The customary “Happy New Year” wish was missing in the Day family Christmas newsletter this past holiday season.

No justification came to mind as I made that decision; but in retrospect, perhaps I was influenced by well-founded fears that we are witnessing the demise of constitutional freedom in the United States, and evidence that cultures the world around are devolving into chaos.

Ryan Urie’s pollyannaish claim (column, Dec. 24) that crises always result in better lives is simply fantasy. Since 1926, nine democracies have fallen into dictatorship.