Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

2016 has been a momentous year. Eight years of authoritarian and far-left ideology under Pres. Barack Obama imposed upon the American people led to a backlash at the polls and a presidential election that took the nation by surprise with Donald Trump winning. Kentucky Republicans also won big as they picked up 17 seats in the state House. They now have a supermajority of 64-36. Racial tension remains high with riots in Milwaukee, Charlotte and St. Paul.  We lost a hero in astronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth and Cuba lost a ruthless dictator in Fidel Castro.

Terrorist attacks in Brussels, Berlin, Nice, France, and at an Orlando nightclub rocked the world out of the illusion of safety. Syria has been devastated by civil war and refugees fleeing the carnage have overwhelmed surrounding nations. We signed a controversial nuclear deal with Iran while North Korea tested a nuclear bomb. The Zika virus in Brazil threatened the Summer Olympics and a doping scandal plagued the Russian team. Team USA dominated the olympics with 121 medals while Michael Phelps will go down as the greatest olympian in modern history. A small militia seized a national wildlife refuge in Oregon. A new word was coined—Brexit, as Great Britain left the European Union.  And Pokeman Go captured the attention of gamers. 2016 was filled with good, but marked by much tragedy and pain, so as we enter a new year, may each of us pray for a better 2017 and do what's in our power to see that prayer comes into fruition.