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Girding for 2013

2) The collapse of the regimes in Syria, Iran, North Korea... possibly even China? Yes, I know, year after year such possibilities are raised. And then it doesn't happen -- though Syria's Assad does seem to be increasingly pushed to the edge. But, as with the Soviet Union's collapse 21 years ago, there can come a season when these things happen, and when they do, they tend to go fast. The big question here is: Is America ready to respond? What is the end game? Should these governments fall, implode, be driven aside by their own people, will Washington just stand aside and bear "witness"? Will America again defer to the feckless United Nations? Or will there be a serious re-awakening of American leadership, and a determination that the 21st century will be a time not of growing shadows and weakness, but of freedom and enlightenment?

On both these fronts, domestic and foreign (inseparable these days, really), it too often seems right now that by the little guy, nothing much can be done. Perhaps the most important bottom line in girding for 2013 is, if you care about capitalism and freedom, about a strong America and a safer, freer world, do not give up. There is a struggle of ideas going on here; and even when much seems lost -- spun off the road, over the cliff -- plenty may yet depend on even a few who keep the faith, and at the right moment, are ready with a plan.