On the good side:
- I had the pleasure of finishing ten years as Archivist of the United States and played a role in making sure we all understand that it is not just for history that we have records, but to protect citizens’ entitlements (Veterans, for example). And maybe, most importantly given the times we are in, conveying the importance of records as essential in holding the government accountable.
- My engagement with the Staley School of Leadership Studies at Kansas State University for the entire decade has grown my confidence in the potential of our younger population, giving me hope for the future.
- Governor Kelly defeating Secretary of State Kris Kobach in the 2018 election.
- Kansas City Royals won the World Series for the first time since 1985, K-State won Big 12 championships in both football and basketball. Yes, KU won the other nine in basketball, but offsetting that, K-State was 10-0 competing against KU in football.
- Kansas State University closed the decade by making really good decisions and hires that will, I believe, have significant positive impact for the coming decade.
On the bad side:
- Having to endure eight Brownback years (and all the mistakes that will haunt Kansans for many years) really makes a much more difficult path to the future for both the Governor and Legislators.
- The election of Donald Trump as President in 2016. A man with little or no respect for the law, little or no understanding of how our government functions, and little or no appreciation of the huge challenges (e.g., climate change) we face that, if not addressed, will do damage of unbelievable portions.
- Having Moscow Mitch (Republican Senator from Kentucky) in a position to stop almost every important piece of legislation through the entire decade, even those that had overwhelming public support. In addition, his handling of the courts and judges has set several damaging precedents for the future.
- Almost 100% of Scientists with a climate background have issued serious warnings throughout the decade and there has been little or no action in response.
- The national failure to make any progress on immigration reform, funding of infrastructure needs, dealing with gun violence, addressing climate change, as well as the increasing National debt. This represents the utmost failure of our leadership in Washington D.C.
Here’s to a new year and decade with the hope that progress can and will be made.