So, today is the last day of 2017. It gives one an opportunity to think about what has gone by over the previous year or so. Actually, the last 2 years have been immensely entertaining if you have been following American politics(that is, if it hasn’t scared the cat crap out of you.) As I’m sure you know, 2016 was the year of the American presidential campaign and election. On the Democratic side there was very little entertainment value. However with the Republicans it was another story, thanks to the latest PT Barnum of American politics. Interestingly, in 2015, when Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the office of President of the United States, Scott Adams, a noted observer and commentator on American life, gave him a 98% chance of winning. He reasoned at the time that Trump’s powers of persuasion would eclipse all other candidates. This is the same Scott Adams, by the way, who is the author of the comic strip Dilbert, one of Mike’s favorites. Mike particularly likes Catbert, the evil HR manager. He is my favorite character as well. Mike woke up the morning after the election in 2016 in a state of rage, dread, and disbelief. This has mostly abated although Mike says that he had a nightmare the other day in which in his dream he woke up to find that Donald Trump was president of the United States. Usually it’s a relief to wake up after a dream like that, but this time, not so much. One good thing is Mike has said that he never realized he loved his country so much. He and a lot of other people have been shocked into the realization that they can’t take their way of life for granted.
The dread factor has been much higher in 2017 in some ways, now that the nut-jobs and incompetents are in charge, but Mike’s rage has abated. It is a good thing that the ugly fascist underbelly of American life has been exposed. It is always better to know that the coyotes are, in fact, lurking in the bushes. A better thing has been that the American judiciary and the Free Press, both under attack by the current administration, are responding to their moral and constitutional imperatives admirably. And in fact, it looks like the investigative Committees in Congress are doing their jobs as well, looking into this Russian thing, even if Congress has otherwise been a fiasco. For example, while the recently signed so-called tax reform has some good ideas, I don’t think that robbing from the poor and giving to the rich is much of a good idea at all. Nevertheless, we will survive, and the current wisdom is that anything that doesn’t destroy you will make you stronger. May it be so.
It has been a lot of fun watching the political machinations of the party in charge as they struggle with themselves trying to accomplish their philosophical agenda. Probably the biggest loser in 2017 has been the Republican Party. Certainly the biggest loser in 2016 was the Democratic Party. It remains to be seen if either group can get it together. I hope so, because otherwise we will deteriorate into a parliamentary-like system of coalitions without having a parliament. I don’t think that will work very well and neither does Mike. The two-party system has served our country pretty well for a long time, and we need to get back to it functioning properly.
I think the biggest winner in 2017 was the Woman. American women have found a sense of power never seen before. They came together the day after the inauguration and have followed it up with an increased participation in voting that has turned at least one crazy election to the plus side. Roy Moore would’ve been the biggest disgrace to the American Senate since Joe McCarthy. Remarkably, women speaking up about sexual harassment in the workplace has been a huge story, and will have a lasting effect on American life. This is as big as the civil rights movement. And as with the civil rights movement, the enemies of freedom will keep on fighting. Freedom is all about the right to speak your mind and the right to vote and have your vote counted the same as the next person’s. So, ladies, the fight has only begun.
Mike has tried to keep me from getting too political in my blogging, but sometimes I can’t help myself. Please forgive me if you disagree with me. We need to stop being so angry with each other. Abraham Lincoln famously said: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” This is no less true today than it was at the time he said it. May the Spirit be with you all in 2018.