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2021 needs to be a better year

We’re almost finished with the first month of the New Year and things are still strange, almost like 2020 is making one last gasp before finally closing out.

COVID-19 is still around. Politics in the first month of 2021 were still nasty and riots broke out in Washington, D.C., that regardless of your political and philosophical leanings was embarrassing.

It snowed in Vicksburg. Not just the flurries and dustings we usually get, but snow that blanketed everything in sight and raised concerns of treacherous driving conditions.

But change is in the air.

As Donald Trump ended his term by flying south to a new life, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in to begin a new administration with different ideas, attitudes and goals. It will be interesting to see how the new administration performs and whether it can create the types of coalitions required to succeed and move its agenda forward.

This country has a lot of issues to resolve over the next four years and it will be a test whether both sides in Congress can grow up, put away their differences and be willing to work together and put the nation and the people first.

If watching the verbal combat on Capitol Hill gets too tiresome or raises your blood pressure, there is an unexpected diversion this year thanks to COVID-19.

For once in their lives, football fanatics won’t have to worry about withdrawal after the Super Bowl — college football returns with the nation’s FCS schools playing either full or partial schedules during the spring.

At one time, the term “spring ball’ meant spring training for college teams and their annual spring game that drew alums and fans to the campus. Spring also meant the start of preseason practice for the teams in the Canadian Football League.

Now it means a slate of college games and people sitting fixed in front of the tube watching Alcorn vs. Southern, Jackson State vs. Florida A&M, or James Madison vs Delaware.

Add a spring football season to the already active NBA and college basketball seasons, and the soon-to-start major league and college baseball seasons, and there will be enough activity on TV to provide a healthy distraction from the problems of the world.

Considering how 2020 came to a close and 2021 began, I’m ready for some distractions, even if it means watching re-runs from the 1960s comedy “My Favorite Martian.” I’m ready to watch college football.

But I need to understand like we all do, that our distractions will only mask what’s going on in the world and we need to take a good look at ourselves and realize that it’s time to put our differences aside and ask that our representatives in Washington represent us and not some politician’s political base. That they put the country first, not by their rhetoric, but by their actions. That they start crossing the aisles to reach compromises to resolve problems and govern.

The year 2020 was a disaster from the word “go.”

The year 2021 shouldn’t be and doesn’t have to be.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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