Editorial: Wishes for a better 2016


It is the ultimate New Year’s Day hangover — we woke up this morning and Donald Trump is still the leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination. One of our more fervent wishes in the new year is that the Trump distraction ends quickly and more rational candidates rise to the fore.

The GOP — and the nation — needs a nominee who can engage the presumptive Democratic standard bearer, Hillary Clinton, in a mature and enlightening debate. There are good choices available to Republicans. Pick one and get serious.

We have a few other wishes as well:

■In Lansing, we hope Gov. Rick Snyder can shepherd through a Detroit school restructuring package that both balances the budget for the long term and radically improves students’ academic performance. The governor faces fierce opposition on all fronts, including in the Legislature, where election-year politics will likely influence the decision-making.

But this can’t be another roads bill, allowed to linger for years without a comprehensive solution. DPS is running out of cash, and will be insolvent by fall without action. One way or another, the state is going to be stuck with the bill. Lawmakers must work with the governor to get a solution in place by spring. And the forces in Detroit that are still upholding interests other than the schoolchildren must get on board.

■In Detroit, after schools, crime is the No. 1 obstacle to repopulating neighborhoods. People need to feel safe if they’re going to stay in the city, or come here. That means Detroiters have to stop killing each other. Certainly, law enforcement plays the major role in reducing homicide rates. But there’s still way too much bloodshed. Addressing the root causes of violence should be a community-wide priority for 2016. It’s not a job that can be left to the police alone.

■For our nation, beyond a responsible presidential race, we wish for an end to the gridlock in Washington that has forced critical issues to go unaddressed. So much needs to be fixed — Obamacare, Social Security, the national debt, deficit spending, national security and on and on and on — and yet so little is getting done because our leaders are serving partisan interests rather than those of their constituents. Part of the blame rests with voters. If we keep sending politicians to Washington with the admonition to hold firm to principle rather than engage in practical governing, this is what we get. Choose pragmatic leaders in 2016.

■For the world, of course, we and everyone else long for an end to the terror and chaos that has engulfed so many regions. Like it or not, this nation must lead the world with resolve and moral clarity. We know who the bad guys are. We can’t let them win.

■Finally, for the American people may this at last be the year when prosperity returns broadly to our land. This recovery has been too weak for too long, and too many people still are struggling. Tear down the barriers to growth and let’s enjoy an old-fashioned American economic boom.

Happy New Year, and may all of your wishes come true in 2016.