The following editorial first appeared in the Alaska Journal of Commerce:
The holiday season is upon us. It's the time of year when many of us gather around family and friends to eat, drink and be merry. We put aside past differences and rejoice, giving thanks for all we have.
Seems hard to do this year, doesn't it? With the financial crises, a major recession, shrunken retirement accounts, rising health care costs, outrageous unemployment, home foreclosures and pay cuts, it's hard to focus on the positive.
Then there is the divisive political atmosphere, the 24-hour "who can we eviscerate today" national news cycles, and probably the nastiest mid-term election season in memory.
Where's the good news?
If you live in Alaska, you had it better than most. The state for the most part escaped the ill effects of the recession. Jobs held fairly steady and, on the statewide front, at least, the politics haven't been so rancorous. Well, except for that Lisa Murkowski/Joe Miller/Sarah Palin thing.
But this being the holiday season, we should focus on spreading good will, not fret on the ill feelings of the past.
Here's to hoping that Alaska's prosperity continues, that our new administration will rebuild the bridges wrought to ashes by his predecessor. That our new governor will govern for all Alaskans, not just those in his current party.
And just as importantly, here's hoping he truly can eliminate the domestic violence raging in our state.
Good will also should go toward our state's various lawmakers. May you legislate fairly and consistently, with the highest ethical standards.
Same to our congressional delegation. We hope these three delegates in the coming year will forgo the political party dissention and rancor, and focus on what is right for Alaska and the nation. May they fight for just causes and rally against the petty rebelliousness. And may they behave respectfully and ethically in those endeavors.
We also want to extend our best wishes to President Barack Obama, a man who rallied the people and made history. A man who has since faced unprecedented hurdles. A man who built that legend on compromise and openness. Here's to hoping you can revive those feelings of hope and change in the nation in the coming year.
Here's to hoping our nation's leaders can work together to help this struggling economy and all its people. May our leaders focus on what is good for our country and its people, instead of what's good for their party or their fundraising efforts.
To our national media cohorts. Here's to hoping the collective media can report on the news honestly and fairly. That they will stop focusing on the negative and the unimportant, and instead return to the days of reporting the issues in a truly fair and balanced manner.
To the American people, may you again know the comforts of a strong, stable economy. May you find the strength to get through the hard times and the prudence to enjoy the good.
And lastly, to Alaskans. May our good times continue, and may we have the temerity and the tenacity to further improve our lives and the lives of those around us.
Happy Holidays everyone.