By Richmond Times-Dispatch
Sisyphus would have recognized 2012 and the years leading to it – perhaps several thousand of them. Myths reveal truths. Mankind pushes the boulder to the mountaintop only to see it roll down again. This is not to say progress cannot occur, but it is to say that men and women cannot escape the tragic sense of life. Their perseverance confers nobility.
The past year was dominated by events foreseen and unforeseen. The presidential election focused eyes on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Republicans endured a succession of primaries. Candidates rose and fell. Mitt Romney survived. Virginia ranked among the battlegrounds. Romney, President Barack Obama or their running mates seemed to visit the commonwealth weekly. Romney introduced Paul Ryan as his vice presidential pick in rallies in Hampton Roads and Ashland. The Obamas spent so much time in the state that they probably qualified to vote there. In 2008, Obama became the first Democratic presidential nominee since Lyndon Johnson to carry Virginia. In 2012, he repeated the feat.
Tim Kaine defeated George Allen in the race to succeed Sen. Jim Webb.
Sandy, school shooting
The year also will be remembered for Hurricane Sandy and a slaughter in an idyllic Connecticut town. The Carolinas and the Gulf Coast are accustomed to hurricanes. Sandy slammed into the populous Northeast. The waters surged in Manhattan and the other boroughs. The Jersey shore took a beating.
The state’s political leaders failed yet again to adopt a truly comprehensive approach to transportation.
The Times-Dispatch addressed all these and more in editorials, columns by syndicated writers as well as columns by guests.
Many of these issues will return. The unexpected will happen, too. And if we cannot predict what we cannot foresee, then humanity’s fate has not changed since antiquity: Push on.