Terry Manning

My hopes for the new year


Remember when everybody was so eager to see 2020 come to a close? 

“It’s been the worst,” people said. 

To which 2021 responded, “Hold my Trump-branded Winning Energy energy drink (It’s made from ‘liberal tears!’) and wasted no time by giving us an historic insurrection against the nation’s Capitol. Talk about “doing too much.” 

With that in mind, here are some things I’d like to see a lot more — and less — of in 2022. 

More: I would like to see due process pick up speed in the legal cases of those charged in the Capitol insurrection. Sure, the little fish are being sorted through and penalized — seemingly with the smallest possible penalties — but it’s time to see some of the big fish, the real organizers of the anti-democratic movement, brought to justice. We can’t keep calling ourselves “a nation of laws” if people can subvert a doggone election and rub our noses in it while the wheels of justice turn ever … so … slowly. 

Speaking of justice … 

Less: I’m tired of seeing people on television fake-crying their way past accountability for bad acts. You were Billy B.A. when you drew your weapon and shot innocent people to death, so don’t turn into Weeping Wanda when you’re called to answer for what you did. At the very least, try to generate an actual tear or two. 

More: More Democrats in Congress and statehouses across the country. We see every day what happens when Republicans are left in control. Barriers are erected to make voting more difficult. Women lose control over their bodies. A game stacked against accurate representation gets even more stacked as district lines are drawn and redrawn to favor a shrinking conservative minority. 

As much as I despise the Human Moving Goalpost that is Sen. Joe Manchin, he said one thing I agree with: If we want to counteract the stymying influence he and Kyrsten Sinema have in D.C., we need to elect more Democrats. The same is true of local and state elections, so let’s vote Blue in ’22! 

Less: After nearly two years of this pandemic, it boggles my mind how easy it still is to find people fighting mask mandates and spreading misinformation about efforts to curb COVID’s ravaging of the global population. So yeah, I’d like to see fewer holdouts to the COVID vaccines. I think omicron and subsequent variants will trim that herd, but the vaccinated among us will have to suffer along with them in the meantime. 

More: I sincerely wish for continuing good health for Tiger Woods. It was awesome seeing him return to the course at the recent PNC Championship. It was even better seeing him tee it up with his son, Charlie. I had chills watching the cameras follow young Charlie on Sunday afternoon as he and his father played themselves into contention for the event win. They came up just short, but the electricity was palpable. They are the Batman and Robin of professional golf, if not in all of sports. 

Less: It would be nice if spectators stopped shouting, “Get in the hole!” after every tee shot. I know golf fans missed seeing their favorites in person while tournaments were played without live crowds. I, for one, didn’t miss the typical crowd hijinks, especially spectacles like Phil Mickelson being mobbed at last year’s PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. It was embarrassing. 

More: I appreciate sports leagues trying to keep us distracted from the misery of the pandemic, but man, they need to take better care of their athletes. As I write this the NFL and NBA are each being pushed to the brink by virus outbreaks. And it’s their own fault for relaxing screening requirements to make sure games get played and revenues keep rolling in. 

More: I’d like more wins for all the state’s athletics teams, even South Carolina — unless they’re playing Clemson in the Palmetto Bowl. Then, it’s chicken-kickin’ time, and what’s a holiday without traditions? 

Some quick hits… 

Less: I’d like to see less of the previous president and the animosity that is his legacy. Leave the guns at home, folks, and stop threatening strangers trying to do already thankless jobs. 

More: We could all use more love and trying to get along. More good music and books. More people reading past click-bait headlines. 

So yeah, that’s what I really want. More or less. 

Terry E. Manning lives and works in Savannah, Ga. He is a Clemson graduate and worked for 20 years as a journalist. He can be reached at teemanning@gmail.com. 

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