ELLIOT: Seven hopes for 2017

Water drops are seen on an ornamental ball.

Happy new year! At least, we hope it will be a happy one. Two thousand seventeen will have one fewer day than its predecessor, so maybe it won’t be able to foul things up quite as bad — even if it tries just as hard.
‘Tis the season for folks in my line of work to issue a series of predictions for the new year. These people are stupid. Predictions almost always turn out to be right or wrong, the latter state of incorrection leaving prognosticating pundits open to charges of performing with less than omniscience, thus possibly unworthy of our great mission to inform the masses of the mistakes of others.
So, in the sure and certain hope that hope itself is the best way to avoid being wrong, here are seven hopes for 2017 to ponder with your greens, black-eyed cowpeas, and little hominy (as my grandmother insists black-eyed peas and grits are most properly denominated).
Hope 1
That President Donald Trump, whatever his policy choices turn out to be, reverses the overreach of executive authority and re-establishes the existentially crucial role of federalism. In a country of more than 315 million, a national government cannot maintain legitimacy in the eyes of its citizens when it tries to dictate everything from what light bulbs we can use to the bathroom policies in elementary schools.
Hope 2
That in North Carolina, natural disasters regress to the mean — or just stay away entirely, thank you very much. From drought and wildfires in the west to Hurricane Matthew and its floods down east, we had a heaping helping of Mother Nature’s scat pie in 2016. Maybe we can have a year off to recover.
Hope 3
That in Raleigh, lawmakers and Gov. Roy Cooper work together to ensure the continued resurgence of the North Carolina economy and thereby heal some of the rural-urban divide that manifests as political bickering and distraction. (See publisher’s note nearby.)
Hope 4
That a North Carolina team brings home a national title in 2017. The Carolina Panthers in NFL football and the UNC Tar Heels in college basketball both reached the finals in 2016 but came away empty. It would be nice to see some confetti on Franklin or Hillsborough streets, at Charlotte’s Independence Square, or even College Road in Wilmington or Main Street in Davidson. Fifth Street in Greenville isn’t out of the question either, since the Pirate nine will take the diamond next month with a national ranking.
Hope 5
That our Tarheel senators continue their good work and become nationally known for reforms that benefit us all. Both Richard Burr and Thom Tillis have had success in a divided Washington on bipartisan and nonpartisan issues such as eugenics compensation and VA reform (Tillis) and the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes bill and FDA reform (Burr). With Republicans soon controlling D.C., they should resist the temptation to pass overly partisan measures. Solutions to two of the most pressing policy problems, a replacement to the disaster of Obamacare and corporate tax reform that rewards domestic investment and hiring, will be lasting only if they have broad support.
Hope 6
That the powers of freedom across the globe begin to beat back the specter of totalitarianism, whether they be North Korean communists, Russian adventurers, Cuban Marxists, Islamic fascists, or any other group that must use repression and terror to maintain its hold on power and accomplish its murderous ends.
Hope 7
And a final hope for 2017 is that each of our readers has an entirely joy-filled year and meets the challenges of the next 12 months with alacrity and perspective. It’s a cheesy hope, to be sure, but that is the wonderful thing about hope — it can be, at once, improbable yet sincere. Happy new year, everyone.
Drew Elliot is a member of the North State Journal’s editorial board, separate from the news staff. Unlike other newspapers, the North State Journal does not publish unsigned editorials; the author or authors of every editorial, letter, op-ed, and column is prominently displayed. To submit a letter or op-ed, see our submission guidelines.