I know this is a time of year when everyone is making resolutions and getting excited about the new year ahead. I would love to join in the excitement, but I just can’t. I’m happier to see 2015 go than I am excited about what 2016 will bring.
This year has been an uphill battle. Every silver lining seemed to have a cloud if you know what I mean.
Sure I could make the normal resolutions. Do I need to lose weight? I do.
I thought I needed to last year. But let’s just say that was a resolution that didn’t survive moving to a new state and all of the schedule changes and stress that came along with it. After five years of working out three to five times a week, I haven’t seen the inside of a gym 10 times this year.
I went backward in 2015 in many areas. That’s the problem with this time of year. You have clear data points to compare to. That is great when things are going well. It isn’t as pleasant when they aren’t. Thankfully I have used the same photo in my column since 2010.
I’m not the only one to have a bad 2015. It seems like there was a lot of that going around.
No group of people had a worse year than the Republican Party. This was a year that Republicans finally figured out that Republicans dislike Republicans almost as much as they dislike Democrats.
Inside the GOP, being part of “the establishment” makes you more evil than being part of “The First Order” on Star Wars.
Because of the fallout of the members of a party deciding to hate the actual party, the frontrunner for the Presidential nomination is a man who stokes racial, religious and other factional fires to gain support.
Donald Trump divorced his first wife to marry the woman he cheated on her with. That same man is attacking Hillary Clinton because her husband cheated on her. That seems morally unhinged. Trump somehow wins support by saying Hillary Clinton is a bad person because her husband did to her what he did himself to his first wife.
You might think that would be the worst of it, but he is attacking fellow Republican nominee Ted Cruz’s evangelical background because “not many evangelicals come out of Cuba.”
That might be true. But Cruz came out of Canada. And for the record, not many evangelicals come out of Queens, N.Y. One could also argue that not many evangelicals have had three wives and numerous dalliances with women who had to take AIDS tests before they would take them on dates either.
Trump has all of the borderline racist social policies of the tea party with none of the fiscal conservative policies.
I just don’t get it. I didn’t expect him to last past the summer. I certainly didn’t think he would still be wearing “Make America Great Again” snapback caps when the calendar pages turned to 2016. I keep thinking there is no way Republicans would actually do that to themselves and the country.
But I have been wrong before.
I never thought that gas prices would drop below $2 a gallon again and that has happened. Because of that, several states who tinkered with income tax cuts are getting caught holding an empty money bag. What seems like a good idea when people are pulling barrels money from the ground doesn’t seem nearly as smart when those barrels hold less money.
Thanks to these decisions and the absolute refusal to consider the idea that cutting taxes isn’t going to fix a problem caused by evaporating oil prices, states are cutting education to shocking levels. I’m sure that replacing teachers with out of work bankers, oilfield workers and journalists will have no negative impact on the quality of the education our students receive.
This was the year when facts finally died. It wasn’t a quick and painless death, but it finally happened. Proving something to be a lie is now considered an attack because what really matters is what you believe.
When facts and beliefs don’t line up, one of them has to change. This was the year that facts yielded their authority to purely partisan sentiment.
This year wasn’t completely awful, but I can’t say it will be in my top 10. Hopefully 2016 has better things in store for all of us.

Kent Bush is publisher of Shawnee (Oklahoma) News-Star and can be reached at kent.bush@news-star.com.