Ten tough years among the fools

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By Jeffry Gardner

For the record, if you’re reading this right now, chances are you’ve successfully navigated through the wonders of the 21st century’s first decade.

Perhaps you even have some water left from the Y2K scare. In fact, is there a better place to begin a reflection on the past 10 years than at the very beginning – or, say, the 12 months before?

One year or so before we set foot into the next 100 years, we were told to brace ourselves for doom. Like most Americans, I’m a huge fan of “doom.” Predict the End of Days, and we’re gulping grape Kool-Aid and scanning the skies for alien transports.

Of course, that’s not true. But you’d never know it from the yarns our entertainment industry spins about mainstream Americans. Turn on your TV or settle in at a local theater and prepare to be preached to about how horrible we are – Americans, that is. We’re easily duped, you see.

So, when a cataclysmic opening to the new century – Y2K – was foreseen, you might believe we rushed to mega-marts and stocked up on ammo and water, rice and air mattresses, flour and CB radios.

For a lengthy period we were told that the computers that run the world were incapable of switching from 1999 to 2000. As a result, rivers would flood; cars would stop on highways; the power grid would go dark; the Red Sox would win the World Series.

Well, 1,000 votive candles and 300 cases of bottled water later, I’m happy to report the sky didn’t fall. We can laugh about it now; we lived.

September 11, 2001 was horrific enough, but the response of many, too many, “progressives” was a series of apologies. Even President George W. Bush seemed to do everything but declare a national “hug a Muslim day,” in his desire to appease the less-than-tolerant politically correct mob.

Another fallout of 9/11 was the creation of the Transportation Safety Administration to make our travel more secure. TSA consists of the folks scattered around X-ray machines at airports. Today TSA is jokingly referred to as “Thousands Standing Around.” At least, I think it’s jokingly.

Apparently, we used the decade to get fat. About every third news story is about our obesity problem. However, a landmark study somewhere around the middle of the decade revealed that diet and exercise were key to losing weight and keeping it off. Shockingly, this study mirrored a similar study conducted in the 1990s, which mirrored a similar study – heh, heh, you get my drift.

In 2002, Republican Governor Gary Johnson left office. A remarkably popular fellow, Johnson was term-limited or he may well have won a third term. He left the state with better highways and a budget surplus.  

Taking full advantage of Johnson’s accomplishments, the Republican Party of New Mexico imploded. By decade’s end, Republicans in office were as a scarce as sound Democratic economic policy.

Bill Richardson took over and let the good times roll. He spent $500 million on a train from Santa Fe to Belen. We’re also building a rich man’s amusement park outside of T or C. We’re calling it Spaceport America. A 17-minute, suborbital jaunt goes for $200K a ticket. State taxpayers, by the way, are on the hook for $225 million.

I don’t want to go without mentioning “climate change,” formerly known as “global warming,” until Americans got wise. If only Mark Twain were alive to see this today. After all, it was Twain’s immortal Huck Finn who said, “Hain’t we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain’t that a big enough majority in any town?”

Absolutely.  Let’s ring in the next decade before the ice caps melt, shall we?

© New Mexico News Services 2010