I was struck by Bret Stephens' op ed piece in yesterday's NYT. Stephens is a thoughtful conservative. He started by describing how many of his conservative friends and colleagues who held their noses while voting for Trump are now happy. This is primarily because of the massive tax cuts. Also Gorsuch is high on their list of happy things.
Then Stephens went on to say why he was and still remains a never Trumper. He says that character matters. Then he gave the following description of Chump: "Trump's personality- the lying, narcissism, bullying, bigotry, crassness, name calling, ignorance, paranoia, incompetence and pettiness." Stephens' description is perfect, although not entirely complete.
All news organizations have their lists of top stories from 2017. If I did my list it would be book length. so I am going to limit my list to just two things. I would ask you to give me your list. I will be happy to publish them. So here are the two images from 2017 which stay in the forefront of my brain. First is the Women's March. Kathryn and I were part of it. We witnessed first hand how much larger it was than the inauguration the day before. The photographs of the March were breathtaking. This was a lifetime experience equaled only by the Obama inaugurations.
The second image etched in my brain is Chump throwing rolls of paper towels to Puerto Ricans who had lost everything. He thought it was cute. I thought it encapsulated the very sick mind that occupies the White House. He has zero empathy, a classic sociopath.
Now to 2018. I am very optimistic. There is a debate going on within the Democratic party as to whether they should run on traditional Democratic values of social and economic justice, or should they run on anti Trump messages. I say both. I think the amount of anti Trump energy is huge. The women's march proved it. So did the incredible election results in Virginia. So did the Roy Moore defeat. So did the other elections where Democrats barely lost in overwhelmingly Republican districts.
Democrats across the country are mobilizing like I have never seen. I received a call from a Leann Jacobson in Iowa who is running against Steve King, one of the most evil, bigoted people in Congress. That's a low bar and he slithered beneath it. I received another call from Cathy Myers. She is running against Paul Ryan. Both are longshots. But they are not as longshots as was Doug Jones. Here in Michigan we have several outstanding candidates who have excellent shots at knocking off Republicans. (You will be hearing more about them in the coming year.) My point is that I have never seen such energy as has been displayed across the country since the Women's march. Pundits, both Republican and Democrat, say that Democrats have a good chance of flipping the house. And those pundits are assuming congressional maps stay as they are. There is a very good chance that the U.S. Supreme Court will require remapping in heavily gerrymandered states.
I have heard many pundits talk about the political forces in play in 2018, None of them talk about the possible indictments and scandals which might come out of the Mueller investigation. Mueller will deal in facts, not in the lies which come from Trump whenever he opens his mouth. I predict there will be more indictments and maybe even more guilty pleas. Would anyone be surprised if Kushner is indicted? All of the talking heads are focused on the Russia investigation. I believe that Mueller is looking into Trump's, and Kushner's and Wilber Ross's financial dealings. They are loaded with dirty money. In my view, this may be more explosive than the Russia investigation. And finally, this may never be proven, but I am convinced that Russia has something on Trump. That is the only possible explanation for his bizarre relationship with Putin.
So, we can't predict the damage that Chump can do in the coming year. We can only hope he does not start a war. Assuming he doesn't, the winds of change are blowing at our backs. There is a lot of cause for optimism. Happy and healthy and peaceful New Year.