Now that Christmas is behind us, and the new year is just ahead, it is time to take stock of the year just passing.
Fortunately the end of the world did not occur, as some thought the Mayans had predicted with their otherwise very accurate calendar. Those who thought the world would end were a little red-faced, in fact, and perhaps disappointed. It is one thing to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. But they were prepared for the worst and hoped for the worst, too.
It is smart to prepare for the worst. Always have some money in the bank, always have some food in the cupboards and the refrigerator, always keep at least half a tank of gas in the car. Those were things Mom and Dad taught us.
"Always assume something might happen," Mom would say. "Listen to your mother," Dad would advise.
One thing that has happened that was long predicted: The Democrats have taken over California.
Part of that is the fault of the Republican Party, which doesn't seem to be able to get organized in the populous coastal areas of the state. The rest of it is the fault of voters who are sure that somehow they will be better off if Democrats are in charge. Who knows? They may be right.
But remember this: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." That familiar statement is attributed to a Briton, Lord Acton. William Pitt, once prime minister of England, said: "Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it."
If these quotations turn out to be true, the Democrats may be in for a bad time when subsequent elections roll around. And, for that matter, the rest of us may be in for a bad time, unless we are lucky. Like Mom said: Be ready for the worst, but hope for the best.