Fran Bradley: Twelve wishes for Christmas tackle political, social concerns

'Tis the season for making wishes and giving gifts.I decided to frame my 12 wishes around the theme of "The Twelve Days of Christmas.

I did not include the more noble and global wishes like world peace, good health or happiness for all, although I certainly fervently pray for these. Instead, I have opted for some of my most-pressing personal wishes. Here we go. I wish:

1. Honesty and respect.Just think what a great world it would be if everyone were always truthful and respected people and property. These were the simple two rules we shared with the several exchange students who lived with us over the years. The principles served us well.

2. Talk to each other.How about we pause the texting, tweeting, Facebooking, emailing and other activities, and talk to each other more often.

3. Respect for law enforcement."Fry 'em like bacon" has no place in our society's narrative. And yet participants in a Black Lives Matter rally chanted this hateful phase and encouraged violence toward police and the innocent public. Demonstrations that destroy property and infringe on other people's rights are far too common. Often the outrage is based on misinformation. In the rare case where there is police brutality, prosecute, but do not jump to conclusions before all the facts are known.


4. Loving, responsible parenting.Too many children live in broken, dysfunctional families and the consequences are seen in school disruption and crime and huge social costs. Traditional two-parent families are the proven most effective system and should be respected. Of course, single-parent families can and do succeed as well, but the challenges are greater. We also need to respect stay-at-home moms and dads who make a commitment to family first.

5. Ease up on political correctness.How about some old-fashioned common sense and tolerance? Over-reaction and intolerance seem to be growing and tend to create an atmosphere of dishonesty and poor decisions.

6. Focus on actions and behavior, not color of skin.None of us should tolerate racism. Certainly, black Americans have a history of being victims of racism. Republicans historically led the charge to abolish slavery and give civil rights to blacks. We have made great progress. But racism today is not just white on black. It is also black on white and many more combinations. None of these should be tolerated. Criminal acts should not be forgiven when performed by whites or minorities.

7. Civility in public debate.Invariably, when I publish a column, there are critics who attack me personally but seldom deal with the substance of the public policy issue. Extreme liberals seem to follow the advice of author Saul Alinsky, who wrote "Rules for Radicals." He advocated such personal attacks as a way of avoiding honest debate. When people raise legitimate issues regarding global warming, some advocates actually suggest the questioners should be jailed. When honest people raise questions about President Obama's performance, some immediately play the "race" card. Stop!

8. Reduce government spending and taxes.Our national debt has reached dangerous levels that threaten our country's economic health. State taxes and spending were raised an incredible $2 billion under an all-Democrat-run state government. Local government levies are increasing several times the rate of inflation. Plus local governments are adding sales taxes and fees. Please, please, give the taxpayer a break.

9. Tax reform.Time to rid ourselves of the very costly and incredibly burdensome income tax and create a more simple and fair tax system. I favor the "Fair Tax," which is a tax on consumption. Do some research and you will find it the best solution.

10. Welfare reform.We have spent more than $1 trillion and have failed to reduce poverty. We started, under Democratic President Bill Clinton, meaningful welfare reform, but that now has slipped away. Time to get serious and give everyone an opportunity to achieve the American dream.

11. Health care reform.We are into our third year of Obamacare and health care costs are rising even faster. We pay dearly in new taxes and are overwhelmed with 2,000 pages of legislation and tens of thousands of pages of regulation. We are spending taxpayer money we don't have and greatly expanding health care entitlement. Time for market competition and consumer empowerment principles.


12. Media balance.Research and practical observation demonstrate a liberal bias in our mainstream media. Time for balanced journalism.

There, I got it off my chest. Now, let's all enjoy a merry Christmas, happy holidays or whatever you choose.

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