2018 In Review

It’s that time of year again; time for me to review the biggest political stories of 2018 and juxtapose them with my predictions from New Year’s Day. Let’s explore.

To begin this year I predicted the five biggest stories of the year in order would be North Korea, Russiagate and associated scandals, Donald Trump, the mid-term elections and terrorism. I missed it on number one and nailed the other four.

North Korea did dominate the news at times but I certainly can’t claim it was one of the top five. The reality is that despite all the malarkey from the White House nothing has been resolved and despite being less overtly boisterous North Korea is more dangerous than ever.

In my mind there was a tie for the top slot between Russiagate and Donald Trump. Of course Russiagate centers on Trump and it is past the point of plausible deniability that he was involved. All we lack are the tapes (unless Cohen had them and has given them to Mueller.) If I had to make a choice I would give the edge to Trump because he has a lot of transgressions in addition to Russiagate cover-up ones.

Coming in at third are the mid-terms. At this writing the blue wave netted 40 seats in the House and a possible 41st is under investigation due to massive and demonstrable Republican voter fraud. However the Republicans did manage to retain control of the Senate and increase their slim margin by two seats. That will make it easier for Trump to get appointments which require Senate confirmation through and more importantly leaves the Senate agenda in Mitch McConnell’s devious but skilled hands.

In my mind terrorism was a solid number 4. Some may give me some pushback on that but I include domestic terrorism in the category and Parkland, while not alone, was certainly huge news item. I consider most mass shootings and the “exercises” of white supremacists incidents of domestic terrorism. What else would you call them?

My fifth place story was climate change/severe weather. There were a couple of major hurricanes that dominated the news for a few weeks. Long term – and that “long term” is rapidly shortening – this is the biggest problem facing mankind. Sea levels are rising and most of the population lives near the shores. The Trump administration is choosing to ignore the problem and there is no Planet B.

Well there you have it. You can use this as polite party conversation if you go out tonight. In any event stay safe and we’ll see you next year (a/k/a tomorrow).

Please note: This article was written well in advance of publishing in order to accommodate my holiday travel and grandpa time schedule.

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