Today is Christmas eve and a sturdy reminder of the hastening end to the year. I hope my readers have enjoyed my scribbling, the arguments I have made, and the public figures I have criticised. I hope to do even more next year and expand this site further as a hub for my videos and podcasts.
2015 has some very important challenges that we face in New Zealand and the United States (my two main markets) and some things to look for include the spying law review in NZ, the resolution of the Kim Dotcom case (which will inevitably include the US), and the last major Presidential actions of Barack Obama. He becomes a lame duck as soon as the 2016 election campaign kicks off, and will have to focus on reinforcing his past actions rather than undertaking new ones.
If we don’t see boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria against IS in 2015, then the chances of it happening before Obama leaves office are slim indeed. To just take a swipe at the pacifists who might be hoping to give peace a chance, there can be no peace in Iraq and Syria while girls are bought and sold and raped with impunity. I am quite immovable on this point and will debate anyone who wishes to oppose me.
The gloss will surely wear even further of John Key, and we can expect his government to be embroiled in more scandals and problems. While he is around I think the ship of state will remain intact, because cooperation with support parties is what he is good at. Further, I doubt we’ll see an open ideological conflict within the National Party while he is leader. If he makes some resignation noises, we can expect a party spat over who replaces him.
To shift again to Obama, he will have to tread carefully over the race relations problems that need to be addressed. He cannot aggressively pursue reform without emboldening the hard right perilously close to the next election. It is the reverse of the Nixon/China logic where a solidly anti-communist Republican was in a better position to alter the US position with China than a Democrat with less of a record. In short, Obama is black, and therefore may not be able to bring about the reforms necessary in ‘white’ America.
I don’t want to simplify things more than strictly necessary, but I do think these are challenges that will have to be faces in the next year. In some ways you can understand Obama’s failure to achieve substantive gun control laws through the same lens. He is a liberal, one that would be comfortable spending time in Europe where gun control is firm and unquestioned, and he believes in the empowering nature of the state. He is not suspicious of the government in the same way that Rush Limbaugh is. They are scared of state power, and owning guns is a way of hedging their bets. So it follows that if a Republican with unmatched gun toting credentials, they would have the credibility to push through gun control.
I am getting quite ahead of myself, it is Christmas and a time for stomach stuffing, stocking emptying, and if you are really fortunate then a case of a lose stocking under the mistletoe… The holidays are a time to dream, to make goals, to believe in the promise of tomorrow. Good tidings!