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Richard Crowson Commentary

Crowson: 2019's Mixed Bag


What a mixed bag of optimism and pessimism Santa dumped down our chimney. Baby New Year has got her work cut out for her as she tries to sort out this jumble of happiness and horror.

Prognostications regarding our President range from bad to terrible to apocalyptic. With no more adults around him to keep his gut reactions in check, some say we should all brace ourselves for an even wilder ride. The partial government shutdown is predicted by some to stretch into January. The Stock Market freefall threatens millions of Americans’ nest eggs. Fresh horrors from Syria. Wild confusion over the future of Brexit. Accelerating climate and environmental emergencies. Baby New Year will be on anti-depressants within a week of her birth if she focuses on the national and international scene.

Yet, here in Kansas, there’s cause for optimism. Our long, painful period of being used as a lab rat in a governor’s disastrous experiment is over. Then Kansas voters vanquished the candidate who was hell-bent on doubling down our agony. Sent packing as well was a Congressional Representative who also adhered to a conservative extremist philosophy.

Locally, we dive into 2019 with a smart singer-songwriter replacing a conspiracy-under-every-rock, conservative Sedgwick County Commissioner. And perhaps most significantly of all, our city seems to be enjoying a renaissance of the arts, and of civic pride like never before.

So best of luck to Baby New Year. If she focuses more on sunny Wichita and Kansas instead of gloomy Washington, she may be able to avoid some expensive therapist bills.

For KMUW I’m Richard Crowson wishing you a happy 2019!