2017 managed to simultaneously pass in the blink of an eye and feel as though each day a ton of bricks was dropped on my head... but maybe that’s just a me problem. To commemorate the good, the bad and the ugly (but primarily the latter two), please enjoy one last look back on the political realm in 2017.
January: What better way is there to kick off the year than to inaugurate America’s Tweeter-in- Chief? President Donald Trump’s inauguration seemed to widen the divide in American politics, inspiring the record-breaking Women’s March on Washington that took place the following day.
February: Right off the bat, Congress, under the Trump administration, began butting heads over the president’s plans for healthcare and tax reform. The White House’s official tax reform and healthcare plans to supposedly “help the middle class” and make sure “no one will lose coverage” that were later released were debunked. The Tax Policy Center determined that some income groups would first see tax cuts and then eventually increases while the wealthy got the biggest tax breaks.
March & April: President Trump definitely didn’t hold back from allowing for controversial legislation in his first 100 days in office. Over the course of the spring, America saw the battle between its fearless tweeter and the judiciary play out as Trump’s travel ban was continuously blocked by Federal District Court judges. It probably didn’t help his case that he intended to ban individuals from six Muslim-majority countries - how “for the people” of him, am I right (though it should be noted that the Supreme Court ruled in early December the ban could be fully enforced)?
May: Shifting away from the United States, the French election for prime minister had higher stakes than it had seen in over 30 years. Since 1981, the Socialist Party had ruled France; this year, the socialist candidate was ousted during the first round of the election and the top two candidates were moderate Emmanuel Macron and alt-right nationalist Marine Le Pen. In the runoff election, Macron walked away with the presidency. I find it quite amusing that his first name is Emmanuel, another word for Jesus, considering Macron saved the world from having a female version of Donald Trump.
June, July & August: This summer, tensions between the United States and North Korea increased and led President Trump to dubbing Kim Jong Un “Little Rocket Man.” CNN reported that on Independence Day, North Korea announced its first successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile; they would then threaten the country a month later with a “merciless” strike. September: Another major election took place this month, this time in Germany. While Angela Merkel was once again elected Chancellor, this was her party’s worst performance since she was first elected to the position. Might I also mention the fact that the third biggest party in their Parliament is now an alt-right nationalist group? What’s with all of these crazy supremacists coming out of the woodwork anyways?
October: As if 2017 hadn’t already been enough of an emotional whirlwind, the biggest mass shooting in United States history took place at a music festival in Las Vegas, NV. Amidst the mourning, the debate on gun control consumed the country and the pleas for more regulations were met with violent refusal from members of Congress. How unfortunate it is to live in a country where the president will ban individuals from entering the country for fear of terrorism, yet will hesitate to regulate the ability of American citizens - who have been responsible for a majority of mass shootings on U.S. soil - to purchase rapid-fire weapons.
November & December: As a lighter note to end the year, Australia managed to legalize same-sex marriage after its parliament debated for hours. It followed countries like the United States, Germany and Ireland in doing so. A little rainbow never hurt anybody, now did it?
In reflecting on the past year, it’s difficult to not notice how much some of the biggest political events of the year had some sort of connection with President Trump. Be it his policies, his tweets or just his administration, his connection in not only American but global politics has been noted - here’s to another 1,130 days of reflection.