Thoughts on 2017

Today I jotted down some thoughts on life in the U.S. in 2017, influencing the beginning of 2018. Of course, it involves politics. How could it not?

Conservatives are complicit.
The writers at National Review consistently try to downplay the ridiculousness of Trump’s presidency. They insist that it’s not so bad.

It’s true, that Trump won’t become a dictator, not because of any checks by Congress, but because he’s too stupid. He’ll never successfully study and understand the workings of government, so he’ll never successfully manipulate the workings of government. However, stupid bulls manage to damage china shops. Trump will manage some damage.

And he is such a blaringly loud fool, his presidency will become the trumpet everyone remembers sounding the decline of the prestige of the U.S. on the world stage.

Liberals can indeed be hysterical.
It’s natural to react reflexively against everything coming from Trump and his enablers. But in this age of media bashing, editors need to examine and reexamine stories before they publish them. Even one wrong story is enough for some people to condemn journalism as a whole.
It’s also natural to react in revulsion to sexual harassment and to harassers. But our society obviously needs to learn the difference between harassment and flirtation.
Some men — and women — may be ruined because of serial flirtation.

That hysteria is helped along by the mob mentality on socia media. It’s so easy to join a flash mob online before knowing all the facts.

On the other hand, it’s so easy to join an empowerment movement online.
Women are teaching other women that they are in possession of their bodies. Not a coach. Not a boss.
Maybe, disabled people will participate in that and affirm possession of their own bodies. Caregivers are not there to take control.

The strangest thing about 2017, for me, was that so many people took pains to continue ruining their own reputations. Republicans and evangelical Christians, among others. When confronted again and again by evidence that people they had put their trust in were unfit and unworthy, they not only didn’t withdraw their support, they actually increased their support.

Or maybe, the strangest thing is that the most divisive year I can remember, was, at the same time, uniting. It was the year of people joining a movement, donating to a cause and speaking out.

We need to speak out more against extremism. Extremism in both major political parties, in religion, in the mores of our culture — mores that are so entrenched that they’re not often recognized as extreme.