We welcome the new year with hope and resolve, so I’ll offer some suggestions for New Year resolutions, first for some of our leaders and lastly for this humble political columnist.

Starting on the national scene, President Barack Obama could resolve to spend his final two years in office working for all of us instead of for an idealogical left-wing progressive agenda that does nothing to help the middle class. If he truly cares about his legacy, he will keep his promise to work with the new Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

For the Republican leadership, I issue a plea not to botch their chance for real leadership, something for which they have been notorious in the past. Resolve first to bring the conservative and moderate factions within the party, somehow, more to the center, where most American’s reside. Incoming Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and Speaker of the House John Boehner of Ohio must find a way to be true to party principles without surrendering to the extremism of a Ted Cruz, Republican senator from Texas. The Democrats must resolve to reject the progressive agenda of Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Hillary Clinton’s only real opponent for that party’s nomination. Real political solutions will be found only in compromise, for that is the art of politics, as proven by history.

Those who represent us in the Oval Office and in the halls of Congress must resolve that America will be strong, that our nation’s defense will be fully maintained, since the public’s safety is the government’s No. 1 responsibility. These critical times do not call for embracing any form of isolationism, as suggested by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a leading Republican candidate for president. Let’s resolve to reclaim our position and reputation as the world’s strongest leader, while being compassionate.

On the state scene: Gov. Paul LePage’s resolution should be to keep a promise to work with the Legislature, while keeping his vaunted veto pen in check. It should be used only in the most grievous circumstances. The governor will need to recognize that Maine, like America, is becoming more diverse, and he must seek means to treat all fairly in his quest for cost reductions and tax reform. LePage has the support of the people on these issues, but is urged to approach his conservative programs with a scalpel, not a chainsaw.

Our new Republican Senate president, Mike Thibodeau from Winterport, faces the same kind of challenge that confronts his counterpart in Washington. Thibodeau should resolve to manage the conservative and moderate members with a style short of insisting upon the most conservative measures proposed by his governor, with whom he is very simpatico. Like in Washington, Republicans here have an opportunity — they must resolve not to blow it. Maine Republican leadership, now that they control both the executive office and Senate, must resolve to insist that their governor, learns the art of compromise for the sake of results.

In the final analysis, that is what the people yearn for — a return to the days when politicians of all stripes put principle, and people, before raw partisanship. In his first term, LePage’s motto was “people before politics.” In his second term, he should make that “all people.”

Collectively, we should resolve to work for better understanding among all people; to treat others as equals; to recognize the right for the people of all countries to be free; and to promote political independence in the halls of our lawmakers everywhere in the quest for solutions to our many problems.

Local government is the form of governing closest to the people and elected members should resolve to avoid conflict leading to confrontation among themselves in the best interests of their city or town.

As the writer of “All Politics is Local,” I will;

• Attempt to accentuate the positive, to deliver essays that are motivational and uplifting.

• Seek information, especially on the local scene, that is not generally available to the general public.

• Remain committed to my principles and to display the courage of my convictions regardless of occasional vitriol that will be hurled by those who disagree.

• Be vigilant and unflinching in a quest to provide the readers of the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel with a fresh and sometimes quite different opinion on matters of political importance and human endeavor.

My readers already have learned to expect the unexpected, a sometimes counterintuitive or politically incorrect column about local, state or national public affairs. Trust me to have your back again this year. I will try hard to make 2015 even more interesting for you. I urge everyone to be active, be involved and participate in their community. Happy New Year.

Don Roberts, a former city councilor and former vice chairman of the Charter Commission in Augusta, is a trustee of the Greater Augusta Utility District.