About 20,000 of you voted on billoreilly.com and 86 percent say 2003 was a good year. 14 percent say it was not.
Now I'm with the minority on this one. I base my opinion primarily on the war. Any year that American soldiers (search) are being killed is not a good year in my estimation. That's not to say the war in Iraq isn't a noble effort. It is. We are trying to deliver freedom to people who have been oppressed for decades. But this war is a mess, as all wars are. Therefore, it counts against the year 2003.
Also, last year saw perhaps the most vicious political brawling the country has seen since Vietnam. That's a minus. Jobs (search) are still hard to come by for millions of Americans. That's a minus. Secularism and irresponsible judges ran wild in 2003. That's bad news. And finally, the Columbia disaster (search), constant terror alerts, and general feeling of insecurity all marred 2003.
On the plus side, America removed a tyrant, humiliated him. There were no terrorist attacks here. And most importantly, the recession ended, all good but not good enough to override the bad, in my opinion.
So I believe 2003 was not a year to celebrate. Hopefully the upcoming year will see the war wind down, politics will get less dirty, and the economy will expand rapidly. That will certainly make it a good year in 2004 if terrorism is kept at bay.
And that's The Memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
I would like your opinion on a personal matter. As you know, your humble correspondent -- that's me -- is often the subject of personal attacks in the media. I am one big Irish pinata these days.
So here's a question -- and we posted it on billoreilly.com -- should I reply to these attacks or ignore them? Now, in the past, I've confronted them. But, in 2004, should I ignore them? All right.
Now the upside of confronting them is exposing the bomb throwers as frauds and naming names so you know the score. The downside is that I have to waste time on these people and on issues that are sometimes important to me but not to you.
So please go to billoreilly.com and let me know what you think. In 2004, should I confront personal attacks or ignore them? We will let you know the poll result on Thursday.
And we appreciate it.
--You can watch Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points Memo and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 & 11p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org