The Hartford Courant is the oldest US newspaper in continuous publication with its Oct. 29, 1764 issue. Most likely it was the first newspaper to publish a year-in-review article.

What has become a year-in-review newspaper industry tradition, Dec. 15’s Wall Street Journal 26 page special edition followed suit. Highlighted were the 76 biggest news stories of 2022.

Everyone has a different remembrance of prominent stories from 2022. They may include Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, supply chain strains, hate crimes, Jan. 6 House Committee reports on Capitol’s attack and alleged presidential coup, Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, FBI retrieves classified documents from Trump properties, GDP growth, democracy won the Nov. 8 election, Trump Organization found guilty of tax fraud, cryptocurrency implosion and Congressional everyone-gets-a-pony spending spree.

The words expressed by George Bernard Shaw -- awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925 – may express the essence of the past, present and future: “We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility of our future.”

Among topics we’re certain to confront in 2023 include climate change, GOP leadership fight, Democrat’s leadership future, Supreme Court decisions, Justice Department prosecutions, women/men/LGBTQ rights, gun violence, infrastructure roll-out, federal deficit, 2024 election buzz, FBI-CIA-IRS-Secret Service investigations, US recaptures international trade prowess lost during 2017-2021 and humanitarian border crisis.

Each of these subjects – plus a plethora of others - is ripe for discussion, let alone your very own guest column or letter to the editor.

One issue we’d better address sooner rather than later is right-wing extremists (e.g., neo-Nazism, anti-Semitism, neo-fascism, racism, bigotry, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic, etc.).

The Anti-Defamation League reported right-wing extremists have been responsible for 76% of all America domestic-related murders in the last decade. And – you may recall -- 114 extremists sought public office in 2022.

Furthermore, the findings section of US Senate Bill 894 (March 27, 2019) reveals “On Feb. 22, 2019, a Trump administration US Department of Justice official wrote in a New York Times op-ed that white supremacy and far-right extremism are among the greatest domestic-security threats facing US.”

Evidence of right-wing extremists abounds. A May 9 Associated Press-NORC poll found that 32% of American adults believe that “a group of people is trying to replace native-born Americans with immigrants for electoral gains.” Are you one of those individuals who believe this conspiracy non-sense or a member of one of America’s 47 white nationalist organizations? If so, getting a psychiatrist’s check-up from the neck-up may be in order.

It’s been said 50% of a person is due to nature (hopefully you picked good parents) and the other 50% is a result of nurturing (how you were raised). Your DNA is set; there’s nothing you can do. And your attitudes, believes, values and behavior have either been strengthened or damaged by the manner in which you were raised.

But, Dr. Phillippa Lally’s longitudinal habit formation research found it takes – on average – 66 days to change behavior. Hence, there’s hope for America’s right-wing extremists `IF’ they want to change.

Should you encounter a bad-vibe extremist thought, repeat this phrase until it sinks in: I can’t help the way I feel right now, but I can help the way I think and act.

Two quotations are worth pondering: 1) “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today” – Abraham Lincoln and 2) “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” – Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Everyone -- regardless of their political persuasion or lot on earth – must do every legitimate thing in their power to eradicate right-wing extremists and white-supremacists in 2023. This begins with self-analysis.

May humanity over hate prevail in `23.

Steve Corbin is an emeritus professor of marketing at the University of Northern Iowa.


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