone.

Down College Street to Mercer as well, the College Hill Corridor had fewer lights. A number of friends have noted that in their neighborhoods, too, there are fewer lights this year. Truth be told, at my house we did not hang out all the lights we normally put up. For weeks we have all been too under the weather to do it. Perhaps others are the same.

Still, back when I was in college, Mercer University had lights out front on Coleman Avenue. This past week, my kids continued the search for Christmas lights, mostly in vain, save for that amazingly decorated house on Tucker Road, near Foster Road.

At my home, it is still Christmas and will remain so until Jan. 6. I grew up celebrating the 12 full days of Christmas and I have no intention of stopping. The world could use a little more Christmas spirit. There is nothing so delightful as the excitement of a child on Christmas Eve. More adults should have that excitement, too.

Now, as we head into the new year, there is renewed excitement in the air, or maybe it is excited apprehension. Warner Robins will welcome a new mayor. Bibb County will welcome a new government. And campaign season will heat up statewide. Many of the arguments will remain the same locally and statewide. Perhaps I am growing more cynical with years, but I am more and more convinced some politicians really do like to keep problems festering for political capital.

Nationally, Republicans will run through 2014 campaigning against Obamacare, pledging to do anything and everything to repeal it. They did the same in 2010 and 2012. They have caved every time. Democrats will campaign on the glories and successes of Obamacare as doctors stop seeing longtime patients and insurance companies deny coverage for people who received a website confirmation of insurance coverage. As we get to Jan. 1, we are learning of a new problem with the Obamacare website. Insurance companies are not getting the notices of those who have enrolled.

One last worry for the new year. While we close out 2013 and head into 2014 with thoughts of peace on Earth and goodwill toward men, I suspect we may soon be without peace or goodwill. Iran continues its nuclear program. Al Qaeda has re-invaded Iraq. South Sudan heats up with civil war. Syria spirals further out of control. Israel and Saudi Arabia hunt for defensive measures against Iran while considering going on offense. China, Japan and South Korea look less stable, too.

We get a new year, but only God himself can ensure it is happy.

Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor and radio talk show host in Atlanta.

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