- - Thursday, December 31, 2020

Happy New Year! Here are some wishes for 2021:

End the global pandemic.

Just months ago, cynics said it would take a miracle to have a vaccine by the end of the year. Special thanks to President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and their team for pushing Operation Warp Speed. And major thanks to the scientists and other experts who gave us the vaccine.

Keep our small businesses open.

Stop the war on small businesses. Governments across the country should put a moratorium on shutdown orders. Announce a list of safety protocols that are helpful for small businesses and let them adapt to their individual circumstances. If “Saturday Night Live” can have an audience, there is no reason restaurants cannot be safely open in New York City. If movie and television production sets are operational in California, there is no reason local businesses can’t operate - particularly in the Golden State. We need America Open for Business!

Fix the broken election system.

State lawmakers across the country should immediately bring up election reform measures. There must be integrity and transparency throughout our voting process. Enact photo identification to vote laws, signature verification, limits on absentee voting to people in nursing homes and deployed veterans, and the use of paper ballots on election day instead of machines. And lawmakers must include real penalties to ensure that election officials follow the law.

Get our children back to school.

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield, said, “The truth is, for kids K through 12, one of the safest places they can be from our perspective is to remain in school.” He went on to say that, “there’s extensive data that we’ve gathered over the last two to three months to confirm that K-12 schools can operate with face-to-face learning and they can do it safely and they can do it responsibly.” It is time to get children back to school!

Teach students objective American and world history.

From kindergarten through 12th grade, students should receive an objective education about history — here in America and around the world. End the woke agenda. Stop teaching our children to hate America.

Stop spending money we don’t have.

Last year, I was worried that the national debt would climb over $23 trillion. Now, it is more than $27.5 trillion. According to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, that equates to more than $83,000 for every single person in America. As my Nana used to say, stop spending money we don’t have.

Lower the cost of college by lowering tuition — not forgiving loans.

The cost of college has gone up 500% since 1982. Increases in student services, administration, faculty members and pay — along with changes in state and local funding are driving up the cost of college. With that in mind, it hardly seems fair to ask a taxpayer who already paid for college or who never went to college to pay off student loans. Wouldn’t it be better to keep costs reasonable in the first place?

Lighten up on social media.

According to Pew Research, only 22% of adults in America are on Twitter. Furthermore, about 80% of the tweets come from 10% of the people on Twitter. People get worked up when something is “trending,” but it still represents a small fraction of the entire population. Unfortunately, the media treats Twitter as a direct link to the masses when it is more likely a window to the thoughts of much of the cynical, elitist liberals in America.

Worship together.

The U.S. Constitution clearly states that the “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” It does not say, “except during a medical emergency.” People of faith must not be blocked from attending religious services anywhere in our country. It is time to be able to worship together.

Senate Balance.

If Democrats control the U.S. House of Representatives and Joe Biden takes office as president, Republican control of the U.S. Senate is the only thing protecting any form of balance within the federal government. Liberals have made it clear that they intend to end the filibuster. When they are successful, they will add seats to the U.S. Supreme Court and pack it with activist justices. Balance will be lost, and the majority will likely grant Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico statehood.

This will add four new seats (likely held by Democrats) to the Senate. Once done, the balance of powers will be gone — between the branches of the federal government and the political parties. It is why the elections on Tuesday in Georgia are so important.

Overall, I believe all of us are ready for a new year. Let’s hope it’s healthier, safer, and better than 2020!

• Scott Walker was the 45th governor of Wisconsin. You can contact him at swalker@washingtontimes.com or follow him @ScottWalker.

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