American Resolution

FlagEvery year we are supposed to make New Year’s resolutions and every year most of us fail to keep those resolutions. We commit to losing weight, being kinder to others, sticking to some plan or another. Resolutions are generally ways that we want to better ourselves and they are also generally ways we shame ourselves when we don’t live up to the promise. I am as guilty as the next person in this annual charade. So this year I thought that instead of making resolutions I couldn’t keep maybe I could make some for my country. Unfortunately I expect America may be as bad as its citizens about keeping the promises.

America, here are my resolutions for you. Do your best. This will be the year that:

  • we adopt peace first and no longer engage in endless wars in places all over the globe.
  • we stop shooting unarmed black men in urban areas.
  • our citizens put down their guns and stop killing each other.
  • even the Republicans accept climate change as a real threat to the planet.
  • mentally deficient candidates are no longer taken seriously or allowed to run for office.
  • the rich people in this country accept their fair share of taxes so that others can get some relief.
  • homelessness and poverty are ended.
  • drug companies quit peddling chemical happiness.
  • we end the War on Drugs (the ones that aren’t from drug companies) once and for all.
  • news organizations start to act like news organizations again instead of entertainment outlets.
  • minorities are accepted as equal members of society and the promises of our founding fathers are realized.
  • we quit lionizing famous people who are famous only for being famous and who contribute nothing to our collective culture.
  • the arts are elevated to a level of appreciation equal to football.
  • queer citizens are no longer killed for simply being and no longer commit suicide simply for being.
  • we go 365 days without a single mass shooting.
  • money is taken out of politics and legislators can no longer be bought by large corporations.

America, the majority of these resolutions are things that the majority of Americans can get behind. This list should be so easy with the support you can get. Likely there are several others that I forgot, but let’s start here. We can work on more next year. My hope is simply that you don’t fail as quickly as most of us once the new year starts.


About Callen Harty

Originally from Shullsburg, Wisconsin Callen Harty is the author of four books and numerous published essays, poems, and articles. His most recent book is The Stronger Pull, a memoir about coming out in a small town in Wisconsin. His first book was My Queer Life, a compilation of over 30 years worth of writing on living life as a queer man. It includes essays, poems, speeches, monologues, and more. Empty Playground: A Survivor's Story, is a memoir about surviving childhood sex abuse. His play, Invisible Boy, is a narrative with poetic elements and is also an autobiographical look as surviving child sex abuse. All are available on (and three of them on Kindle) or can be ordered through local bookstores, He has written almost two dozen plays and 50 monologues that have been produced. Most of them have been produced at Broom Street Theater in Madison, Wisconsin where he started as an actor, writer, and director in 1983. He served as the Artistic Director of the theater from 2005-2010. Monologues he wrote for the Wisconsin Veterans’ Museum won him awards from the Wisconsin Historical Society and the American Association of State and Local History. He has also had essays, poems, and articles published in newspapers and magazines around the country and has taken the top prize in several photo contests. His writing has appeared in Out!, James White Review, Scott Stamp Monthly, Wisconsin State Journal, and elsewhere. He has had several essays published online for Forward Seeking, Life After Hate, and The Progressive. Callen has also been a community activist for many years. He was the co-founder of Young People Caring, UW-Madison’s 10% Society, and Proud Theater. He served as the first President of Young People Caring and as the Artistic Director for Proud Theater for its first five years. He is still an adult mentor for the group. In 2003 he won OutReach’s Man of the Year award for his queer community activism. OutReach is Madison, Wisconsin’s lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community center. He also won a Community Shares of Wisconsin Backyard Hero award for his sex abuse survivor activism work. He has been invited to speak before many community groups, at a roundtable on queer community theater in New York City, and has emceed several events. In 2016, Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault named him their annual Courage Award winner for his activism, writing, and speaking on sexual assault.
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