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Horowitz: 5 Reasons for New Year’s Optimism

Tuesday, January 02, 2018


Rob Horowitz

For the past five years, I’ve written a New Year’s column listing reasons for optimism (click here to see how I did last year). This year I do the same. It remains the nature of news and opinion writing that positive developments get short shrift. As 2018 begins, 5 reasons for optimism are outlined below:

1)Local and state governments, joined by many businesses, commit to hit our Paris Climate goals-no matter what Washington does.  More than 300 ‘climate” mayors”, joined by Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA) and other governors and some of our nation’s most successful corporations are stepping up on the climate challenge in the wake of President Trump’s ill-advised decision to withdraw from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement. Together, this critical mass of Americans with the power to continue the sound investments in renewable energy and energy conservation that have put us on the right climate path are going to make sure that the United States still meets the emission reduction goals to which it committed. As Michael Bloomberg, who now serves as UN Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, said, “Americans will honor and fulfill the Paris Agreement by leading from the bottom up – and there isn’t anything Washington can do to stop us."

2)   A resurgent mainstream media is holding President Trump accountable. Led by The New York Times and The Washington Post the mainstream media’s consistently excellent reporting is providing accurate, in-depth coverage of President Trump and his Administration-the kind of coverage that enables the rest of us to hold him accountable. These leading newspapers are being rewarded with significant boost in circulation.

3)  Completed runway extension fuels growth at T.F. Green Airport.  The recently completed extension has attracted a significant number of new International Airlines and flights, boosting over-all use.   This year promises to be a banner year for this critical driver of the Rhode Island economy This past year, Conde Nast Traveler Magazine named T.F. Green one of the top ten airports in the nation, based on its Reader’s Choice Award Survey..

4)  American Institutions are demonstrating their strength and resilience in the face of President Trump’s authoritarian instincts.  Not only our free press, but our Courts, our Congress, and even Trump’s own Justice Department, which after all, appointed Bob Mueller, continue to successfully check some of the President’s worst and most dangerous instincts.  American institutions are mainly rising to the challenge.

5)   The American economy continues to grow.    A long period of economic growth shows no sign of abating and may even be picking up steam.   While facing structural challenges and left to its own devices unable to grapple with growing inequality, the American economy is still dynamic and robust with income gains for the middle class finally being realized.


Rob Horowitz is a strategic and communications consultant who provides general consulting, public relations, direct mail services and polling for national and state issue organizations, various non-profits and elected officials and candidates. He is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Rhode Island.


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