What in the world will 2024 bring?


With the old year having ended and the New Year just beginning, I’m once again going through my routine of looking back on the previous year’s memories and trying to anticipate what the next one might hold.

On balance, 2023 was a good year for me. There were some twists and turns and bumps in the road, but overall I can’t complain. For starters, in the very first week of the year, I crossed paths with Stuart Richner, the publisher of the Heralds, who offered me the opportunity to write a column for the papers. I was smart enough to accept, and it’s been a challenging and rewarding experience for me ever since.

A few months later, with no warning signs or symptoms and during a routine procedure, my gastroenterologist, Dr. Michael Barth, detected a tumor in my stomach, which turned out to be malignant. A few weeks after that, Dr. Matthew Weiss, a skilled surgeon at Long Island Jewish Hospital, removed the tumor, and there was no follow-up radiation or chemotherapy required. I was out of the hospital in days, and back at full speed in a few weeks.

Then, in June and September, I made two very positive visits to Capitol Hill, where I had the privilege of serving for 28 years. In June, the House Intelligence Committee asked me, along with several former members, including Frank LoBiondo, of New Jersey, and Jane Harman, of California, to testify about pressing terror threats, and then, in September, more than 40 of my former staff members held a reception for my wife, Rosemary, and I on the Speaker’s Balcony. Both events brought back very positive memories.

During that time, but especially in September and October, I worked closely with Nassau County Republican Party Chairman Joe Cairo and county Republicans to bring about the overwhelming victories we saw on Election Day. They resulted in part because of the series of misjudgments and poor policy decisions by Democratic leaders in New York and Washington — the most prominent being the inability to deal with out-of-control illegal migration, which made its way to the western edge of Nassau County.

Entering 2024, I hope for continued good health for Rosemary and our family and friends — and a return to good health for our state and nation. The presidential race will be like no other, with the nation so divided and the problems so severe, with wars in Ukraine and Israel becoming more deadly by the day and threats from Iran and China showing no signs of lessening.

For progress to be made on any of these fronts in this new year, I strongly believe that the American people must find a way to put aside blind partisanship and forge a united front on issues on which there can be agreement and honest debate when consensus can’t be reached.

The most obvious need for concerted action is border security. New York City cannot continue to absorb 4,000 illegal migrants each week without bursting. Similarly, the rise in antisemitism is truly frightening. Our political, religious and education leaders must speak with one voice in proclaiming that “Never Again” means Never Again! Similarly, respect for law enforcement must be restored if we are to be safe in our homes and neighborhoods.

While victories cannot be guaranteed on all, or even most, fronts in 2024, real progress can be made if we remember that America is still the world’s greatest nation and we live up to our standards as Americans. If we do, this will indeed be a year we will all be proud to remember.

Peter King is a former congressman, and a former chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security. Comments? pking@