By The Mankato, Minn., Free Press
---- — We are now firmly and officially into 2013 and we have two options facing us — peer into the new year with worry and trepidation, or with optimism.
We prefer optimism. So here are a few things we'd like to see in 2013:
n A reason to forget there ever was a "fiscal cliff." A truly well-informed electorate that both understands and accepts the fact that this nation needs to make serious adjustments to maintain the level of government support it now expects; and elected leaders who are more responsive to the realities of our national situation than to their biggest donors.
n An end to the tragic massacres involving crazed gunmen and innocent bystanders.
n An end to name-calling among political rivals. Is it too late to work toward George H.W. Bush's "kinder, gentler nation"?
n A better Arab Spring. One where the challenges of democratization also come with protections for those not wielding the power.
n Legislative breakthroughs on issues that shouldn't be so difficult to solve if only the political parties could work together and refrain from name-calling: One good place to start — immigration law.
n An end to the drought with ample spring and summer rains (along with just the right amount of sunshine) for farmers.
n A mild tornado season. One that won't leave us with much to remember, or regret, years later.
n More books and newspapers read; more exercise programs started; fewer glazed doughnuts per capita consumed.
The Free Press, Mankato, Minn.