The champagne has been popped and the hangovers nursed. The MoonPie has dropped and the greens and black-eyed peas have been eaten. We finally made it to 2018 after one of the most depressing years on record.

Of course, 2017 wasn’t all bad. I’m sure we all can find much to be grateful for in our own lives. But as a state and a nation, this past year really stunk it up for us, collectively speaking.

As Alabamians, we dealt with the “Luv Guv” soap opera and the special United States Senate election, where we endured hearing a pathetic, lovesick old man proclaim his love for breast-holding and allegations of a former judge chasing after and inappropriately touching teenage girls. Ick and ick!

As a country, we became more polarized than we’ve been in decades. Tribalism took over and identifying as Republican or Democrat became far more important than just being Americans. Tremendously sad!

But with a new year, there is always the opportunity to hit the reset button and resolve to make things better. So, I jotted down a few resolutions/hopes for our state and country and I thought I would share them with you.

As Alabamians …

No Moore, for real this time
We should resolve to never allow Roy Moore to make it to another general election again for any office. (Is there a dogcatcher joke here?) Without question, he will run again for something, most likely against Kay Ivey for governor. But the man is an extremist theocrat with no business being a public servant. He only wants to be served.  

People get caught up in debating whether the women who accused him of sexual misconduct and/or general creepiness during the special election are credible. Those accusations are definitely important to consider, but let’s not forget he was super cray-cray way before any of that ever came out.  

His classless refusal to concede to his opponent and the lawsuit he filed to try and paint the election as fraudulent only confirms he is the self-serving, megalomaniac he has proven himself to be time and time again.

After state officials certified the election of Democrat Doug Jones, dismissing Moore’s ridiculous claims of impropriety, the twice-removed judge issued a statement, not urging his supporters to respect the results and come together as a state (as honorable people do), but telling them not to believe in their validity.

“Election fraud experts across the country have agreed that this was a fraudulent election,” it read.

Disrespecting the democratic process and trying to delegitimize the results are the acts of tyrants and madmen who rule in lands far, far away, not in our country. Roy Moore was removed from office twice for not following the rule of law and is now screaming that our elections are rigged. The man has repeatedly peed on the pillars of our democracy with a stream whose force must only rival that of his horse Sassy. He needs to ride off into the sunset on her for good this time.

Getting to the bottom of the Bentley saga
I am usually one for letting sleeping dogs lie, but this year we should resolve to get to the bottom of what really happened between former Gov. Robert Bentley and former Attorney General/Senator Luther Strange. We all know this by now but let me just repeat it for dramatic effect: Luther Strange’s office was investigating Robert Bentley. During said investigation, Bentley interviewed and gave Strange his dream job. I didn’t go to law school, but I imagine there is a whole chapter in one of those fancy leather-bound books explaining how criminal such an act would be. Has anyone even bothered to look into this?

Depending on your political point of view, if you need to blame someone for allowing us to almost elect an accused child molester OR to actually elect a Democrat, look no further than those two clowns. Sure, they both lost their jobs, but it seems other politicos who have done far less in our state paid much higher prices. Justice has not yet been served here.

Paying attention
In 2018, we will go to the polls to vote for the folks representing us in Montgomery. There are going to be a lot of changes in our local delegation. These people make decisions that often affect us way more than the ones the folks in D.C. are making, yet most of us don’t even know who our state representatives and senators are. And there are some real duds who have already announced or are rumored to be running. So let’s resolve to pay attention to these races and stay as engaged as we were during the special Senate election. This election might not be as sexy, but it is just as important. We need good folks up there representing the interests of coastal Alabama, so we need to make sure that’s exactly who we are sending there.

As a country …

Just be nice
For the love of sweet baby New Year, I have just one request … can we just resolve to be nicer to each other? When we want to call someone a snowflake or a libtard or a RepubliKKKan or a knuckle-dragging mouth breather, can we just go back to thinking it instead of actually saying it or typing it? Can 2018 be the year we bring civility back? Pretty please?

Happy New Year, everyone!